We want you to know we are working very hard in the Irish Traveller Movement to support our community at this challenging time. We must do all we can to protect the most vulnerable in our community including our elderly and those with underlying health issues. We need everyone to work together to reduce the spread and the impact of the coronavirus, in any way we can and as quickly as we can. We must look after each other, look out for incorrect information, and we must all be guided by the HSE.
The Irish Traveller Movement and other national and local groups are looking at the many ways to support you and your family to keep safe during this national health crisis, and we are working with the government departments and Ministers to provide additional supports where they are needed.
This week the Department of Housing gave instructions to all local authorities (county councils) to provide emergency support on existing Traveller sites and to work with families, local Traveller organisations and representatives to address situations where families do not have adequate facilities.
Local Authorities will provide the following where needed:
· Extra toilets
· Running water
· Additional mobile accommodation/space where there is overcrowding
· Extra rubbish collection
· Access to sites for emergency vehicles
· Additional units (either mobiles on site or houses elsewhere that will allow for self-isolation or quarantine if anyone needs it).
We have also written to the Minister and, we understand there will be no evictions during the outbreak of Covid-19 and this was reiterated at our last meeting with Minister and senior officials within the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. We have called for a moratorium of three months on all evictions to cover Travellers to give further reassurance that our community is protected and will continue to push this.
If you are worried about your living conditions and the coronavirus there are three things you can do:
1. Contact your local authority to inform them of your need, and remind them of the above message.
2. Contact your local Traveller organisation, see here for the list of all ITM Members
3. Contact The Irish Traveller Movement Accommodation Officer by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 083 067 3373
We are worried about Travellers living conditions and the coronavirus, there are seven things we are doing and will continue to do:
1. Will be deploying our resources to Covid -19 to support the Community
2. Will be working with Minister and high level officials
3. Will be writing to all Local authorities from Monday remind them of their responsibilities
4. Will be working with local authorities to offer advice and guidance
5. Will be monitor Traveller Accommodation and emergency needs.
6. We will be working with all local and national Traveller Organisations
7. Will have a social media campaign to keep the community informed on up-to-date HSE information.
For other information which might support you related to COVID -19/ Coronavirus, you’ll find the latest up-to-date information on HSE.ie
If you think you are infected with the Coronavirus, contact…
– The Traveller COVID-19 hot line hosted by the HSE and Traveller Health Unit available 7 days a week. Phone or text: 083 100 6300.
– The Pavee Point Primary Health Care Traveller Project (PHCTP) 01 878 0255
The Coronavirus has left everyone feeling quite worried and scared. It has been powerful to see everyone looking out for each other so well.
If you need extra support around your mental health please call…
– The Traveller Counselling Service on 086 3081476
– Exchange House Ireland on 01 872 1094
Income supports and social protection…
– National Traveller MABS 087 6483185 or 076 107 2230
– The National Traveller Women’s Forum on 01 738 3874
– Involve Ireland on 090 649 8017
The Irish Traveller Movement (ITM) is a national network of organisations and individuals working within the Traveller community. ITM was established in 1990 and now has forty Traveller organisations from all parts of Ireland in its membership. The Irish Traveller Movement consists of a partnership between Travellers and settled people committed to seeking full equality for Travellers in Irish society. This partnership is reflected in all of the structures of ITM.