Seeking an end to the discrimination that impacts on the daily lives of members of the Travelling Community.
Michael McCann is chairman of Minceir Misli, a Traveller rights group based in Dublin. The traditional camping spots for Travellers have been closed or redeveloped. As a result, many Traveller families in Dublin are squeezed into parts of Tallaght, Clondalkin and Coolock. These sites are often far removed from the services and amenities that settled people take for granted.
Living on the roadside is becoming increasingly difficult.
It's very very, hard to get a camping spot now without pulling into the side and then again there’s no sides.
Mary Stokes and her husband Thomas Stokes manage financially on what they receive from the social welfare. On an average day Thomas sees his family but,
There’s not very much to look forward day in day out.
Mary Stokes spends the day cooking and looking after her children. In the evening she watches television in her son’s house.
Travellers do drink, but not if it leaves their home or children short. Michael McCann says Travellers want to have a social life but feel degraded when they are refused a drink.
They’re sick going to pubs that won’t serve them.
Michael Stokes says travellers are frequently blamed for attacks and robberies and this generalisation creates a distrust of all Travellers. He feels he is being judged for crimes he would never dream of committing.
Another attitude settled people have about the Travelling Community is they do not pay rent or taxes, and their vehicles are not taxed or insured. Again, this is not true of all Travellers.
Michael McCann says a Charter for Traveller Rights has been accepted and he is pushing the government to adopt an anti-discrimination act.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 4 April 1985. The reporter is Peter McNiff.