Irish Government Respond On Traveller Discrimination Concerns

The Irish government have responded to concerns expressed by the Celtic League about discrimination against the Irish Traveller community in Britain. (See links to earlier reports on Celtic News below):

https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/2923
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3315

In his response Minister for Foreign Affairs, Michéal Martin, has assured the League of the governments support for the Irish Traveller Movement in Britain. He says:

“Thank you for your letter of 6 February, to Minister Michéal Martin, regarding the negative portrayal of the Irish Traveller community in the press. The Minister has asked me to respond on his behalf. The Irish Embassy in London remains in regular contact with representatives of the Irish traveller community in Britain.

The Irish Traveller Movement in Britain provides advocacy to Irish Traveller groups across Britain, they have taken a leading role in monitoring and addressing inflammatory or discriminatory press coverage of Irish Travellers.
Under the Emigrant Support Programme, over the past six years, the Irish Government has provided almost €500,000 to support the Irish Traveller Movement in Britain. We also fund a significant number of other organisations which work at a more local level to provide assistance and support to Irish Travellers in
Britain.”

In respect of a related issue concerning UN calls for Ireland to recognize Travellers as an ethnic group the Minister has ref the League to Communities Minister, Pat Carey saying:

“With regards to the other issue you raised, that of the UN call for Ireland to recognize Travellers as an ethnic minority group, the Department for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs are the responsible Department in this regard. I
would suggest that you contact Minister Pat Carey directly..”

See additional related items on Celtic News at:

https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3323
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/2706

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

11/05/10

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