Minister Joe O’Brien urges Council to implement Traveller housing recommendations
10th August, 2021
Green Party Minister of State Joe O’Brien has written to Fingal County Council urging it to implement a set of recommendations on Traveller-specific accommodation from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.
The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has the power to invite private or public organisations to carry out a review of equality of opportunity generally, or a particular aspect of discrimination under Ireland’s anti-discrimination laws.
In 2019, the Commission invited each of the 31 local authorities in the State to undertake a review of their provision of Traveller accommodation. The equality reviews focus on failures nationally to draw down ring fenced capital budget to meet obligations on Traveller-specific accommodation. The local authorities were invited to conduct a review of the practices, procedures, and other relevant factors in relation to the drawdown of capital funding and the provision of Traveller-specific accommodation services.
Minister O’Brien said:
“I have written to Fingal County Council to urge them to accept all of IHREC’s recommendations and to begin the process of implementation immediately. The human rights situation of Travellers in Ireland is unacceptable and while Fingal has been better than average recently in terms of drawing down funding for Traveller accommodation there are still some significant improvements that need to be made.”
“In total the IHREC has 7 key recommendations for Fingal County Council to improve on in terms of Traveller accommodation provision. There are key recommendations into data collection and the real preferences of Travellers for the type of accommodation they want. I would put particular emphasis on the recommendation to recruit a Traveller Liaison Officer in the Council. I visited a number of Traveller groups and families in Fingal recently and I think their immediate needs and situations could be significantly improved if there was a dedicated and appropriately qualified Liaison Officer in the Council.”
Fingal County Council is due to report back to the IHREC in response to its recommendations by the end of August. Full details of the IHREC’s equality review of FCC Traveller accommodation provision is at the following link: https://www.ihrec.ie/app/uploads/2021/07/Fingal-CC-Equality-Review-IHREC_Final.pdf