Latest figures released by the Department of Environment revealed the under-spend of budgets allocated to Traveller accommodation by local authorities – most notably Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council and Cork County Council – by over €50 million in the period between 2007 and 2012. Jan O’Sullivan, Minister of State for Housing and Planning at the Department of the Environment, has acknowledged the issue in saying that she intends “to discuss [the issue] with officials and I intend to seek the experience of local authorities when examining the issue also.”

Travellers’ support groups have criticised local authorities blaming officials “for opposing halting sites and group housing schemes [which were] often built without proper consultation with Travellers.” “Colette Spears of the Irish Traveller Movement maintains that “[t]here is a pattern of assimilation with the move into standard housing. A culture is being killed off and the knock-on effects are huge amounts of mental health issues for Travellers.”

Local authorities were also criticised by the ECRI Report on Ireland released on 19 February 2013 for “’lack of political will on the part of local authorities’ in delivering Traveller housing.” Further, Ronnie Fay of Pavee Point raises concern as to the only obligation of councils being at present was to “publish plans for Traveller accommodation. They don’t have to implement them.”

Local authorities, however, countered the findings in maintaining that there was a drop in demand for Traveller-specific accommodation but rather, standard   “social housing. Traveller women in particular are looking for better accommodation where it is easier to heat” says Hugh Hogan, senior executive officer of housing of South Dublin County Council.

Clare County Council defends its decision to “stop building Traveller-specific housing because of high vacancy rates due to ‘inter-Traveller feuding, violence and intimidation.’”



Irish Times (2013). Three councils did not use €24m for Traveller housing. Accessed 25 February 2013, at