80. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her views on the establishment of a Traveller agency to address issues of equality; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [42431/15]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin): The Deputy will be aware that there is a consultation process underway led by my Department to develop a new National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy. Phase 1 (identification of key themes for the new Strategy) has been completed, and Phase 2 (identification and agreement of high-level objectives under each agreed theme) will commence shortly. The final Phase, Phase 3 (identification of detailed actions to achieve each agreed objective, with associated timescales, Key Performance Indicators, institutional responsibilities and monitoring arrangements), will commence in early 2016 and conclude also in early 2016 with the presentation of a new Strategy for Government approval.
This process will give us a new Traveller Inclusion Strategy and a set of very real actions that need to be taken to bring about a real improvement in quality of life for Travellers. The question of whether revised institutional arrangements for delivery of services to Travellers are necessary to bring about greater coherence in and improve the effectiveness of statutory services for the Traveller community has been raised during the ongoing consultation process and, as indicated on behalf of the Government during the recent debate in the House on the question of recognition of Travellers as an ethnic group, will be considered in the drafting of the new Inclusion Strategy .