Traveller rights further restricted. Government amendments make a mockery of social partnership
Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2002
'The National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) is outraged at the measures pushed through the Dáil yesterday giving more powers to the local authorities to evict Travellers with nowhere to go and to criminalise trespass' stated Joanna MC Minn, NWCI Director. 'The NWCI supports the protest of the Irish Traveller Movement, Pavee Point and the National Traveller Women's Forum against the amendments to the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill' she continued.
'The NWCI, as a social partner, is particularly dismayed at the failure of the Minister to consult with or inform the Traveller organisations of his intention to bring forward these amendments' stated Ms. McMinn. 'The actions of the Minister and the Government make a mockery of social partnership' she continued.
'The Minister's proposals will worsen the situation of the 1,200 families on the roadside with no accommodation. It will lead to widespread evictions of Travellers with nowhere to go, and the criminalisation of entire communities of Travellers who are camped on public land awaiting permanent accommodation' said Ms. McMinn.
'The NWCI calls on the Government to implement the recommendation of the Task Force on the Travelling Community to build 2,200 units of Traveller accommodation immediately. Since 1995, only 111 such units have been built' she added.
'We call on the Government to engage in genuine consultation with Traveller organisations to sort out the current legislative crisis' she concluded.