Important Supreme Court Judgement on Traveller Accommodation

The Irish Traveller Movement note the important judgment of the Supreme Court yesterday in a case taken by a family living on an unauthorised site and facing eviction in county Clare , and which can now be referred for other Travellers facing eviction and seeking Traveller specific accommodation with no alternative accommodation offered by a Council.

Appealed from the High Court,  the Supreme Court came to a decision and found against the Council based on the following : The rights of a vulnerable minority group who had struggled for recognition of their cultural identity and way of life, particularly as it fits in with planning law and land use. The Council had failed in its duty as a housing authority to offer suitable accommodation to the appellants (family), having regard in particular to the medical needs and previous offers of accommodation which had not been “compatible” . And thirdly, if the injunction to evict had gone ahead , the family would have nowhere else to go without necessarily trespassing on the lands of another party.

This legal judgment will set a precedent for councils in any future actions and three key findings which could can now be referred in other cases include:

  • A proportionality assessment from a court before a permanent injunction can be made against(Travellers) requiring them to move. 
  • Travellers as a vulnerable and marginalised group is a factor to be taken into account when assessing a proposed eviction.
  • Travellers will in certain circumstances also be able to avail of the protection afforded by the Irish Constitution’s guarantee of the inviolability of the dwelling, in addition to relying on European Court of Human Rights principles.

The judgment summary is available here:

For the longer judgment , find link here: