As part of the implementation of the Report of the High Level Group on Travellers, Minister Frank Fahey today outlined details of a special fund of approx. 1 million Euro to benefit the Traveller Community. The fund, administered through Pobal, will be used to fund projects drawn up by interagency groups at County level to support the Traveller Community.
Minister Fahey said "The fund will help the work of new interagency groups which have been established under the aegis of each City and County Development Board, following the publication of the Report of the High Level Group on Traveller Issues in June 2006."
The Report emphasises the importance of interagency cooperation and meaningful consultation with local Travellers as key elements in improving the effectiveness of initiatives to support the Traveller Community.
Qualifying criteria for the new funding include:
- Supporting access by Travellers to mainstream provisions and Traveller participation in society generally
- Consultations with local Travellers or Traveller representatives
- Pre-development work to ensure that all those involved are aware of project contents and any concerns are addressed
- Constructive engagement and positive communications with Traveller individuals, families and family groups.
Announcing the new fund Minister Fahey said, "I want to emphasise the need for state agencies to develop responses to the situation of individual Traveller families and also to give particular support to Traveller individuals and organisations in their dealings with public authorities. I believe that the interagency groups are well placed to engage in positive consultation with local Travellers and to promote initiatives which respond to the practical needs in each area." The Minister added that, "half the Traveller population was aged 18 or under and it is vitally important to tackle the social exclusion they face in a co-ordinated manner."
The fund will be managed by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform and will support projects which are proposed by the interagency groups in each city and county area. Pobal manages a range of programmes on behalf of the EU and the Irish Government and its mission is to promote social inclusion, reconciliation and equality through integrated social and economic development within communities.
3 August 2006