Old ways are changing for the Travelling Community but with public resistance to halting sites, is society's attitude to Travellers changing?

Serviced halting sites are provided for Travellers by the Department of the Environment for a nominal rent. However in the face of pressure from residents and commercial interests many local authorities are slow to provide them. 

In Limerick, the continuing delay in building halting sites means a number of Traveller families live on side of the road without proper facilities. 

Living in these conditions is a struggle for Travellers who wish their children to attend school on a daily basis. Children are frequently ill from infections and the close proximity to traffic is a constant danger.

Life is hard and miserable and its dirty living here on the side of the road.

Many of the poorer parts of Limerick have unofficial halting sites. Limerick City councillor Joe Harrington talks about the effect that these unofficial sites have on areas.

The solution to the problem is not to moan and groan about unofficial sites, but to actually do something about it and to give the Travellers properly serviced sites.

Alderman Tim Leddin of Limerick City Council says people living in middle class areas are not willing to accept halting sites as they believe they will negatively affect the value of their properties.

Joe Harrington believes the Council should take the lead and educate people on the need for halting sites. This in turn would lead to a better response from the community. 

This episode of ‘Today Tonight’ was broadcast on 15 March 1989. The reporter is Carolyn Fisher.