Traveller accomodation ‘may have to be decided at national level’
IT is time to get to the bottom of exactly what is stopping the delivery of Traveller accommodation, whether that is political blockages, administration blockages or critical infrastructure that is missing, Fianna Fáil Deputy Pat Casey told a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning & Local Government.
‘In Wicklow, while we were trying to identify a number of transient halting sites, the lack of infrastructure to deliver sites was an issue,’ he said.
‘I acknowledge there is a lack of political will to deal with the Traveller issue. In some local authorities, the administration does not want to deal with it. It is probably the only budget in any local authority that is not spent. All the other budgets are spent. There is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with.’
He said he welcomed the Expert Group on Traveller Accommodation.
‘I will welcome the report when it is published but the sooner the better.
‘We are coming into a local election cycle so it will be difficult to get decisions made the closer we come to that date. If local democracy is not working, we will sadly have to look at removing it from the remit of local democracy agencies. I am an advocate of local democracy but if local authorities are not willing to make the difficult decisions, the decisions will have to be made somewhere else, possibly at national level,’ he said.
Deputy Pat Casey.