Updates from the Irish Traveller Movement

Traveller Pride Awards 2017

The 2017 Traveller Pride Awards will take place on Thursday 1st June in the Pillar Room in Dublin. Once again, its that time of year where we ask Traveller organisations, families and friends to consider nominating individuals and groups for a Traveller Pride Award.

This year you can nominate online here or email Travellerpride@gmail.com for a Word version.

All Nomination forms must be returned before Friday 31st March 2017 by post or email.

People who have been nominated before but have not won an award can be nominated again – this could be their year!

The Traveller Pride Awards 2017 is being organised by a committee comprising The Irish Traveller Movement (ITM), Minceirs Whiden, Exchange House, Pavee Point, National Traveller MABS, the National Traveller Women’s Forum, Involve and the Parish of the Travelling People.

Transcript of speeches on historic night of ethnic recognition in Dail Eireann

Speeches from the historic night when Traveller Ethnicity was finally recognised by the State can be accessed here

Yellow Flag Update

Elva O’Callaghan has joined the ITM Team as Co-ordinator of the Yellow Flag Programme, taking over from Paula Madden, to whom we sadly bade farewell in December as she headed off to take up a new post.

Five schools will soon be awarded their Yellow Flag at a ceremony taking place on 28th March 2017 and Elva will continue Paula’s work in supporting a large number of schools around the country to complete their Yellow Flag.

We are delighted to say that the Yellow Flag Programme has been successful in its bid for funding under the Asylum and Migrant Integration Fund, which will contribute to supporting our work with schools over the next two years.

ITM Accommodation Update

The next NTACC Cluster meeting will be held in Dublin (Venue/time to be confirmed) covering the Four Local Authorities in Dublin. Each LTACC will be asked to give a collective input on their Taps delivery and barriers to its implementation, the functioning of the LTACC and a report from the chief fire officer on the Fire Health and safety audits. One member will give the report but it is ITM’s understanding all LTACC members will be invited to hear the input given and given the opportunity to comment on it if necessary due to our concerns raised regarding Traveller Representatives Participation.

ITM raised our concerns regarding seeking a collective input to the NTACC as we have great concerns regarding the Traveller element being lost in this collective input. Rose Marie Maughan ITM Representative on the NTACC will be consulting with all Dublin-based ITM members seeking your feedback on this if it is possible and to ensure you link in with your LTACC to ensure you are actively involved in developing the input and selecting the LTACC member to present it to the NTACC on the 10th of May.

The NTACC sixth term of office met on the 7th of December. The Minister Simon Coveney addressed the committee. During his input he stated that we needed to find solutions together and was open to listening to all views regarding Traveller Accommodation. He stated that he would take recommendations seriously and they would be accommodated if possible. He said there was an increase for the Traveller Specific Accommodation Budget for 2017 to nine million euro and there would be another rise for 2018.

Key decisions made by the NTACC which our members need to be aware of :

The NTACC will recommend to the Minister the Traveller Accommodation Act 1998 be reviewed

The Minister has agreed to the independent review of the role of the Social Worker as per a recommendation from the NTACC

The committee will review the report from the NTACC Conference on the operation of the LTACCs to pull out priorities to both inform the Minister and LTACCs.(ITM have expressed our concerns regarding the report in particular there is no mention of Traveller Representatives calling for our Position of establishing a national Traveller Accommodation Agency, we have sought for this to be included in the report and have asked to circulate the report to our members for feedback).

The NTACC will host cluster meetings during 2017 inviting submissions from LAs and Traveller Organisations on the Provision and barriers to provision under the TAPS.

Dates for the NTACC 2017
  • 10th of May
  • 13th of September
  • 6th of December

For further information please contact Rose Marie at: itmaccommodation@gmail.com

Upcoming ITM Events

The Yellow Flag Awards will take place in the Wood Quay Venue on 28 March 2017 where five schools will receive their flag.

The 2017 Traveller Pride Awards will take place on Thursday 1st June in the Pillar Room in Dublin. More details on booking places for the awards will be announced in due course.

The location, venue and date for the 2017 ITM AGM will be announced in the next ITM eBulletin – so watch this space!

Information Sharing

Children’s Rights Alliance Report Card 2017

The Children’s Rights Alliance annual report card which grades the Government’s performance against commitments in its Programme for Government contains a specific chapter on Traveller and Roma children. This section received a grade E – the lowest grade within the report. Its key recommendations for immediate action are that the Government publishes, launches and resources the NITRIS without delay and fulfils its commitment to recognise Traveller ethnicity. You can read the CRA Report Card here.

Migrant Integration Strategy

The Tánaiste and Minister David Stanton launched the Migrant Integration Strategy on 7th February, targeted at migrants, refugees and ‘persons of migrant origin’. You can download the Migrant Integration Strategy here. In conjunction with the Strategy, 2 funding strands have also been launched: a National Funding to Promote Integration of Immigrants, aimed at national organisations; and Communities Integration Fund, aimed at community organisations to promote integration locally.

French Journalist doing documentary on Traveller Culture in Ireland

Good Morning,
My name is Victor Tubiana, I’m a french journalist actually working on a documentary about the Travellers culture in Ireland. After broadcasting a documentary about the french Travellers on the TV channel M6, we would like to produce another doc about Irish Travellers. The first documentary we produced was unanimously praised by the critic and appreciated by the Travellers community in France. Here’s the link of the trailer of our first documentary: www.youtube.com/watch?v=oszGZCaC618

Our goal is to introduce this community through the eye of it’s members, because they are the ones who represent it the best. We are now looking for authentic Irish Travellers, to present their habits, traditions with their own perspective. We would like to explore the difficulties the community faces regarding education, housing and also discrimination.

We want to show how does this community really live, avoiding all the clichés that this culture might suffer from. We would like to shoot in Ireland during Saint Patrick for a week. We are flexible on the cities, it would depend on the participants of the documentary.

Would you be interested to participate in this project?

Do you know anyone who would be part of or who could inform us on this community?

Thank you, have a good day,

Victor Tubiana, ubianavictor@girafprod.com

Job Opportunities

There are no jobs advertised in this eBulletin.

To highlight a job opportunity in your project, email: info@itmtrav.ie

Latest News From National Traveller MABS

Budget 2017 Increase in Pension & Welfare Payments from this Week

The new rate of pensions and weekly social welfare increases announced in Budget 2017 will start to come into effect from this week onwards, with all higher payments in place by St Patrick’s Day. The maximum personal rate of pension will increase by €5 per week for 578,000 pensioners aged 66 and over from this week. There will also be a €5 increase for 744,000 weekly welfare recipients including carers, blind people, widows, people with disabilities, lone parents, jobseekers, maternity and paternity benefit, Farm Assist recipients, and Community Employment participants. There will also be proportional increases for qualified adults and those on reduced rates of payment.

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Reduction in Prescription Charges

For people over 70 years with a medical card, including their dependants, the charge for prescriptions is being reduced from €2.50 to €2 per item and the maximum monthly limit is being reduced from €25 to €20 per person or family per month. These changes take immediate effect from 1 March 2017.

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Housing Assistance Payment now Nationwide

The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is now operational in all local authorities. It was extended to cover all of Dublin with effect from 1 March 2017. The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a form of social housing support for people who have a long-term housing need. HAP will eventually replace long-term rent supplement. This scheme aims to allow all social housing supports to be accessed through one body – the local authority – and to enable people to take up full-time employment and keep their housing support. Under the scheme, local authorities pay landlords directly*. The rent being charged for the accommodation must be within the limits set down for the household type in that local authority’s area that will see Tenants pay a weekly HAP rent contribution to the local authority*, based on their income and ability to pay.

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Households to get €325 in Water Bill Refunds

The two parties remain at loggerheads over the total abolition of charges – but Housing Minister Simon Coveney now accepts there is no point chasing people with unpaid bills. Mr Coveney previously said non-payers should be pursued because refunds would set “a dangerous precedent”. However, the Irish Independent understands he will cede ground on this issue as an olive branch to Fianna Fáil. One source estimated the cost of refunding bill payers at €162m.

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Use the ITM Bulletin 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 info@itmtrav.ie