Rights groups to discuss Traveller issues with legislators

Eileen Flynn

Two human rights groups will discuss Traveller-specific accommodation issues today at a meeting with the joint Oireachtas committee on key issues affecting the Traveller community.

The committee will hear from representatives from the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) and the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

FLAC will be represented by managing solicitor Sinéad Lucey and solicitor Christopher McCann, while the Commission will be represented by chief commission Sinéad Gibney, head of legal Michael O’Neill and commissioner Dr Rosaleen McDonagh.

The meeting follows the recent publication of the IHREC’s Equality Reviews on the Provision of Traveller Accommodation by Local Authorities.

Committee chairperson Senator Eileen Flynn said: “The Free Legal Advice Centres has operated a Traveller Legal Service since early 2020. The Committee welcomes this opportunity to hear about this service and FLAC’s work and expert legal opinion on housing law issues concerning the Traveller community including failures to provide Traveller specific accommodation.

“The Committee is also delighted to welcome representatives from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to discuss the findings and recommendations made in the Equality Reviews on the Provision of Traveller Accommodation by Local Authorities which were published earlier this month.

“The Commission launched these equality reviews in 2019 after strong evidence showed a consistent underspend of the Traveller-specific accommodation budget. Between 2008 and 2018, 35 per cent of resources allocated to the local authorities for Traveller-specific accommodation was not drawn down.”


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