Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Equality and Integration Fiona O’Loughlin TD says the Government needs to pay close attention to the findings contained in a new report highlighting issues impacting on the Traveller community.
Deputy O’Loughlin made the comments following today’s publication of the National Survey of Travellers.
Deputy O’Loughlin said, “The findings of this survey are deeply worrying. It found that Travellers are facing significant challenges in overcoming accommodation, mental health and unemployment difficulties.
“More than 80% of those surveyed had been impacted by suicide with one in four stating that they had experienced bereavement as a result of suicide within their immediate family. 60% of those surveyed also reported that they were unemployed, and 90% reported that they had experienced discrimination in their own lives.
“What’s most worrying is the fact that 40% of those surveyed stated that they felt their life had become worse, compared to 19% in 2000. It’s clear that many in the Travelling community feel that they are being left behind by society. The one positive aspect of the survey is that the number of Travellers attaining an education is on the rise. 40% of Travellers surveyed had completed their Junior Certificate compared to 9% in 2000. However this figure is far lower than the national average.
“The Government needs to pay close attention to this report and take on board its findings. It’s clear that much work is needed to help Travellers feel accepted by society. Many Travellers fall by the wayside as they progress in life and this is something that needs to be tackled. We need to additional investment in education opportunities for Travellers and specific programmes put in place to tackle unemployment problems,” concluded Deputy O’Loughlin.