City Travellers living in “extremely poor conditions”

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THE Irish Traveller Movement (ITM) claims that families are living in “extremely poor conditions” with overcrowding and no facilities at halting sites and group housing schemes in the city.

In the wake of further reductions in the local authority Traveller accommodation budget for 2014, living conditions for Travellers will “worsen”, warns the ITM, a national network of organisations and individuals working within the Traveller community.

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The lobby group issued a statement to the Limerick Post this week following a special briefing on the Limerick Local Authorities draft Traveller accommodation programme at City Hall.

“There are a number of group housing schemes and halting sites in Limerick City that are overcrowded and families living with no facilities. The halting sites and group housing schemes are in extremely poor condition that no human being should be subject to. There are still many families who have been included in the previous Traveller accommodation programme who are still waiting for accommodation,” the ITM statement explained.

“Almost 15 years and three accommodation programmes later, key questions’ must be asked as to what has changed for Travellers in regards to their accommodation needs in Limerick?

“Traveller accommodation is at a crisis level because of the failure to deliver and implement the Traveller accommodation programme. There seems to be little political will or commitment from Limerick City Council to deliver Traveller accommodation.”

“We are also aware that there are a high number of families looking for Traveller specific accommodation such as halting sites. This need was supposed to be met in the last Traveller accommodation programme and the programme before that but this was never delivered,” claims the ITM.

According to the lobby group, €50 million for Traveller accommodation has been underspent nationally, with local authorities failing to draw down their allocated funding for Traveller accommodation.
The ITM along with other national and local Travellers groups held a peaceful protest on Monday last, November 25, outside Fingal County Council offices in Blanchardstown, Dublin.
The Traveller Accommodation Programme 2014-2018 will go on public display in Limerick at the end of January.