Justice Committee says Ireland should recognize Travelers as ethnic group

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THE JUSTICE COMMITTEE said the Taoiseach or the Minister of Justice should make a statement to Dáil Éireann confirming that Ireland recognizes the ethnicity of the Traveler community.

It is in a report released by the committee today which also recommended that the government write to the relevant international bodies, confirming recognition.

It also recommended that the government build on these initiatives and enter into a time-limited dialogue with representative groups of travelers about new legislation or changes to existing legislation now required.

Committee member and Sinn Féin TD Pádraig MacLochlainn said the committee “relied on overwhelming evidence in favor of the ethnicity of the travelers.”

Source: oireachtasfilm/Youtube

“The recommendations described in this report must now be implemented quickly,” he continued. “It is no longer tenable for this state to refuse the ethnicity of Travelers.

Earlier in the Dáil, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said Justice Minister Alan Shatter needed time to read and consider the report after Sinn Féin’s Dessie Ellis asked if the government would commit to a timeline for recognition of the ethnicity of Travelers.

Pavee Point Traveler and Roma Center welcomed the report’s release and called on Shatter to act on the recommendations immediately.

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“It’s time to stop playing politics with this issue and end this cycle of denial of ethnicity,” he said. “It will be of tremendous symbolic importance to travelers to Ireland and beyond.”

The center also stressed that the recognition has practical implications and should mean that Travelers are automatically included in all anti-racist and intercultural initiatives of the state without delay and that discrimination against them should be recognized as racism.

Read: Group of travelers attack Daily Mail article on ‘hate speech’>

Read: Councilor accuses Travelers group of ‘playing politics’ on Cork site>


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