PLANNED intensive consultation for Clare County Council’s Traveller Accommodation Programme has been welcomed.

In January, Clare County Council announced it intends to prepare a Draft Traveller Accommodation Programme for the period 2025 – 2029 and carry out an assessment of existing and projected housing needs for members of the Travelling Community.

Hilary Tonge (SD) who is a local election candidate in the Ennis Municipal District believed previous plans lacked consultation with the Traveller community and welcomed the intention to engage more thoroughly on the upcoming document.

She stated, “The new plan will be the result of a more in-depth engagement with the Traveller community which seeks to address the community’s fundamental needs. This is the only way that lasting solutions to Traveller accommodation can be found and we’re glad that it’s finally happening”.

Several consequences have spawned from poor living conditions for Travellers, Hilary flagged. “The failure of previous attempts to solve the Traveller accommodation issue has had devastating effects, not only for the Traveller community but for Irish society generally, with many ‘halting sites’ and so-called ‘Traveller-specific accommodation’ turning into little more than ghettos. We known for years that deplorable living conditions have led to the very serious mental health crisis – and increasingly high incidences of suicide that members of the Traveller community have to deal with”.

“We strongly welcome any initiative that seeks to address the issue in a serious, mature and respectful way and we have every expectation that the new initiative will deliver a massive improvement on a problem which has really become a hidden crisis,” she concluded.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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