The 1st March 2017 was historic day for the Irish and for the Irish Traveller community who were finally recognised as an Ethnic Minority by the Irish State according to Minceirs Whiden, travller Forum.
At last after decades of struggle by our community for our right to be recognised as an Ethnic group, for the recognition of our people, history, culture and traditions, this struggle has been finally won by our people.
They say, "While recognition is a welcome and a historic step, it will not resolve the many problems that our community face, however it does lay the foundation to build a new relationship on this island based on respect for culture difference, equality and inclusion."
The forum are now seeking the following actions:
-The Irish State must acknowledge, take responsibility and apologise for the damage that state policies and actions have had on our community
-An end to all discrimination and racism that the Traveller community have to endure
-Address the accommodation, education, health and employment needs of the Traveller community in a culturally inclusive manner
-Put structures in place which will address growing problem of Mental health and drug use in the Traveller community
-Ensure that Travellers have political representation
-Resource and develop Traveller Culture, music, crafts, language and history
The group concludes, "This is the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Ireland, let it be one which is based on equality and inclusion which respects cultural difference where every child both Traveller and non-Traveller have an equal opportunity to achieve their full potential. Let it a chapter that we can all be proud of, both Settled and Traveller."