A NEW programme to combat feuds among members of the Travelling community in the midlands was unveiled yesterday.
The new scheme has received Garda backing and will be facilitated by the HSE in a bid to quell the sporadic violence which has cost thousands of police man hours over the past five years.
According to the report: “Traveller families embroiled in violent conflict in the midlands region have expressed a strong desire to bring the violence to an end. This involves breaking the cycle in which they are trapped.”
It also admits that some Travellers who take a stand against violence can expose themselves to risk, while others have a “genuine denial” over their own role in the conflict.
The report claims some Travellers believe there is a “bias by some gardaí with sections of families involved in conflict and a belief that a ‘divide and conquer approach’ is being used”.
Issues regarding accommodation are central to many conflicts, the report states, and evidence that some families are introducing young children to violence and passing feuds on to the next generation.
Recommendations include working with stakeholders and dealing with referrals from stakeholders (such as local authorities, Traveller support groups etc), working to respond to and resolve conflicts and dealing with garda and court referrals.
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