Dáil Éireann - Volume 613 - 31 January, 2006
Written Answers. - Traveller Community.
Mr. Sargent Mr. Sargent
480. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the current spend or allocation to the various bodies dealing with the Traveller community; the amount of the overall spend or allocation in each of the years from 2000 to date in 2006 in funding all services, projects, schemes, grants, loans and resources to the travelling community; his views on whether the return on such spending has been satisfactory; and his plans to improve the effectiveness of such services. [2916/06]
Mr. McDowell Mr. McDowell
Mr. McDowell: The Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform’s diversity and equality law unit spent €444,379.80 on Traveller projects, schemes, grants and resources in 2000. It spent €457,105.70 on such schemes in 2001, €321,817.00 in 2002, €137,731.26 in 2003, €122,963.26 in 2004 and €416,432.84 in 2005. Some €651,000 has been allocated for such schemes in 2006. The Department also allocates funding to the Traveller community under a number of other programmes under its aegis.
As the Deputy may be aware, responsibility for the 2006-10 national child care investment prog ramme has been assigned to the Department of Health and Children as part of the establishment of the Office of the Minister for Children, for which the Minister of State with responsibility for children, Deputy Brian Lenihan, is currently responsible. I understand that grants totalling almost €5 million have been approved to date to child care projects associated with the Traveller community under the 2000-06 equal opportunities child care programme. Some 11 grants, totalling over €1.7 million in capital grant assistance, have been given to community based and not-for-profit groups; and 23 grants, totalling over €2.4 million in staffing grant assistance have been given to community based and not-for-profit groups. It is anticipated that funding committed to child care projects associated with the Traveller community under the 2000-06 programme will lead to the creation of 142 new child care places and will enhance over 200 existing places. The Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform has published Developing Childcare in Ireland, which is a comprehensive review of progress under the 2000-06 programme. The review, which details all grant approvals to the end of 2004, was circulated to all Members of the Oireachtas and posted on the Department’s website.
Under phase 1 of the equality for women measure, funding of €289,193 was approved in February 2002 for a pilot project payable over a three-year period to the National Traveller Women’s Forum and Pavee Point Travellers’ centre. The aim of the project is to develop a culturally appropriate training programme to enhance the participation of Traveller women in social partnership fora. In March 2005, under the RAPID strand of the equality for women measure, I allocated funding of €495,000 to four organisations working with the Traveller community. The funding is payable over the period 1 June 2005 to 31 March 2007. Some €175,000 was allocated to Galway Traveller support group to promote the participation of Traveller women in local community decision making structures. Some €160,000 was allocated to the Traveller visibility group in Cork to deliver a training programme for young Traveller women which will support their access to education, training and employment. Some €130,000 was allocated to the Finglas-Cabra partnership to explore issues of access and encourage consideration of education, training and employment as a progression route for Traveller women. Some €30,000 was allocated to the south side Traveller action group in Dún Laoghaire to promote the participation of Traveller women in local community decision-making structures.
The Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform provided grant funding for awareness raising projects undertaken by organisations working with female victims of domestic violence. In 2004, Pavee Point Traveller centre received  funding of €2,260 towards the publication of a brochure about violence against women. In 2005, €4,100 was awarded to Pavee Point towards an awareness raising campaign during the United Nations 16 days of action on violence against women. The Department also funds a variety of community based projects which assist offenders on supervision from courts or on release from custody. The projects do not specifically cater for offenders from the Traveller community. I have been advised by the management of the probation and welfare service that a small proportion of those referred to such projects are from the Traveller community. However, near the end of 2005 a grant of €5,000 was provided for a specific programme for Travellers in the Waterford area.
A high level group of officials has been reviewing the existing mechanisms for the delivery of services to Travellers. The high level working group dealing with Traveller issues reports to the groups of senior officials on social inclusion which, in turn, reports to the Cabinet committee on social inclusion. The high level group is made up of members of the senior officials’ group and other senior public servants with responsibility for key areas of service delivery for Travellers. The high level group is intended to provide a forum for senior policy makers and service providers to meet to discuss barriers to service delivery and explore possibilities of approaching service delivery in a more integrated way. It is intended that the report of the group, which will address the full range of public service provision for Travellers, will be presented to the Government shortly.
Dáil Éireann 613 Written Answers. Traveller Community.