Travellers concerned about new camps law

Members of the Travelling community will hold talks with the Minister for Justice later today, to discuss controversial new legislation outlawing Traveller camps.

Members of the Travelling community will hold talks with the Minister for Justice later today, to discuss controversial new legislation outlawing Traveller camps.

The Bill, passed last night in the Dáil, means that Travellers can face charges of trespass.

The Bill goes to the Seanad today.

In effect, the new laws mean that gardaí can demand the names of trespassers and order them to leave, and arrest without warrant anyone refusing to comply. They can also remove caravans and charge for their return.

Convictions carry a fine of up to €3,000 or a month in prison.

Members of the Travelling community will raise their concerns with Minister John O’Donoghue, saying the laws could effectively criminalise up to 1,200 travellers in temporary accommodation throughout the country.

Travellers claim the legislation removes the obligation on local authorities to provide accommodation for them.

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