Carlow councillor accuses Kilkenny Council of ‘neglecting’ Travellers’ housing needs
A Carlow-based councillor has accused Kilkenny County Council of neglecting the housing needs of the local Traveller community.
People Before Profit’s Adrienne Wallace criticised Kilkenny and Carlow councils for not drawing down money she said is “designated to specifically help meet the needs of the Traveller community”.
Cllr Wallace said in a statement: “In accordance with the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998, housing authorities have statutory responsibility for the assessment of the accommodation needs of Travellers. The Department of Housing is no longer allocating specific budgets to individual local authorities, rather councils are expected to draw down from the €14.5m in funding that is available overall. Carlow council have drawn down nothing while Kilkenny only sought €640.”
Cllr Wallace hit out at what she described as an “ingrained prejudice” against the Traveller community.
She added: “Since I have started as a councillor, I have seen first hand the absolutely dreadful living situations that members from the Traveller community endure. The stories would shock many. I know of sick children who cannot get the proper health equipment they need because houses are not fit for purpose.
“I know of Travellers who don’t have access to sanitation or are living on the side of the road because the council don’t designate and create halting sites that could meet their needs. The lives of Travellers are a constant struggle.”