Does Social Policy do Enough to Tackle the Social Exclusion of the Irish Travelling Community.
Travellers are an indigenous people or race that have been roaming between Ireland and
England for nearly 200 years. They have their own unique culture and have come quite far in
the history of Ireland especially as they have influenced Irish social policy since the 1960s.
Their integration in current Irish Society is still an on-going issue that current Irish social
policy has to still address. They still want to be recognised as an ‘ethnic’ minority
both in the Irish republic as well as Britain (Independent 2010).
According to Pavee (2005) most literature and research regarding Travellers is primarily been from ‘settled’ society’s perspective that being mainly from Government appointed
Commissions. This could be in some areas questionable because of reliable sources of
statistics and lack of co-operation by the Travelling community.
This essay will initially look at definitions, origins and Social Policy regarding Travellers. Which also includes Education, Health and Housing. It will conclude with current policies and where Traveller families stand in regards Irish Social Policy.
Definitions of Travellers:
The National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturism (2004) promotes the
recognition that Travellers should be considered as an ethnic minority people which the
Government has not committed itself to (NCCRI 2004). They do however have protection and their own status under the Equal Status Act and Employment Equality Act which gives them their own status (Equal status Act 2000, Employment Act 1998). But do not come under the ethnic minority groups.
Though there are definitions of what constitute ethnic groups yet in the Irish Law there are
none available. In the Irish context the Equal Status Act provides a definition which is based
on the Northern Ireland interpretation which includes the race relations...