People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny has said that following the airing of the Prime Time Investigates documentary Travellers- Lives on the Fringes that the government must immediately undertake a suite of measures to address Traveller inequality in this country.
He called for
- Restoration of all Traveller funding to post recession levels including the restoration of Traveller housing and educational programmes and ensure county and city councils drawdown all of the funding provided for Traveller services.
- Provision of culturally appropriate Traveller accommodation.
- Traveller specific mental health funding and supports
- Include Travellers specific history and culture to the school syllabus.
- Make the anniversary of the recognition of Traveller ethnicity a public holiday, March 1st
Gino Kenny TD said:
“As the Prime Time programme showed the Travelling community is one of the most marginalised and oppressed group of people that live on this island.
“Despite achieving the wonderful recognition of Traveller ethnicity in 2016, Travellers still experience some of the most vile and awful racism- both on an individual level and by the state in the form of historic funding cuts and disregard for their culture. Traveller education was cut by nearly 90% for example- that is totally outrageous!
“I am calling for the government to immediately instigate the measures I have outlined and restore all Traveller services to the levels of funding they had before the downturn.
“Traveller specific history and culture must be included on the education syllabus for all pupils in this state because Traveller culture and history is part of the rich history and culture on this island.
“Traveller appropriate accommodation must receive massive investment as well as Traveller specific mental health and support services.
“I am calling for the anniversary of the government’s acknowledgment of Traveller ethnicity to be a public holiday in recognition of that most historic day.”