Senator Eileen Flynn has questioned why local authorities are failing to draw down Government funds to accommodate the Traveller Community.

The Independent Senator, who is a member of the Traveller community, told the Seanad that she could not understand why year after year, funding was not being spent.

Senator Flynn said that in Ireland 2020, Travellers are seen as less.

She expressed concern for children on the side of the road during the pandemic.

While basic sanitation – such as access water and toilets for members of the Traveller community – was introduced during Covid-19, she said basic needs still have not been met.

The Independent Senator said she was aware of a family in the South West, including a pregnant mother, who had been using a paddling pool for hygiene and for cleaning.

She also said that she learned in May of a mother with a medically vulnerable child who lives with 12 others in an overcrowded home, who has been on the housing list for years.

"Still this year to date, just 45% of the budget was drawn down nationally - why is this when the need is so great?" Ms Flynn questioned.

She also pointed out that for many members of the Traveller community, a trailer and a caravan is a home, yet they have been forced to settle while facing the most discrimination when seeking homes.

She noted that Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning Peter Burke had, in his opening remarks to the Seanad, acknowledged the significant impact of Covid-19 on the Traveller Community.

She said: "I know to local authorities we're seen as 'just them', but we should be seen by this State with dignity and respect and given the basic human right of accommodation".