Donegal Travellers Project has welcomed the recent passage by Donegal County Council of the Traveller Accommodation Programme 2014-2018.
The programme will govern the Council’s policy of providing suitable accommodation to Travellers in the county for the next five years.
It’s the council’s fourth programme since 2000, in compliance with the national Traveller Accommodation Act 1998.
“We are delighted that the council has approved a clear programme outlining policies on Traveller accommodation for the coming five years,” said Siobhán McLaughlin, Manager of Donegal Travellers Project (DTP) and Chairperson of the Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee (LTACC). “The plan represents a consensus which was reached between the three pillars of the LTACC: councillors, council staff members, and Traveller community representatives.”
Ms McLaughlin is the first Traveller community representative in the country to chair an LTACC, a position she has held since 2010. Other Traveller community representatives on the 12-member committee include Hugh Friel and Rose Ward.
“Congratulations to all of the councillors who passed the programme,” said Mr. Friel, who is DTP Accommodation Officer. “I’d also like to acknowledge the support of the councillors who sit on the LTACC. A lot of negotiation went into developing a plan which meets the needs of the Traveller community in Donegal. The fact that the plan has now been approved by the Council as a whole is very welcome, especially after all the controversy around Traveller accommodation at the start of last year.”
County councillors who participated in developing the new programme as members of the LTACC included Cllr. Ciaran Brogan (Fianna Fáil), Cllr. Paul Canning (Fianna Fáil), Cllr. Frank McBrearty (Independent), and Cllr. Michael McBride (Labour).
Key aspects of the new programme include plans to develop at least one transient site for the accommodation of Travellers who are not normally resident in the county and to provide appropriate accommodation to two Traveller families who have been long-term residents on the two temporary emergency halting sites in the county.