Designate a Seanad seat for a Traveller, group suggests

Designate a Seanad seat for a Traveller, group suggests
Seanad Éireann

There should be a designated place in the Seanad for a Traveller, according to the Irish Traveller Movement.

The group's director Bernard Joyce will make the call to the Seanad public-consultation committee today.

Traveller groups will speak in the Seanad for the first time since they were recognised as an ethnic minority.

Bernard Joyce says a system similar to gender quotas needs to be introduced:

"We've never had political representation from the Travelling Community in the Seanad

"Traveller participation in all aspects of political life is very essential to inclusion of Travellers in terms of how their needs are met

"We have never had Traveller representation in the Dáil," he added.

The Seanad public-consultation committee rapporteur is Senator Colette Kelleher.

“Since I was appointed a Senator three years ago, I have worked closely with the Traveller community to raise awareness of the severe discrimination and social exclusion Travellers in Ireland continue to face," she said.

"It is meaningless if we, as legislators, continue to ignore the severe social, economic and political exclusion faced by Travellers."

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