Integration Minister David Stanton is encouraging the Roma population to get involved with local clubs and organisations, in an effort to improve integration and inclusion in Irish society.

Speaking at the launch of a report on Roma communities in Balbriggan, Minister Stanton also urged Roma people to work with authorities to facilitate the collection of accurate information on how they live.

He said it is important that the Government has this information so it can help Roma people in a "focused and culturally sensitive way".

Mr Stanton said he wanted to work with the Roma community to improve overall inclusion into Irish society but he said it was a two-way process.

He acknowledged the history of Roma people and said as a result "it is sometimes difficult" for you to trust people who are not from your own community".

However he added that it is crucial that people in Ireland and across Europe get to see positive role models from the Roma community and are made feel that they are making an effort to be part of the community.

He said it is "vitally important" that Roma people integrate into Irish community but it is also important that they continue to value their heritage and culture.

"When Irish people move abroad, they often bring with them their interest in Irish sports, language, music and culture so we see that have that love of our own heritage in common with you" he said.

Minister Stanton said a new National Traveller and Roma Inclusion strategy will be completed shortly and will be implemented from the end of the year until 2020.

He added the strategy will focus on areas such as education, health, employment and anti-discrimination and will make "a significant difference" to people's lives.