Sinn Féin Louth Gerry Adams TD has welcomed “this week’s landmark judgement by the European Committee of Social Rights into the violation of Travellers rights by the government. The committee found that the government has failed to provide enough accommodation for Travellers, that many of the sites provided are in a poor condition and that legal safeguards for Travellers threatened with eviction are insufficient.
This judgement has implications for the treatment of the Travelling community in Louth and in particular the 23 families who were evicted at the start of the year by Louth County from the Woodland Park site.”
Teachta Adams said:
“In the last four months Traveller families in Dundalk have been subject to forcible eviction on two occasions and threats to evict on others. As a result of the action of Louth County Council Traveller families have been forced to squat on illegal sites in the Dundalk area. They are not alone. According to the ECSR report the number of families living in unsafe, unserviced and unauthorised sites has increased by 50% in the last two years.
“The publication of the ECSR judgement against the State is a damning one and cannot be ignored by the government or by other state bodies, including local authorities.
“I will be meeting the new Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney this week to find a solution to the issues in my own constituency, including the provision of an emergency halting site for Travellers displaced there, in keeping with the State’s obligations, and I intend to put the findings of the ECSR judgement to him so his Department begins to take seriously the consistent breaches of the human rights of the Travelling community by successive Irish governments.”