The Government has launched a strategy which aims to bring improvements for Travellers and Roma people living in Ireland.

There are around 40,000 Travellers and 5,000 Roma people in Ireland, and last March Travellers were recognised by the State as a distinct ethnic group.

The strategy has 120 actions, and the Minister of State with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration described it as "a living document" that will be reviewed on a quarterly basis.

Minister David Stanton said: "There will have to be further money involved, it can't happen otherwise."

Asked how much more money would be made available, he said "we're not 100% sure, it's not a huge amount ... but each department is committed to making the monies available."

Among the commitments in the strategy is ensuring greater access to education for Traveller and Roma children, proposals for internships and stricter checks on the delivery of accommodation for Travellers as well as making sure that allocated money for housing is actually spent.

The ESRI has reported that Travellers suffer "extreme disadvantage", from high unemployment to lower life expectancy.

Pavee Point's co-director, Martin Collins, said although 2017 has been an historic and proud year for Irish Travellers "ethnicity isn't a magic wand."

In 2008, €40m was allocated for Traveller accommodation, that has since been reduced to €9m.

Mr Coillins said: "Even though the budget has been drastically reduced the full amount is not being fully spent by local authorities, so there's a serious systemic problem that needs to be addressed."

Gabi Mantean, a community worker with the Roma community welcomed the strategy, but said people in have a misconception about what Roma are entitled to.

She said: "There are people living here three, four, five years are they are not entitled to anything because they can't prove they are habitually resident. So you don't get child benefit even if your children are going to school here."