Travellers

Dear Editor

Juxtaposition of the ‘Deep South’ and Ireland may have resonance as
far as Travellers are concerned. Your readers may like to know that
some councillors in Dublin are not caught under the ‘votes at all
costs’ umbrella. Michael Clifford lets the facts in the Kilkenny arson
attack speak for themselves and allows the public representatives
reflect, by their own words and actions, what they see as the
electoral reality of deep prejudice in their society.

Being privileged to be elected chairman of the Travellers Accomodation
Committee at Dublin City Council and of the Northwest Area Committee
in Dublin which has the greatest number of traveller accomodation
sites in the city, I try to ensure respect for the travellers culture
and decency in the provision of accomodation. This is a difficult task
as official obstacles are big. Traveller representatives themselves
want all violence and criminality in their communities to stop and the
Gardai to ensure their safety.  Intimidation and fear stalk some areas
because of heavy criminal activity.  I have called on the Gardai and
the state agencies to act in concert to combat flagrant crime in
Traveller sites in north Dublin. Fear is an emotion familiar to many
decent traveller families.

The Kilkenny Joint Policing Committee should deal with arson in that
county and ask the Gardai to prioritise the crimes of violence and
intimidation wherever these arise. I look forward to the Garda file
heading to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Professor Bill Tormey
Dublin City Councillor for Ballymun- Finglas
167 Glasnevin Avenue

This is a reply that I received that was signed and had a phone
number. Judge yourself.

I don’t imagine that Martin Luther King would have been very impressed
with Michael Clifford’s attempt to liken the burning of an unoccupied
house in Co.Kilkenny to the horrors perpetrated on Negroes in the Deep
South in the Sixties.The comparison between  Ireland and the U.S of
the Sixties is absurd.I’m just surprised he didn’t throw in the
Holocaust for good measure.It also seems that when he went to question
the councillors he didn’t bother to solicit the opinions of any of the
residents of the estate in which the family were having such “trouble”
settling into.I would also be grateful if you could point out to me
even a single aspect of Traveller “culture”that would be deemed
positive by mainstream society.——— Galway