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Question

228. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the steering committee for the national Traveller and Roma inclusion strategy 2017-2021, specifically the sub-committees on education and the mediation and feuding subgroup; the number of times each of the subgroups have met; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15309/19]

Answer

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): As the Deputy is aware, the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy (NTRIS) was published in June 2017.  I chair the quarterly meetings of the NTRIS Steering Group which has been tasked with the implementation of the actions contained in the strategy. Since this launch, the NTRIS Steering Group has met seven times.  The next meeting is scheduled for 10 April 2019.  To date, work has begun on 135 of the 149 actions included in the Strategy.  The Steering Group will continue to monitor progress on these actions and to focus on actions where progress has not yet commenced. 
The Education Sub Committee has been established to focus on the education-related actions in the NTRIS. This group is made up of members of the Traveller and Roma organisations, the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (including Tusla) and the Department of Justice and Equality. It has met 11 times.  A smaller more focused group, that is the NTRIS Pilot Oversight Group, has also been established to work on a pilot project to trial a new approach to address the retention of Traveller and Roma children in education. They have met on six occasions.
The Mediation/Feuding Subgroup is comprised of the Department of Justice and Equality, An Garda Síochána and representatives of the Traveller organisations.  The subgroup is implementing Action 138 to bring an end to feuding definitively over a period of time. The subgroup has met three times. This will include development and embedding of mediation services capacities in local Traveller organisations.