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Traveller housing

  • 26-05-2021 6:29pm
    Posts: 13,712 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm not sure whether this question belongs here or in the politics forum. Since the question is ultimately about planning, I think I'll ask it here, with apologies to the mods if it is in the wrong place.

    Was out for a spin earlier, and I ended up down a road that I would never usually take. It led to a small housing estate, cut off from the rest of the town, comprising of 8-10 houses which seemed to be allocated to travelling families.

    Do we have a plan for traveller housing that would permit cohesion amongst traveller families, without ghettoizing them into communities on the fringes of towns?

    I live 15 minutes from the estate I've mentioned, and I was unaware of it until I happened down there this morning. You'd have to know what where you're going, if you wanted to find it. It is fairly cut-off from the community, I would almost say 'hidden'.

    We are great for producing reports on strategic planning in this country. Is there a plan, when it comes to traveller housing allocation?

    Just not sure that we are striking the right balance between integration and supporting that community. Any info would be appreciated, thanks.

    A quick pre-emptive request: I'm not asking for anyone's bigoted views, thanks again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,237 ✭✭✭Shedite27

    There's an Act to say that basically councils have to have their own plans, but then how each council enacts that is very varied.

    Tough situation to resolve. Different families of travellers want different things, some want to be "settled" (houses), some prefer the tradition of roaming and want the freedom to move. The tradition of roaming isn't very compatible with the capitalist world where someone owns every bit of land.

    It is strange that all the science tells us we need to mix communities so we don't have council-only estates, or immigrant-neighbourhoods, yet we've never tried to integrate the traveller communities.

    That's not to say many do. I work with a lady from the travelling community, Dublin finance company. You'd never know it from working with her. I presume there are many more like her, so there probably is more integration than we're aware of

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,398 ✭✭✭ZX7R

    Are you sure it's a council owned estate.
    Its quite common practice for members of the traveller community to buy a pilot of land and build on it.
    It would be made up family and extended family members .

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭PMBC

    I did a bit of work on traveller accomModation in the early 80s and again from late 90s to 2016 - design and construction. I found it very enjoyable although there were challenges which did not always come form the travellers them selves but from the community and councillors. I also have some funny ans dad stories from dealing with the local matriarch to resolving problems on site

    I had the strong opinion that the travellers preferred not to be in 'settled housing' although some did and some few from the 50s and 60s settled very successfully. I think this is changing, with the younger generation seeing the advantages of 'settled housing'. My wife taught traveller children as well as others and always remarked on how 'natural' the younger children were. They would be likely to say anything in class e.g a well respected, grey haired, visitor of some standing was asked by one of the 10 year old girls why he didnt get a colour in his hair and was it because he couldn't afford it. As they grew older, probably becoming more aware of how they were viewed by society, particularly the boys became less interested or completely lacked interest in school.
    I dealt with a group of the women on an existing halting site (toilet accommodation only) that we were designing for improvement to discuss their wants and needs and found their wishes were minimal and undemanding.
    The men I found more difficult to deal with. They possibly had lost their status in life and in their community when tin-smithing disappeared. Friends from 'the city' visited a traveller group I was familiar with in the late 70s to collect folklore and songs. They were invited to come back the following night for a few drinks and a 'Tupperware' party!!
    Many more stories but I dont have many, maybe none, of the answers. I do place my faith in the women and in education, though.