Chris O’Dwyer, the Local Area Representative for the Labour Party in the Clondalkin-Rathcoole electoral area is calling on SDCC to carry out interventions to improve Traveller Accommodation in the county. O’Dwyer, who has previously called on South Dublin County Council to inspect conditions in halting sites said: “The findings of the Children’s Ombudsman comes at no surprise to those of us who have been watching conditions deteriorate on halting sites. Conditions on Council and illegal halting sites are substandard, inhumane and do nothing to protect the dignity of the children and their families who live there.
“Members of the Travelling Community face significant barriers to accessing society. From education to healthcare to employment, members of the Community face significant discrimination. This discrimination impacts on health, it is why there is higher levels of infant mortality, it is why life expectancy for Traveller men and women is much lower than settled people. One of the leading causes of death in the Community is suicide.
“There is a silent human rights crisis happening right here on our doorsteps and there are not enough people speaking up about it or willing to do anything. In fact some people celebrate it.
“I engaged with a number of Travellers who are accessing an illegal halting site in Saggart, they have no running water, they have no reliable access to electricity or basic sanitation amenities. The Council needs to immediately respond to this and engage with Members of the Travelling Community to come up with an actual humane solution that restores dignity to the Travelling Community and starts addressing the barriers that stand in their way.