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Irish Traveller Movement Weekly News Update Thursday 28th March 2013

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1. ITM National Conference: Responding to the Traveller Accommodation Crisis, April 17th- register now!

2. Minceirs Whiden Protest 8th April, Dublin

3. Schools invited to participate on Yellow Flag diversity programme

4. Yellow Flag discussion space for ITM members Thursday 11th April 

5. Traveller Counselling Service & call for the Women's Mini Marathon

6. Update from the ITM Coordinators Meeting- next meeting April Tuesday 23rd

7. Job Advertisement: Laois Travellers Action Group Project Administrator Part-time (8hours per week)

8. National Traveller MABS information: Pay as you go Meters

9. End Direct Provision Campaign

10. OHCHR Minorities Fellowship Programme

11. ERRC seeks Gender equality research fellows

12. Use the ITM E-zine update to get your message across

1. ITM National Conference: Responding to the Traveller Accommodation Crisis, April 17th- register now!

Book your place for ITM's National Conference : Responding to the Traveller Accommodation Crisis April 17th ,  Registration Deadline April 9th.
 As you aware ITM's National Policy Subgroup are hosting a national conference Responding to the Traveller Accommodation Crisis, this was originally planned for the 16th of April but due to availability of suitable venues it will now take place on the 17th of April at 10.30 am- 3pm in Adams and Eves Church,Merchant Quay, Dublin.

 The Aim of the Conference is to reflect on the accommodation crisis so that we plan a response to the assimilation of Travellers by the State and their attempts to hide it!



  •     To create a clear understanding of the accommodation crisis in relation to the barriers of public hatred and institutional racism
  •     To identify actions on how to make the issues visible
  •     To identify collective actions on the upcoming Traveller Accommodation Plans and making the case for Traveller specific and culturally appropriate accommodation.

To ensure you have the opportunity to participate in the conference please get a completed registration form to Rose Marie and Colette at or or post to ITM Offices 4-5 Eustace St, Temple Bar, Dublin. Please see registration form attached in this ezine.

2. Minceirs Whiden Protest 8th April, Dublin

Minceirs Whiden (Cant for Travellers talking) Irelands all Traveller forum invites you to joint us in our  Protest outside the European Commission Office on International Traveller& Roma day. The purpose of the protest is to highlight the worrying spate of  negative and anti Traveller statements being made by Irish Judges and public officals, these statements are racist and breaches the 1989, Incitement to Hatred Act.

Venue : European Commission Office, Molesworth Street, Dublin, Date & Time  8th April 2013 @12 noon.

It is very important that we challenge racist and anti equality behaviour and attitudes , please join on the protest All Welcome.

Further information please contact - Kathleen Sherlock, Minceirs Whiden Development Worker, Tel: 085 880 4450 email

3. Schools invited to participate on Yellow Flag diversity programme

The Yellow Flag Programme is currently recruiting 15 new primary and secondary schools for September 2013 and we are looking for your support to help us identify schools that you think might be open to and would benefit from the Yellow Flag Programme.

The deadline for this round of applications is 1stof May 2013.

Application forms are available on our website

Background to the Yellow Flag

The Yellow Flag programme is a practical 8 step school based programme, which provides a framework to develop a school environment where every child is valued and included and unfair racist bullying and discrimination is challenged. Please see for further information.

Some application criteria that we would like you to be aware of:

  • Priority is given to schools with Traveller students.
  • A voluntary contribution of €250 is requested from the school to go towards costs of support, resources, flags and travel expenses.
  • The ITM needs to secure a small grant of 3K to take on each new school. We don’t expect the school to come up with this amount but instead look to see if we can secure small grants from Local Authorities, Partnership Companies etc. In  previous years grants we have been able to take on schools through grants we received from the following local authorities:

Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council, Dunlaoghaire Rathdown County Council, Wicklow County Council, Cavan County Council, Louth Leader Partnership and Galway Rural Development.

We need your help to support us to get continued support from the above local authorities but also to get support from other local authorities/partnership companies in your area.

Please call Paula Madden Yellow Flag Coordinator on 01 679 6577 / 087 241 0258 or email for any further information and or to look at how we can work together to bring the Yellow Flag to schools in your area.

4. Yellow Flag discussion space for ITM members Thursday 11th April

Given that the Irish Traveller Movement is seeking applications from schools that are interested in running the Yellow Flag Intercultural Programme in their school in September 2013-June 2014 we are creating a space for members to discuss how the progamme works, the role of Traveller projects and the impacts of the programme.

ITM wants to ensure that when we run the Yellow Flag programme in a school that Traveller children are benefiting as much as possible from the programme. One of the key factors in a successful Yellow Flag programme that really brings about change for Traveller pupils and making a school more inclusive of diversity is the active participation of Travellers and the support of a local Traveller organiastion

With that in mind, ITM is calling all Traveller organisations who might be interested in seeing the Yellow Flag programme run in their area (primary or post-primary) to join us for a discussion about the Yellow Flag on Thursday 11th April in Dublin (venue TBC) from 11am-1pm to hear from inputs of Travellers and Traveller groups who have already participated in the Yellow Flag programme.

On the day we will look at

  • What the impact the Yellow Flag programe can have
  • How a local Traveller group supports the programme
  • The key role of local Traveller involvement
  • What are the challenges and benefits in participating in this programme

We are hoping that Traveller groups who are interested in having a local school take part in the programme will be able to attend and be part of the discussion. For more details about this workshop, please email Paula Madden, Yellow Flag coordinator at

5. Traveller Counselling Service & call for the Women's Mini Marathon

Hello Everyone

Its that time of year again and no better excuse to get exercising and fit for the summer ahead than the Flora Women's Mini Marathon.  Once again we are looking for people to run, jog or walk the 10km Flora Women’s Mini Marathon to raise some much needed funds for the Traveller Counselling Service.  This could be the perfect opportunity to start exercising and a great opportunity to link in with friends and family in an event that raises funds for the Traveller Counselling Service.   

The money raised last year went towards the setting up and launch of our website and also went directly towards the provision of counselling  hours to members of the Traveller Community.  Mental health is a very real concern within the community with suicide rates among young male Travellers almost seven times higher than they are within the settled population.  The money that you raise will go towards the continued provision of counselling to Travellers who are dealing with issues such as bereavement, depression, relationship issues,  violence and addiction to name but a few. 

As this is a women's event we are particularly interested in bringing together as many Traveller women as we can to join us on the day so please pass this info on to your friends and family and all that you think might be interested.   We are very keen to promote this event among Traveller women so therefore would be grateful if you could ensure that the Traveller women in your area, particularly those who don'e have access to e-mail are made aware of this event and our campaign to engage as many Traveller women as we can.  We are hoping to increase our numbers each year and turn this into an annual social event that brings Traveller women in the community together, gets us out in the open and also raises funds for a very worthwhile service within the community. 

This is a fun and easy going event with thousands of women of all ages and backgrounds from across the country coming together to raise funds for a variety of very worthwhile causes.  Unless you intend to run or jog, it doesn't require any real training  and the vast majority of participants walk - so please don't be put off by the word "marathon"! 

The race itself takes place at 2.00pm on the the 3rd June, which is a bank holiday Monday, though the closing date for entries in April 24th.  It is most important that you are registered well before this date to ensure you don't miss out as we had a number of women disappointed last year as there is a  limit on the number of entries into the event and this was reached well before the closing date.  You can read more about the event and you can enter on line through the following link, or you can register using the entry forms in the Evening Herald every Wednesday and Saturday.  There is an entry fee of €18.00 which you can either take our of the sponsorship money that you raise or you can contribute it to the service by paying it yourself. 

So - give yourself that extra push, dust off your walking or running shoes and get going for the Traveller Counselling Service!  If you are interested, please send us back your details so that we can ensure that you and your friends are registered before the closing date which is April 24th.  Details can be either sent by e-mail to this address or by post to Traveller Counselling Service, 6 New Cabra Road, Phibsborough, Dublin 7.  If you have any questions just send us an e-mail

Many thanks for your continued support and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on 3rd June.

Thomas McCann

6. Update from the ITM Coordinators Meeting- next meeting April Tuesday 23rd

The second meeting of coordinators of ITM members took place on 5th March. Building on the meeting in January, it was agreed that this space would be useful and allow coordinators to come together to look at the role of a Traveller organisation, the role of the coordinator within that and how best to share information and best practice among coordinators.

One of the issues that members were keen to look at was collating best practice in relation to staff/organisational handbooks for Traveller organistions and bring these ideas back to the group. We are calling on groups to share their handbooks in order to build a really strong set of policies specific to the work of a local Traveller organisation. If ITM members could email and once this is collated it will be put on the members' section of the ITM website.

The next meeting will take place on the 23rd April from 11am-1pm in Dublin. Venue will be confirmed in due course, for more details email

7. Job Advertisement: Laois Travellers Action Group Project Administrator Part-time (8hours per week)

Laois Travellers Action Group (LTAG) was founded in 1996 under the name Laois Travellers Views to work for the equal rights of Travellers living in the county.  LTAG is looking to employ an administrator to carry the project administration and accountancy tasks and support the co-ordinator in administration related tasks. This is a part-time position to be carried over two days (4 hours each day).

The purpose of the post will be:

  • To carry out the administration tasks of the project
  • Maintain accountancy records and submit financial reports.
  • Filing and record keeping/ database organisation.
  • Record, compile, and distribute minutes of meetings
  • Liaise with members of the board of management and directors.
  • To submit reports.
  • Organise project’s supplies
  • Coordinate maintenance of the office (equipment, repairs, etc)
  • To report to funders and Identify funding opportunities, submit funding applications and report to funders whenever necessary.
  • Other clerical duties
  • Contact with Auditor
  • Organise meetings, agendas and support in the organisation of project’s events.
  • Maintain communication with media and prepare press releases

The successful applicant will be required to have:     
  • Computer skills and knowledge of relevant software.
  • knowledge of principles and practices of basic office management
  • knowledge of clerical and administrative procedures and systems such as filing and record keeping
  • Accountancy skills
  • Excellent communication, facilitation and interpersonal skills
  • Report writing skills

Desirable: A knowledge of community development ethos and practices.  Commitment to human rights and social justice and to work from an anti-racist work perspective

Please submit a Curriculum Vitae and a detailed cover letter outlining qualifications, experience and skills specific to the position to the LTAG Coordinator at: by Monday 22nd  of April . Interviews will be held on Thursday 2nd of May.
This post is funded by the HSE.

Laois Travellers Action Group is an equal opportunities employer.

8. National Traveller MABS information: Pay as you go Meters

All energy suppliers of gas and electricity are obliged to offer customers who are in financial difficulty a ‘Pay as you go Meter’.  Financial difficulty, as stated by the Commission for Energy Regulations (CER), is when a household is ‘unable to make payments without assistance and in constant arrears”.   Additionally, pay as you meters should be made available to people who ‘just about manage to pay their bills but who may risk going without other essential household items in the process’.

The CER state that

1.    A customer must be offered a meter before moving to the disconnection process;
2.    Must is applicable even if an energy supplier is not presently providing them;
3.    Once a customer accepts a meter, even if not immediately available, then they cannot be disconnected.
4.    If a meter is not immediately available customers should be placed on an installation list.

Exceptions: In some cases a Pay as you go Meter is not possible or appropriate, e.g.: some apartment blocks; older people unable to buy credit; those in need of constant supply; pending permission from landlords; dual night/day tariffs.  In such cases the supplier is still obliged to offer a manageable payment plan prior to disconnection.

Where a disconnection has already occurred a payment is always required to secure reconnection, however a Pay as you go  Meter may be requested in order to deal with the outstanding debt and future budgeting.

More details on these meters can be found here

If you are experiencing financial difficulty in paying your energy bills, you should make an appointment with your local MABS (Money Advice and Budgeting Service).  Details of all local offices can be found here - Alternatively, you can call National Traveller MABS at 0761 07 2230 for details on your local service.

9. End Direct Provision Campaign

The IRC working with Asylum Seekers and Refugees and others around the country is calling for nationwide campaign to End Direct Provision.  The recent media coverage of the issues of Direct Provision, particularly the comparisons with the Magdalene Laundries, offers an opportunity to push for real change to the system. The IRC is also working with individual politicians and NGOs within the DP Forum are committed to this already.  We think public and political awareness of the problems with DP are finally coming to the fore and that now is the time to demand an end to DP.

  • We are coordinating a national campaign asking for review and reform of DP and we hope that you will come on board with a National Day of Action on DP to take place on Tuesday 23rd April.
  • The message of the campaign is: ‘End institutional living.  D P: No place to call home.’  We will be calling for an investigation into DP and reform of the reception system.
  • On 23 April 2013, we will be sending a message to the Government that we, the people who live in Ireland, want an end to DP.  We are working with residents in each DP centre and partner organisations to hold gatherings in solidarity with residents of DP at locations across the country.  We will provide support and materials for organisation, messaging and publicity, but we are hoping that each group will bring their own creative touch to their gathering which will then be broadcast on YouTube and sent to local TDs and the ministers responsible for DP.  We are inviting people who are not coordinating regional events to the Dublin gathering and children in living Direct Provision will present their own messages to the Minister for Justice or his representative calling for review and reform of DP
  • This will not only be an on the ground campaign but a coordinated nationwide social media campaign to end DP, which we believe has potential to go viral, with your help.
  • The IRC is holding a planning meeting and training for campaign organisers on Wednesday, 3 April 2013 in Dublin, 11am – 4pm.  We will be able to assist with transport costs.
For more information please  contact:
Sue Colan
Paula Quirke
Sharon Waters
Lassane Ouedraogo
Reuben Hambakachere
Grace Kennedy
Tel: 01 764 5854

10. OHCHR Minorities Fellowship Programme

For more details about the Fellowship Programme, visit the Office of the High Comissioner for Human Rights Website

The Minorities Fellowship Programme (MFP) was launched by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in 2005.

The MFP is held annually and currently has two linguistic versions: The English language programme has been running since 2005 and the Arabic language programme started in 2007. The Arabic language component began as a two-week pilot and gradually expanded to five weeks in 2011. The duration of the programmes varied until 2011, when both programmes were decided to last 5 weeks and coincide with the session of the Forum on Minority Issues.

Through the MFP, the OHCHR aims to give persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities an opportunity to gain knowledge on the UN system and mechanisms dealing with international human rights in general and minority rights in particular. The MFP is intended to assist organizations and communities in protecting and promoting the rights of minorities the fellows belong to.

The Fellows are based at the OHCHR Geneva, Switzerland. The MFP is interactive and consists of briefings on several topics (e.g. the UN system, OHCHR work, human rights mechanisms and instruments), fellows also undertake individual and group assignments.

At the end of the MFP, the fellows should have a general knowledge of the United Nations system, international human rights instruments and mechanisms in general and those relevant to minorities in particular and be capable of further training their communities/organizations.

Fellows are entitled to the following: a return ticket (economy class) from the country of residence to Geneva; basic health insurance for the duration of the Programme; a stipend to cover modest accommodation and other living expenses for the duration of the Programme.

Who can apply?

1. The candidate must belong to a national, ethnic, linguistic or religious minority group (persons who do not belong to a minority group will not be taken into consideration, even if they have close links with minority communities and/or organizations)

If your community identifies as indigenous, please do not apply to this programme but to our indigenous fellowship programme. Please note that the indigenous fellowship is a separate programme and has different application forms and deadlines.

2. Formal education should not be a limitation to participation in the Minorities Fellowship Programme, if relevant experience can be demonstrated.

3. Candidates should have ability, willingness and possibility to train other persons belonging to minorities upon return to their respective communities/organizations and should agree to do so.

4. The candidates must have a good working knowledge of the language in which the programme is imparted (i.e. English or Arabic).

5. The candidate should be proposed and his/her candidacy supported by his/her organization and/or community. It is desirable that the sponsoring organization has a firm constituency or membership, is representative, undertakes work on minority issues and is composed of persons belonging to minorities.

6. The overall goal of the Minorities Fellowship Programme is to offer persons belonging to minorities the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in the field of international human rights in order to assist their organizations and communities in protecting and promoting human and minority rights. Therefore, it is important that the candidate proposed and nominated by a minority organization or community be someone who will return to his or her NGO to work in this field.

Selection process

The selection of fellows reflects a gender and regional balance. The general human rights situation in the respective regions/countries is also taken into consideration as is the situation of the minority community to which the applicant belongs to.

The selection of successful candidates is undertaken by an advisory group composed of OHCHR staff.

In view of the large number of applications, we regret to inform that only successful candidates will be contacted.

How to apply?

Fellowship applications will only be taken into consideration if they are fully completed. Both parts I and II must be signed and faxed, sent by regular post or scanned and e-mailed to the following address:

    Minorities Fellowship Programme
    Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section
    Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
    Palais des Nations
    8-14 Avenue de la Paix
    CH-1211 Geneva 10
    Telefax number: (+41 22) 928 90 66

Application forms need to be accompanied by an official recommendation letter from the nominating organization or community.

Any questions pertaining to the Minorities Fellowship Programme can be directed to the addresses mentioned above.

11. ERRC seeks Gender equality research fellows

The European Roma Rights Centre invites applications for its 2013 Gender Equality Research Fellows. The Gender Equality Research Fellowship provides an opportunity for interested researchers and activists to conduct research on gender equality issues. ERRC encourages researchers from the Romani, Sinti and Travellers communities to apply for the Fellowship.

Deadline for applications: 1 April 2013

Information about the fellowship

The Fellowship is expected to start in April 2013 and will last for six to nine months. Fellows will begin by spending a period of up to three months in ERRC office in Budapest, Hungary, for orientation and preparation of the research project. During this  time, Fellows will work closely with ERRC staff  members on designing research and the respective methodology, the media and communications component, basic financial orientation and human rights education, as relevant. Fellows will then return to their communities to implement their research plan with the ongoing assistance of the ERRC. Fellows will spend up to two weeks at the ERRC office in Budapest at the end of the fellowship to finalise their
research report. The Fellows will work closely with ERRC staff members throughout all stages of their research.

Research proposal

The proposal should target an issue related to gender equality and human rights in Romani communities with priority given to topics focusing on the right to education. Research projects should be action-oriented, i.e. they should aim at informing Romani communities or enabling them to benefit from the research (advocacy, direct action, litigation, raising awareness, etc.). The ERRC will give preference to community-based
research proposals.

Profile of the applicants

The Gender Equality Research Fellowship is a component of ERRC activities aimed at capacitating Romani, Sinti and Traveller activists. The ERRC seeks Fellows who have significant experience living and working in Romani communities and who have been engaged in work with Romani communities for extended periods. The Fellow should have a working knowledge of English. Knowledge of Serbian, Czech and/or Romani language preferred.

Fellowship support

The ERRC offers Fellows a monthly stipend and financial support for expenses occurred during the field research.

Application Procedure

To apply for this fellowship, candidates should send  the following application materials:
A maximum one-page letter of interest  describing the candidate and including details  of prior work or engagement on the issue to be
researched; CV; and the contact details of two referees familiar with the applicant’s educational or work background.

Candidates should submit their documents by 1 April 2013 via email to Dora Eke at The message should be entitled: Gender Research Fellowship.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted in the course of the selection process. Incomplete or late application packages will not be considered for the position.

Please note: The ERRC uses the Council of Europe terminology for Roma “… the term “Roma” includes not only Roma but also Sinti, Kali, Ashkali, “Egyptians”, Manouche and kindred population groups in Europe, together with Travellers, so as to embrace the great diversity of the groups concerned;” available here.

20 March 2013. © ERRC 2013. All rights reserved

12. Use the ITM E-zine update to get your message across

All ITM members who wish to circulate positions available and upcoming events etc can simply send information to be circulated to the membership. 

Please send details and information to to be included into the next e-zine. Deadline for inclusion of material is Thursday 5pm of each week.