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INTERAGENCY TRAVELLER STRATEGY

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					INTERAGENCY TRAVELLER
      STRATEGY



“Enhancing Delivery of Services and
  Supports for Travellers in County
             Limerick”




                                      1
                                  Table of Contents

Foreword by Chairperson of Limerick County Development Board                    Page 3

Introduction by Chairperson of Limerick County Interagency Traveller Steering   Page 4
Committee

Mission Statement                                                               Page 5

Summary of this Strategy                                                        Page 6

Policy Background & Guidelines                                                  Page 9

Key Learning from the 2005-2009 Plan                                            Page 11

Projects Funded under the Interagency Traveller and Communications Fund         Page 16

Structures in Place                                                             Page 18

Review Methodology                                                              Page 20

Profile of Travellers in County Limerick                                        Page 21

Strategic Themes and Guiding Principles                                         Page 33

Action Plan - Strategic Themes                                                  Page 34

Challenges and Barriers                                                         Page 45

Implementation, Monitoring & Evaluation                                         Page 47

Appendix 1     -       Membership of County Limerick Interagency                Page 50
                       Traveller Steering Committee

Appendix 2     -       Glossary of Abbreviations                                Page 51




    FOREWORD BY CHAIRPERSON OF
LIMERICK COUNTY DEVELOPMENT BOARD
                                                                                          2
All County Development Boards are required to co-ordinate an Interagency Traveller Group
which provides measures to improve the delivery of services to Travellers through the
implementation of a strategic plan which is approved by the County Development Boards. The
Interagency Traveller Steering Committee which operates under the auspices of the County
Development Board (CDB), is the key vehicle for the implementation of the report of the High
Level Group (HLG) on Traveller issues, which was approved by the Government in March 2006.
It is important to acknowledge the significant progress which has been made in County Limerick
both in terms of effective provision and the development of working relationships with local
Travellers and their representatives.

On behalf of the County Development Board, I would like to sincerely thank all the individuals,
groups and organisations that contributed to or supported the 2005 Integrated Plan for the
Delivery of Public Services to Travellers, and, in particular, Mr. Jim O’ Connor, former
Chairperson of the Interagency Traveller Steering Committee. The concept of inter-agency
working relies on positive support from all of the relevant agencies represented on the County
Development Board. There is a continuing challenge to move beyond where agencies and other
stakeholders agree to a particular plan to one where the delivery of specific actions is
accomplished in a genuinely integrated manner. The success of this plan is contingent on the
active participation of all agencies involved.

In the current economic climate, constraints on resources add to the challenge of delivering on
a new Strategy. Such constraints make the achievement of an integrated approach and pooling
of resources more important than ever. The new Strategy, therefore, concentrates on a small
number of key interagency actions with a view to a more targeted and effective approach. The
Strategy’s purpose is clear and based on 4 interconnected strategic themes. The 4 themes are:

          Education, Training & Employment
          Health and Wellbeing
          Accommodation & Community
          Participation & Capacity Building
Each theme has measurable outcomes which should be achieved as a result of each action. It
will be important to build on the achievements and the experience gained to-date in relation to
the implementation of the 2005 plan. The continuing support and leadership from the members
of the Limerick County Interagency Traveller Steering Committee will be required to achieve
results in improving the quality of life of Travellers in County Limerick.

Cllr. Richard Butler,
Chairperson of Limerick County Development Board.




                                                                                             3
          INTRODUCTION BY CHAIRPERSON
As Chairperson of the Interagency Traveller Steering Committee, I would like to thank all the
agencies, members of the Traveller community and personnel who were involved in the
preparation of this Strategy, which is a culmination of various pieces of work and extensive
consultation carried out over the past number of months.

The Interagency Traveller Steering Committee was established in 2005 as a sub-group of
Limerick County Development Board. The membership of this group is listed in the appendices
and involves members from across the following sectors: Local Government, Local Development
and State Agencies. The Strategy includes an action plan with clear tasks which all members of
the Interagency Traveller Steering Committee have agreed to deliver over the next three years.
The research and consultation for the Strategy was facilitated by Carmel Brosnan. A
consultative workshop was held involving a total of thirty eight people representing all the
agencies and stakeholders. Because of the extensive number of actions progressed in the
previous plan, the focus of the workshop was placed on identifying actions that would address a
number of key priorities including: progression from post-primary to further education, training
& employment; improving health and wellbeing of Travellers; area based interagency work and
community relations – particularly the active involvement of Traveller representatives in the
work of the Interagency Traveller Steering Committee. The four strategic themes and
associated actions will address key priorities of the Traveller community over the period 2010 –
2012.

I am indebted to the members of the Steering Committee who have attended regular meetings
to progress actions to improve the quality of life of Travellers living in County Limerick. I would
like to express my sincere thanks to all current and past members of the Interagency Traveller
Steering Committee and staff who have worked to progress the implementation of the
Interagency Traveller Plan (2005 – 2009). Their participation and involvement in the delivery of
the priorities and actions of the Interagency Traveller Plan was vital.

The continuing support of the Steering Committee for the achievement of priorities and actions
identified in this revised Interagency Traveller Strategy (2010 – 2012) is critical to its successful
implementation over the next few years.

Josephine Cotter-Coughlan,
Chairperson of Limerick County Interagency Traveller Steering Committee




                         MISSION STATEMENT


                                                                                                   4
Travellers participate as equals, achieve their full potential and
experience outcomes similar to the general population,
including enhanced access by Travellers to all levels of
education, mainstream employment, health services and
suitable accommodation.




             SUMMARY OF THIS STRATEGY
Background




                                                                 5
The Limerick County Interagency Traveller Steering Committee, which operates under the
auspices of the County Development Board (CDB), is the key vehicle for the implementation of
the report of the High Level Group on Traveller issues, which was approved by the Government
in March 2006. Significant progress has been made in County Limerick, both in terms of
effective provision and the development of working relationships with local Travellers and their
representatives in implementing the Interagency Traveller Plan (2005 – 2009).

In November 2009, all CDBs were asked to review their Traveller Strategy plans and to highlight
a number of key actions which would demonstrate and support increased interagency co-
operation for the period 2010-2012. All CDBs were asked to consider actions under the
following headings:

      Progression in the school system
      Progression from school to further education, training & employment
      Supporting Travellers into employment
      Area based interagency work
      Family Support
      Drug Abuse
      Community relations
      Alignment of accommodation provision and management with other services
      Conflict resolution in areas where there has been conflict

Key Learning from the Interagency Traveller Plan (2005 – 2009) Plan

The implementation of the Interagency Traveller Plan (2005 – 2009) was a dynamic
process with lessons learned around a range of issues. One of the key learning
outcomes was the establishment of real partnerships and collaboration which required
the active participation of key players from each of the agencies and representatives
of the Traveller Community. Raising awareness of the objectives of the plan within each
agency was a critical step in alerting all stakeholders to proactively support and participate in
achieving the desired outcomes which are documented in the Review of the Interagency
Traveller Plan (2005-2009). Pobal approved grant aid assistance in the amount of €203,818 for
Traveller specific projects.

Mission Statement
Travellers participate as equals, achieve their full potential and experience outcomes similar to
the general population, including enhanced access by Travellers to all levels of education,
mainstream employment, health services and suitable accommodation.
Structures in Place
The Limerick County Development Board (CDB) is the County level structure for the delivery of
integrated strategic actions. It reports directly to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law
Reform (DJELR) (as lead Department), which reports in turn to the Cabinet Sub-Committee on
Social Inclusion, chaired by An Taoiseach.



                                                                                               6
The Limerick County Interagency Traveller Steering Committee for the Integrated Plan for
Travellers, established under the auspices of the CDB, comprises of Senior Managers from
Limerick County Council, the leading state agencies, local development companies in the
county and Traveller representatives. This Steering Committee is supported by four Sub-County
Structures consisting of Traveller representatives and front line staff from each of the
organisations represented on the Steering Committee.
These Sub-County Structures are:

      City Environs
      Kilmallock/East Limerick
      Abbeyfeale/Newcastle West
      Askeaton/ Rathkeale

Review Methodology

The review involved:
    The establishment of a Working Group to develop the Strategy.
    Consultation with all agencies represented on the Steering Committee and Traveller
       representatives
    The implementation of Government Guidelines
    Prioritisation of a small number of key actions under four themes, with a view to a more
       targeted and effective approach.

Profile of Travellers in County Limerick

The 2006 Census of population records 22,435 Travellers in Ireland, but it is generally accepted
this may be less than the real figure and many commentators believe that 32,000 is a more
accurate figure. The 2006 Census recorded 5.3 Travellers per 1,000 population in the State and
in County Limerick this was 8.8 per 1,000 population.
In County Limerick the Traveller population was recorded at 1135 persons at the time of the
2006 census and this is also believed to be underestimated. The reasons for this may vary from
non-identification as Travellers, the number of families enumerated, accuracy of information
given and in County Limerick a significant number of Traveller families engaged in trading
would have been travelling at the time of the census.



Strategic Themes and Guiding Principles

Thirteen actions have been prioritised under the following four themes:
        Education, Training & Employment
        Health and Wellbeing
        Accommodation & Community
        Participation & Capacity Building

                                                                                                7
Challenges and Barriers
The following have been identified as challenges and barriers to the implementation of the
Strategy:
      Reduced Resources/Moratorium on Recruitment in Public Sector
      Progression of Travellers in the School System
      Lack of Employment Opportunities
      Lack of awareness and engagement by the Traveller Community in family support
       services.
      Conflict resolution in areas where there has been conflict
      Incidences of criminality
      Community Relations - Level of engagement with Traveller population

Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation
Each agency will be required to report, using the I.T. based Tracking System, on progress made
to address actions for which it has either a leading or supporting role. This report will be
required in advance of the quarterly Steering Committee meetings of the Interagency Traveller
Steering Committee.

Overall responsibility for the implementation of the Strategy rests with the County
Development Board. A report will be furnished to the County Development Board within 6
months. In addition an Annual Interagency Seminar will be held to review the progress of the
Strategy.

Progress in relation to the implementation of the Strategy will be monitored at a national level,
via the Department of Justice, Equality & Law Reform.




                                                                                               8
      POLICY BACKGROUND & GUIDELINES
In December 2003, a High Level Group on Travellers Issues was established under the direction
of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Social Inclusion to explore best practice and improve
outcomes for Travellers. The High Level Group (HLG) on Travellers Issues Report was published
in March 2006.

The report, which has subsequently been adopted as Government policy, requests all counties
with a Traveller population to develop Integrated Strategic Plans for Service Delivery to
Travellers, in consultation with local Travellers themselves. These integrated strategic plans are
to be facilitated, implemented and overseen by the City/County Development Board structure,
and must set targets, costs, deadlines and expected outcomes. Specific responsibility for the
implementation of each action under the plan must be assigned to the appropriate agency or
agencies. In 2005 the Interagency Traveller Steering Committee, consisting of representatives
of appropriate organisations, was established. Following a review in 2007 the Interagency
Traveller Steering Committee decided to adopt a county wide approach with specific focus on
City Environs, Kilmallock/East Limerick, Abbeyfeale/Newcastle West and Askeaton/ Rathkeale.
It was accepted that these areas were representative of Travellers as a whole throughout the
county. Interagency actions, following consultation at local level were considered by the group
for the four areas as well as some actions that could be applied to the county as a whole.

On completion of the consultation process the findings were presented to the Steering
Committee and interagency actions were identified that would lead to a more effective and
integrated service to members of the Traveller community.

Following consultation and consideration of service delivery the following set of objectives and
actions were agreed for the period 2005-2009.

Objective 1 - Improve the health status of Travellers
Objective 2 - Increase engagement by young Travellers
Objective 3 - Improve participation in education and training
Objective 4 - Increase participation in employment
Objective 5 - Improve the accommodation status of Travellers
Objective 6 - Enhance communication between Travellers and the Gardaí
Objective 7 - Improve mutual understanding of the Traveller/Settled communities
Objective 8 - Enhance the self-representative capacity of the Traveller Community


In November 2009, all CDBs were asked to review their Traveller Strategy plans and to highlight
a number of key actions which would demonstrate and support increased interagency co-


                                                                                                9
operation for the period 2010-2012. All CDBs were asked to consider actions under the
following headings:

      Progression in the school system
      Progression from school to further education, training & employment
      Supporting Travellers into employment
      Area based interagency work
      Family Support
      Drug Abuse
      Community relations
      Alignment of accommodation provision and management with other services
      Conflict resolution in areas where there has been conflict


Following the review, 13 key actions have been identified under 4 strategic themes which are as
follows:

      Education, Training & Employment
      Health and Wellbeing
      Accommodation & Community
      Participation & Capacity Building

Lead agencies and supporting agencies have been identified for each action and measurable
outcomes which should be achieved as a result of each action.




                                                                                             10
                 KEY LEARNING FROM THE
              INTERAGENCY TRAVELLER PLAN
                       (2005 – 2009)
     The implementation of the Interagency Traveller Plan (2005 – 2009) was a dynamic
     process with lessons learned around a range of issues. One of the key learning
     outcomes was the establishment of real partnerships and collaboration which required
     the active participation of key players from each of the organisations and
     representatives of the Traveller Community. Raising awareness of the objectives of the
     plan within each agency was a critical step in alerting all stakeholders to proactively support and
     participate in achieving the desired outcomes which are documented in the Review of the
     Interagency Traveller Plan (2005-2009).

     The trust and credibility built by agencies and members of the Limerick County Interagency
     Traveller Steering Committee with the Traveller community were of immense value in
     facilitating their engagement in various initiatives. In particular, this trust was strengthened in
     2007, when four new Sub-County Structures were established to meet the different needs of
     Travellers at various locations around the County. Lead agencies tasked with driving actions
     were essential, having regard to the many competing priorities and pressures. These lead
     agencies worked collaboratively with other agencies, building on existing networks and
     resources of all parties to achieve a range of mutually positive outcomes.

     The I.T. based tracking system, for monitoring the implementation of actions, proved useful but
     requires greater buy in from the agencies in terms of training and input of data. The evaluation
     of actions has been very useful in building a body of evidence related information.

     Summary of Key Learning

     Strategic Objectives             Key Achievements                        Key Learning


     Improve the health       Operation of the Triage Clinic in     Flexible arrangements such as
     status of Travellers     Rathkeale each year.                  providing services locally and
                                                                    meeting with Travellers in their
                              Completion of the Primary Health      own settings were key to giving
                              Care Programme by 9 Traveller         Travellers greater access to
                              Women.                                services.




Strategic Objectives                Key Achievements                             Key Learning


                                                                                                     11
Increase engagement by     Sustainable Youth Development           Working with young people at risk
young Travellers           Project for Rathkeale with 2 workers    and promoting integration between
                                                                   the two communities.

Improve participation in Back to Education Initiative (BTEI)       Level 3 FETAC certified programmes
education and training   programmes in seven locations in          in supporting mothers and
                         County Limerick (engaging 70              grandmothers to play a more active
                         Traveller women) with the aim of          role in their role as primary educators.
                         improving education status and
                         valuing of education.
                                                                   The project has enabled the
                          Securing a Disadvantaged Youth           establishment of a number of intra-
                          Project for Rathkeale.                   community groups and enabled an
                                                                   understanding of the differing
                                                                   cultures.

                                                                 The impact of supports such as
                           School Completion Programmes in       breakfast clubs, in-school activities and
                           Croom, Kilmallock , Newcastle West    after school study in improving
                           Abbeyfeale & Rathkeale.               attendance and retention of students
                                                                 at risk of early school leaving.
                           U.L. funding for homework clubs.      Also, practical support to encourage
                                                                 participation such as meeting the cost
                                                                 of transport, providing childcare
                                                                 support and organising training
                                                                 initiatives at preferred locations
                                                                 promoted active involvement of
                           Leadership and Development Training Travellers.
                           of adults.
                                                                  The development of a conceptual
                           Credit-earning courses(metalwork       framework.* (See Figure 1)
                           and woodwork) in place at Limerick
                           Institute of Technology, completed by Develop numeracy and literacy skills
                           16 men.                                and build employability potential.

                                                                   Instil a sense of welcome and
                                                                   belonging and comfort level for the
                           Educational Experience at the           participants. Instigate development of
                           University of Limerick Programme        educational goals.
                           2010 (6 weeks) completed by 35
                           women from Abbeyfeale and
                           Rathkeale.
  Strategic Objectives              Key Achievements                            Key Learning

Increase participation in Engagement with local businesses to      While collaboration across all the
employment.               create employment opportunities for      agencies is an integral part of
                          Travellers.                              achieving actions in a coherent co-
                                                                   ordinated manner, despite continuous

                                                                                                    12
                                                                     effort, at times attempts to engage
                                                                     collaboratively presented significant
                                                                     challenges.

                                                                    Seek out community-minded
                          UL–sponsored 10 local SMEs             to businesses willing to employ Travellers.
                          provide exposure to the workplace
                                                                     The need to avail of any/all resources
                                                                     to help build a successful track record
                                                                     in increasing the participation of
                                                                     Travellers in employment.

Improve the               Permanent accommodation provided            Housing remains the preferred
accommodation status of   for 85 Traveller families during the        accommodation option of most
Travellers                period 2005 -2008.                          Travellers.

                          Funding secured to employ a
                          Community Sustainment Worker to             Support required for Traveller families
                          assist Traveller families participate in    and other residents to ensure that the
                          their living communities.                   accommodation of Traveller families
                          Provision of community facilities on 2      in non specific Traveller
                          Halting Sites.                              accommodation is successful and that
                                                                      issues of difference are resolved.
                          Travellers supported to consider all
                          accommodation options.                      Provision of on-site facilities and
                                                                      services has limited benefit, if the
                                                                      commitment of all residents does not
                                                                      exist.
                                                                      Increasing number of families availing
                                                                      of private rented accommodation
                                                                      including the Rental Assistance
                                                                      Scheme (RAS).

Enhance communication     Garda Liaison officers appointed to         Enabled the identification of potential
between Travellers and    each site in the County in 2006.            problems at an earlier stage thus
the Gardaí                                                            enabling a timely solution.

  Strategic Objectives              Key Achievements                              Key Learning

Improve mutual            Cultural Awareness Training                 A need for key individuals, from both
understanding of the      facilitated by Interagency Partners at      settled and Traveller communities, to
Traveller/ Settled        agency level.                               engage at local level to develop
communities                                                           improved understanding of each
                          Inter- Cultural Group in Askeaton was       other and the issues they have.
                          established.                                Many issues are similar to both
                                                                      communities and progress can be
                                                                      made by working on these together.
                                                                      The need for a facilitator to assist

                                                                                                      13
                                                                                  local communities in this process.

Enhance the self-               “Listening Needs Survey” was           Relationships built through
representative capacity        completed by Travellers with Travellers collaborative working across all sectors
of the Traveller               in Abbeyfeale                           towards achieving common objectives,
Community                                                              established certain synergies which
                                Traveller Women from the County        achieved greater improvement of
                                Limerick PHCP and the Castletroy       outcomes for Travellers.
                                Halting site participated as peer
                                Researchers in the All-Ireland
                                Traveller Health Study (2007 – 2010).

                                Development of 4 Sub-County
                                Structures across the County with
                                Traveller Representation.

                                Travellers represented on Local Area
                                Traveller Consultative Committee,
                                Traveller Health Unit, Local Traveller
                                Accommodation Consultative
                                Committee, Traveller Heath Unit and
                                RAPID A.I.T. and Boards of
                                Management of Senior Traveller
                                Training Centres.


        Table 1: Key learning from the Interagency Traveller Plan (2005 – 2009)




                                                                                                                  14
*During    the life of the interagency plan, a conceptual framework was developed by John
Heneghan, of the University of Limerick. The overall objective of the framework was to develop
an interagency approach to the delivery of Traveller specific objectives at local level, in order to
increase the opportunity for Travellers to participate more fully in society. The strategic
framework can be applied to areas including accommodation, health, education and
employment. The framework also identified a number of principles, fundamental to these was a
commitment to operate on a rapport building basis, stressing the importance of empathy with
the Traveller community and collaboration on positive actions to promote and acknowledge the
need for sustainability and continuity to improve the delivery of services to Travellers.
Alongside this other operating principle included commitment to consensus building and
mutual commitment at individual and organisational levels; accountability; trust; including the
ability to give honest feedback and to challenge each other and finally capacity building.


             Framework for implementation of Traveller Strategy


  Inter-
  agencies
  BDL
  DES                                                               • Dialogue
  DSF                                                       P
  FAS                                                       R       • Mentoring
                        Rapport building                    O
  Garda                                                             • Subcommittee
  HSE                                                       C
                            Empathy                         E       . Participation
  LCC
  LYS                                                       S       • Development
                         Collaboration                      S
  UL                                                                • Leadership
  VEC                                                       E
                   Sustainability and Continuity            S       …Training
  WLR
                            Monitoring

                                                           Source:John Heneghan
                                                           University of Limerick Sept 2010



Figure 1: Conceptual Framework for an Interagency Approach to the Delivery of Traveller Specific Objectives at
Local Level, Heneghan, J.2010)




                                                                                                           15
             PROJECTS FUNDED UNDER THE
            INTERAGENCY TRAVELLER AND
               COMMUNICATIONS FUND
The purpose of the Traveller Fund is to give additional impetus to the work of Interagency
Traveller Groups in developing the mechanics of better service delivery. Department of Justice,
Equality and Law Reform, (DJELR) which is responsible for monitoring the ongoing
implementation of the HLG Report, established the fund to support projects targeting the
Traveller community, delivered on an interagency basis, consistent with the HLG Report and
arising from CDB endorsed City/County Traveller Strategies.

 €1 million was available in 2006 in Round 1. Twelve projects addressed a wide range of
  Traveller issues, focusing, in particular on,
          o Family health education;
          o After school educational support;
          o School transition;
          o Family support around schooling;
          o Horse project and men’s development;
          o Adult training and networking;
          o Youth development;
          o Community integration;
          o Training for employment;
          o Employment;
          o Multi-cultural awareness training.

 An extension fund of €320,000 was provided to allow some Round 1 projects to be sustained
  for a second year.

 €600,000 was available in Round 2 in 2007, resulting in funding for a further 15 projects.
  Employment was excluded, as Pobal was, at that time, working with FÁS’s sister fund, the
  Special Initiative for Travellers (FÁS SIT). Innovative projects included one on tenancy
  support and another on developing Travellers’ musical performance skills.

 €1.5 million was made available from the Dormant Accounts Fund for the Interagency Strand
  (Strand 1) of Round 3 in 2008. Fifteen new projects are being funded, again covering a
  broad spectrum of Traveller life.




 A Communications Strand (Round 3, Strand 2), amounting to €100,000 was also made
  available by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform in 2008, to support positive

                                                                                            16
        communications and relationships between communities and within the Traveller
        community through projects or programmes with a national or regional dimension. There
        was an emphasis on activities during Traveller Focus Week. It was available to national
        Traveller organisations as well as collaborating interagency groups. Five projects were
        funded under the strand.

    In total, 47 projects have been funded at a total cost of c.€3.5million. 8 Projects in Co. Limerick
    have been funded at a total cost of €203,818 as set out in the table hereunder:

Local Authority                   Field of Action                                         Amount
Round 1
Limerick County               Social Integration of Traveller Women & Children €95,000.00
                                 through physical activity & sport
                              Support local schools through school completion
                                 projects for placement of student from Transition
                                 Year & LCA in Work Experience
                              Information Sessions on Local Services in Kilmallock,
                                 Newcastle West & Abbeyfeale
                              Askeaton Community Relations Project
                              Educational Development and Leadership
                              Rathkeale Integration Initiative
                              Multi-Cultural Awareness Training
Round 3 Strand 1: Interagency Strand
Limerick CDB                 Employment of a Traveller community tenancy €108,818.00
                             sustainment worker

    Table 2: Projects which received funding in the period 2005 - 2009




                               STRUCTURES IN PLACE

                                                                                                    17
The Limerick County Development Board (CDB) is the County level structure for the delivery of
integrated strategic actions. It reports directly to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law
Reform (DJELR) (as lead Department), which reports in turn to the Cabinet Sub-Committee on
Social Inclusion, chaired by An Taoiseach.
The Board conducted initial research to establish the extent and nature of service provision for
the Traveller community in County Limerick and to identify the key provider agencies and the
lead personnel. This research was also used to develop a forum for front line staff to discuss the
provision of Traveller specific services and the best strategy to ensure greater integration in
their delivery.
Following these initial deliberations the County Limerick Interagency Traveller Steering
Committee was established. This committee comprises of senior managers from Limerick
County Council, the lead state agencies and Local Development Companies in the provision of
services to the Travelling community.
Agencies Involved Include
Limerick County Development Board
Limerick County Council
Department of Education and Skills
County Limerick VEC
Health Service Executive
Garda Siochana
University of Limerick
Probation and Welfare Service
Department of Social Protection
FAS
Ballyhoura Development Ltd.
West Limerick Resources Ltd.


Four Sub-County Structures support the County Limerick Interagency Traveller Steering
Committee. These Sub-County Structures are:

      City Environs
      Kilmallock/East Limerick
      Abbeyfeale/Newcastle West
      Askeaton/ Rathkeale




                                                                                               18
                                             Limerick County
                                          Development Board




                                               Co. Limerick
                                                Interagency
                                                                                           (Affiliated to Social
                                          Steering Committee                               Inclusion Measures
                                                                                                    Group)




 Abbeyfeale/                        Askeaton/                         City Environs                          Kilmallock/
Newcastle West                      Rathkeale                          Sub Group                         East Limerick Sub
 Sub- Group                        Sub Group                                                                       Group




       Figure 2: Local Structures reporting to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform




                                                                                                                       19
                    REVIEW METHODOLOGY

The preparation of this Strategy included the following:

    Implementation of Government guidelines (Circular letters), consideration of plans
     prepared by other Counties, various reports on Traveller issues and consultations with
     national bodies dealing with Traveller issues;
    A series of meetings with the Limerick County Interagency Traveller Steering Committee;
    One to one interviews with each member of the Steering Committee and other Agency
     representatives;
    Consideration of the ideas and suggestions made by the agencies in the one to one
     interviews by the Steering Committee;
    Updates on Outputs and Outcomes by each agency involved in the implementation of
     the Interagency Traveller Plan (2005-2009);
    A series of workshops involving the members of the four geographical Interagency
     Traveller Sub-County Structures;
    Establishment of a working group, consisting of the Steering Committee, to develop the
     Strategy and prepare a final draft Strategy;
    Adoption of the final Strategy by the Interagency Traveller Steering Committee and
     ratification by the County Development Board.




                                                                                         20
      PROFILE OF TRAVELLERS IN COUNTY
                  LIMERICK
Travellers have a strong and historic link with County Limerick and there has been a tradition of
a settled Traveller Community in the County for many years. Throughout the years settlement
patterns have emerged in certain parts of the County and this has remained to this day.
Travellers, by choice continue to reside in certain parts of the County only and do not
demonstrate a preference to reside outside of the traditional areas. The main locations where
Travellers have settled in County Limerick are:
                                      Abbeyfeale
                                      Askeaton
                                      City Environs
                                      Kilmallock
                                      Newcastle West
                                      Rathkeale.


In addition to the above a number of families reside in Athea, Ardagh, Banogue, Bruree,
Cappamore and Patrickswell.
There is also a very strong tradition of transient trader families in the County and the majority of
these are from Rathkeale. These families, many of whom own property in the town, use
Rathkeale as their base but travel for up to ten or eleven months of the year to trade primarily in
Ireland and abroad.
The 2006 Census of population records 22,435 Travellers in Ireland but it is generally accepted
this may be less than the real figure and many commentators believe that 32,000 is a more
accurate figure. The 2006 Census recorded 5.3 Travellers per 1,000 population in the State and
in County Limerick this was 8.8 per 1,000 population.
In County Limerick the Traveller population was recorded at 1135 persons at the time of the
2006 census and this is also believed to be underestimated. The reasons for this may vary from
non-identification as Travellers, the number of families enumerated, accuracy of information
given and in County Limerick a significant number of trader families would have been travelling
at the time of the census.




                                                                                                 21
22
Age Profile
The *table below outlines a comparative age analysis between Travellers living in County
Limerick as opposed to the overall Traveller population and the population of the Country as a
whole. The data provided clearly demonstrates the differences between the Irish Traveller
population and the national population. While County Limerick has 38% of Travellers aged 0 to
14 years, 57 % aged 15 to 64 years and 5 % aged 65 years and over it is considered, as stated
previously, that the census of population underestimates the Traveller population in County
Limerick. County Limerick has significantly more Traveller population aged 0-14 years and less
aged 15-64 and over 65 years than the national Traveller population.



*Source: 2006 National Census Data -Central Statistics Office




Table 3: Scale showing Average Ages of Population Nationally and in County Limerick




                                                                                           23
Accommodation
The preferred accommodation option of most Travellers in the county is housing. This is
demonstrated by the number of applicants for housing and the number of Traveller families
living in housing in the county. In recent years there has also been an increase in the number of
Traveller families availing of housing in the private rented sector. Many of the families who have
the resources to provide their own accommodation such as those in Rathkeale purchase or build
their own houses or aspire to owning their own house. There continues to be a preference by
some families for halting site accommodation.
Accommodation Profile


                          Accommodation Type                    Number of
                                                                Families
                          Private Housing (Own                  105*
                          Resources)
                          Local Authority Housing               186
                          House Purchase Loans                  34
                          Group Housing                         17
                          Halting Site Accommodation            21
                          Private Rented Accommodation          22



                          Total                                 385 families
                                                                  *Estimate
Table 4:       Local Authority Annual Count of Traveller Families in County Limerick – November 2009)




In total, the estimated number of Traveller families in County Limerick on the day of the Local
Authority annual count in November 2009 was 475 families. In addition to the above there were
a number of families living in caravans on unauthorised sites. The majority of the these were
based in Rathkeale and were parked on private property.
The Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee (LTACC) is a statutory committee
of the Council. It advises the Council in relation to the preparation and implementation of the
statutory Traveller Accommodation Programme and on the management of accommodation for
Travellers generally. The membership of this committee includes members of the Traveller
Community and provides a liaison between Travellers, Elected Members and officials of Limerick
County Council. A new Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee was
established in 2009 and four Travellers are members of this committee. The Traveller
representatives were nominated via the interagency Sub-County Structures.



                                                                                                        24
Limerick County Council is committed to meeting the accommodation needs of
members of the Traveller Community who need assistance. The Housing (Traveller
Accommodation) Act 1998 requires that each Housing Authority adopts a Traveller
Accommodation Programme for its functional area and in December 2008 Limerick
County Council adopted a 5 year programme for the period 2009-2013.
There was an intensive consultation process undertaken as part of the preparation of
the plan and the interagency approach was a critical element of the consultation
process. When preparing the current programme there were 46 families seeking
assistance with regard to accommodation. The projected need has also been
considered and based on experience gained from the previous programmes it is
estimated that the projected new family formations/ new applications for the next five
years is 45 families.

Annual targets are contained in the Accommodation Programme which state that 65
families will be offered permanent accommodation during the period of the plan.

Achievements of the previous accommodation plan (2005 to 2008):

        85 families were provided with permanent accommodation.

        Four major capital projects were completed:

                   -   7 Bay Halting Site and Community Centre in Castletroy
                   -   14 Bay Halting Site and Community Centre in Clondrinagh
                   -   17 New House Development for Travellers in Rathkeale.
                   -   2 bay Halting Site in Kilmallock


        Temporary halting site services were provided to seven families at 3 locations
         and some refurbishment works were completed.

        Increased resources were provided for Traveller tenants during the period of
         the plan. These include Traveller specific pre-tenancy training, on site
         meetings, family support work and the delivery of on site interagency services.




Health
The health status of Travellers remains poor when compared to the settled community.
Information from the All Ireland Traveller Health Study (2007 - 2010) indicates
     Traveller men live on average 15 years less than the population in general
     Traveller women live on average 11 years less than settled women

                                                                                       25
      Infant mortality rates are three and a half times the national average.

Furthermore, Sudden Infant Death in the Traveller Community rate is 12 times the national
average (Irish Sudden Infant Death Association 1999).

The main causes of death in the Traveller Community are heart disease and stroke (25%) cancer
(19%) and lung disease (13%).

The All-Ireland Traveller Health Study investigated the barriers that Traveller perceive to
accessing services which were
    Waiting lists (63%)
    Embarrassment (48%)
    Lack of Information (37%)

However on a positive note 25% of Travellers received health information from Primary Health
Care for Travellers Projects and 14.3% from Traveller Organisations and 28% from a Public
Health Nurse. There are 40 Primary Health Care Projects across the country employing
Travellers as Peer Health Workers. Many of them are funded and managed by interagency
partnerships and collaborations.
25% of Traveller Women have participated in breast screening in comparison to 13% of the
general population and 23% have had cervical screening compared to 12% of the general
population.

There is a Traveller Health Unit (THU) in each HSE region to monitor the delivery of health
services to Travellers, to identify and address health needs of the Traveller Community, and to
support the development of Traveller-specific services.

Education
The key education issues nationally and locally are attendance, retention ,progression and
attainment.

Pre-School Education

There is increasing recognition of the importance and value of the early years for all children’s
development. The White Paper on Early Childhood Education: Ready to Learn (1999)
emphasises the importance of early childhood education, particularly for disadvantaged
children, and the need to raise standards so that all Traveller children can receive early
education of a high quality.
The Report and Recommendations for a Traveller Education Strategy 2006 recommends:
5.14(3) increasing the availability and take up by Traveller children of pre-school
        education
5.14(4)         improving the quality of education available in pre-schools
5.14(5)         increasing the emphasis on equality in the planning and
                provision of early childhood education services, and elimination of the potential
                for discrimination and racism.


                                                                                              26
5.14(6)        increasing the number of Travellers who are employed in the provision of early
               childhood education services in a sustained and active manner.

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme -The Free Pre-school Year- came into
effect on 1st January 2010. This scheme should give Traveller children access to a free pre-school
year of appropriate programme-based activities in the year before they start primary school.

Primary Education

Traveller children are entitled to all the services available to settled children. Additional
measures taken by the Department of Education and Skills to promote the primary education of
Traveller children include – inclusion as a central policy; the policy of age appropriate
placement, the appointment of resource teachers for Travellers, a national Visiting Teacher
Service for Travellers, the Home School Community Liaison Scheme, the School Completion
Programme, enhanced capitation grant, transport in certain circumstances.
The participation by Traveller children has improved greatly in recent years. In 2008 8,258
Traveller pupils were enrolled in primary schools.
As an educational institution, the University of Limerick will continue its support of progress
mechanisms previously established in five primary schools in County Limerick.
The Visiting Teacher Service for Travellers (VTST) was constituted in 1980. The overall function
of the service is to promote, facilitate and support the education of Travellers from pre-school
to 3rd level access. The aim of the Visiting Teacher Service for Travellers is that young people of
the Traveller Community participate fully in an intercultural, anti-racist education system. The
Visiting Teacher provides opportunities for Traveller parents, their children and schools to
engage in a process of development that maximizes participation and attainment, combats
racism and promotes interculturalism.




     TRAVELLER PUPIL PRIMARY SCHOOL CENSUS RETURNS 2008 - 2009
                          SUMMARY TABLE
                                                                           Year Distribution
                                No. of schools with     Total Traveller
                                 Traveller pupils       pupils enrolled    Junior          3rd -
     Local Authority                 enrolled              Sept 08        Infants - 2nd    6th
                                                                          class            Class


 Limerick City                                    17                 80               39       41
 Limerick County                                  25               393              192      201


                                                                                                27
          National Totals                                        796                8,258           4,275        3,983
         Table 5: Traveller Pupil Primary School Census Returns 2008 - 2009- Summary Table




         Post Primary

         A study by the Economic and Social Research Institute on behalf of the NCCA, Moving Up: The
         Experiences of First-Year Students in Post-Primary Schools (2004) examined this issue in detail
         and emphasised its particular importance for groups of pupils at risk. The study noted that
         “students from non-national or Traveller backgrounds report more transition difficulties than
         other students”. It provides a number of suggestions for successful transfer, including the
         creation of a comprehensive integration “package” presented in a positive, informal climate.
         Such a package could include open days, greater pre entry contact with the pupils and their
         parents, post-primary personnel visiting feeder primary schools, an induction day, liaison
         between primary and post-primary schools on the transfer of relevant educational information,
         an information module for sixth-class pupils that would provide information on post-primary
         schools, the involvement in extracurricular activities and pastoral care of first-year class tutors or
         year head involved with helping pupils to settle in, and a pupil mentoring system.

         In 2008, 2,874 Traveller pupils were enrolled in post-primary schools. Most Traveller pupils
         remain in post-primary schools for one to three years, and the majority of these are participating
         in the junior cycle. By the age of sixteen most young Travellers have left mainstream post-
         primary education, with only a small minority progressing to the senior cycle. This national
         trend is mirrored in County Limerick.




         TRAVELLER PUPIL POST-PRIMARY SCHOOL CENSUS RETURNS 2008 - 2009
                                          Total
                                          Traveller
                    Number of Post        Pupils
                    Primary Schools       enrolled
                    with Traveller        Post
                    pupils enrolled       Primary                                            Year
Local Authority     September 2008        Sept 2008        Year 1      Year 2      Year 3    4/TY       Year 5       Year 6
Limerick City                       8               53          20          14          11          1            5         2
Limerick County                    10               78          28          25          12          0            3        10

National Totals                     362            2874         910         836       631       118         220           159

         Table 6: Traveller Pupil Post-Primary School Census Returns 2008 - 2009

                                                                                                                     28
The Department of Education and Skills’ Survey of Traveller Education Provision (published in
May 2006) found that many Traveller parents want their children to benefit from a good
education, achieve good grades in state examinations, and get meaningful and sustainable
employment. However, the survey found that some parents are concerned that:

      they do not understand the complexity of the post-primary system
      their children are dropping out easily
      the system seems to be more suited to girls than boys, and they would therefore like
       more practical subjects
      their children are progressing poorly with literacy and numeracy, and some were not
       learning Irish.

The survey also found that some Traveller parents:

      do not value post-primary education very highly, as traditionally in Traveller culture boys
       are expected to adopt full adult male roles and responsibilities early in adolescence

      believe that barriers to their own advancement have been created because of their own
       limited education, problems with literacy and numeracy, and, for some, their nomadic
       life-style

      such a background can affect their ability to read school brochures, notes and other
       communication from schools and to support their children with their homework

       find it difficult, for a variety of reasons, to approach their local post-primary school to
        enrol their children.
Addressing the core issues of attendance and attainment at the primary level is essential to
providing Traveller pupils entering post-primary school with a strong foundation for successful
participation, attainment and retention throughout the post-primary years.

During the period of the first Interagency Traveller Plan significant progress was achieved in the
establishment of School Completion Programmes in West and East Limerick, providing
additional support such as attendance tracking and monitoring, breakfast and homework clubs
and in-school activities, Home School Community Liaison.

Progress through the retention of Traveller girls to the completion of Leaving Certificate
Applied and Leaving Certificate standard has been significant. However the retention of
Traveller boys remains a challenge.


Lifelong Learning




                                                                                                29
Through its lifelong education services County Limerick VEC support the Adult Traveller
Population. The Adult Literacy service provided literacy and numeracy training to individuals
and groups.
The Back to Education Programme between 2005 and 2009 had a significant focus on Traveller
women with Traveller specific programmes operating in Abbeyfeale, Askeaton, Kilmallock,
Newcastle West and Rathkeale. These programmes provide FETAC certification at level 3 in the
National Qualification Framework and anecdotal evidence shows increased interest in their
children’s education with a number of participants progressing to further education and
training.
Senior Traveller Training Centres in Abbeyfeale and Rathkeale as part of the Traveller Education
Strategy had places reduced from 42 to 36 in academic year 2009/2010. Further cuts in training
places for the academic year 2010/2011 to 26 are in line with the integration and
mainstreaming strategy of the Department of Education and Skills.
There are credit-earning courses (metalwork and woodwork) in place at Limerick Institute of
Technology, 16 Traveller men completed these courses in 2009.
The University of Limerick delivers a leadership programme for Traveller Adults geared toward
community relations, educational ACCESS, equality, history and culture. Working with Limerick
Institute of Technology and Mary Immaculate College, UL plans to expand its credit earning
activities for Traveller Men. It will also facilitate attendance in selected First Year modules for
those designated by the Traveller women’s groups at Abbeyfeale and Rathkeale as interested in
pursuing education further. It will continue to host the regular meetings for the City Environs
Sub-County Structure. Lastly, UL will continue its engagement with 10 local SMEs (Small and
Medium-sized Enterprises) in an effort to create employment opportunities and exposure to the
workplace for Travellers. In all of these activities, the University will avail of the collaborative
process so that all of the agencies associated with the Strategy will have been engaged with
collectively.
Community Initiatives
Ballyhoura Development (BDL) the local development company covering South and East County
Limerick and North East County Cork.
There are a small number of pockets of settled Travellers in a number of the local authority
housing estates where BDL has been active in trying to establish Residents’ Committees;
engagement with Travellers has focussed principally on building relationships with these
families and on facilitating them to engage in broader community activities. Community
profiles were compiled for 2 local authority housing estates in Kilmallock – Radharc na Cille and
Riverview – where there is a relatively high Traveller population. Resulting from this, a number
of priorities have been identified for the coming years:
    - Mechanisms for building relationships with male Travellers;
    - ‘Soft’ skills based training needs for female Travellers to build self-confidence and to
        enable them to participate more fully in community activities;
    - Need to identify key individuals within the Traveller community to lead initiatives
        involving Travellers and to represent Travellers interests and concerns.
West Limerick Resources (WLR) is the Local Development Company servicing the greater West
Limerick area. Over the course of the previous interagency Traveller Plan, through the various
programmes and supports that the company administers there has been high level of
                                                                                                 30
engagement with the Traveller Community in the West Limerick area particularly in the
Newcastle West, Abbeyfeale, Rathkeale and Askeaton areas. In particular, the Abbeyfeale and
Newcastle West Family Support Projects funded by WLR and HSE continue to successfully
encourage integrated groups with Travellers on the ground.

There has been considerable effort made in Rathkeale to engage with the community to look at
the development of the town and inter community relations. The recent designation of
Rathkeale under RAPID is expected to present further opportunities to progress this initiative
over the course of this new Strategy.

A further significant development has been the agreement between West Limerick Resources
and the HSE to roll out a Primary Health Care Programme in West Limerick. This will involve
West Limerick Resources employing up to 9 Traveller women to deliver Primary Health Care
Services, commencing in September 2010. It is anticipated that this will compliment the existing
West Limerick Resources activities, while also making a significant contribution to progressing
the four themes of this Strategy.

An Garda Síochána in Limerick has appointed liaison Gardaí to deal with specific issues relating
to the Traveller community. Liaison Gardaí are available to speak and advise Travellers on any
issues that concern them and to provide all the Garda services available to help improve their
quality if life. Gardaí are in constant contact with members of the Traveller community and
endeavour to encourage them to avail of these services.
Meetings, both formal and informal, are arranged on a regular basis between Gardaí and
Travellers thus improving communication and contact between both parties.

Traveller Economy

There are no specific statistics on employment of Travellers in County Limerick, however, local
evidence suggests low participation in training and mainstream employment.

A Traveller economy exists within the Traveller community in the County although there is some
evidence that the more traditional Traveller economy such as horse dealing, scrap etc., is not as
strong as previously.

Key challenges faced by the Interagency Traveller Steering Committee in progressing Travellers
from education into employment in County Limerick will require proactive measures. One of
these measures will be the establishment of a Traveller Enterprise and Employment company.
The lead agency for this action is FÁS, the national Training and Employment Authority. FÁS
provides funding for a Traveller Enterprise Worker through the Special Initiative for Traveller
Programme to support Job Ready Travellers to access employment, enterprise development and
training. This Enterprise Worker will be tasked with identifying suitable employment
opportunities for Travellers. Other agencies involved in this initiative are the University of
Limerick and the Department of Social Protection.

The Department of Social Protection also funds programmes to support families and to
encourage individuals to participate in the workforce. This funding can be aimed at
programmes designed to tackle needs identified in the Traveller community.

                                                                                              31
32
                       STRATEGIC THEMES
                     AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES

There are four main themes in this Strategy:
        Participation & Capacity Building
        Education
        Training & Employment
        Accommodation & Community; Health & Wellbeing

The guiding principles underpinning these themes are:-

1.       Best practice, drawn from both local and national experiences.
2.       A commitment to partnership and participation by all agencies and organisations that
         have a range of expertise and strengths.
3.       A pro active role and responsibility for successful implementation, on the part of all
         stakeholders.
4.       Consultation on all aspects of the implementation of this Strategy.
5.       Equality of access to opportunity and services.
6.       Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of all actions.
6.       Achieve value for money.
7.       All the actions contained in this plan will represent a collaboration of two or more
         agencies


The Limerick County Interagency Traveller Steering Committee reserves the right to review and
amend the actions outlined in this Strategy.
Services and/or activities may be added or withdrawn, following a review process, in the
absence of active participation of the target group or service provider.




                                                                                            33
                                ACTION PLAN - STRATEGIC THEMES



1. Key Theme – Health & Wellbeing

In the preparation of this Strategy the issue of Traveller health has been highlighted as being of immense importance. As stated in the All
Ireland Traveller Health Study (2007 - 2010), the Traveller population experiences a level of health which falls far short of that enjoyed by the
general population. The health problems of Travellers are closely linked to the social determinants of health. 28% of Traveller Families
experienced difficulty in reading. Life expectancy is 15 years less for men and 11 years less for women than the general population. Concerns
on Traveller health must take into account the needs of Travellers to have appropriate access to healthcare services that are delivered in a
culturally sensitive manner.

Increased involvement of Travellers in the delivery of services is considered crucial to bridge the gap between the Traveller community and
health service providers and in the future increased involvement of Travellers will be facilitated in particular by the training and employment
of Travellers in the area of primary health care.

The actions in this part of the Strategy seek to improve the health and wellbeing of Travellers.




                                                                                                                                              34
No.    Outcome                  Action                           Lead             Timeframe   Resources Required      Indicator
                                                                 Organisation/
                                                                 Partner
1.1    Increase                 Develop a programme to           H.S.E.           Commenced                           Level of participation of
       participation of         promote positive mental          U.L.             2010        HSE Funding             all age groups in
       Travellers in local      health amongst Travellers        FÁS                                                  appropriate components
       activities that          (initially as pilot project in   V.E.C.                       Involvement of          of project
       promote mental           Kilmallock but transfer          L.C.C.                       Service Providers and
       well being               learning across other            Ballyhoura                   Travellers              Evaluation of the project
                                areas of Co. Limerick)           Development
                                                                 CLLSP                        Facility/Materials
                                                                                              (project dependant)

1.2    Increase in usage        Employ Traveller Women           H.S.E.           Commenced   HSE Funding             No. of families that will
       of Health                from the Primary Health          West Limerick    2010                                engage with this service
       Services by the          Programme as                     Resources
       Traveller                Community Health                                              Personnel from
       community in             Workers for the Traveller                                     various agencies to
       West Limerick.           Community in West                                             participate in a
                                Limerick                                                      Steering Group


1.3    Increase the             Deliver FETAC module             VEC              Commenced   Facility                No. of Members of the
       skills of Traveller      on drugs awareness and           HSE              2010        Tutor                   Traveller Community
       parents in               prevention – (possibly) in       Local services               Support funding from    that attend this Training
       relation to Drug         West Limerick.                   WLR                          Drugs Task force
       Awareness &                                               Foróige
       Prevention                                                Garda Youth
                                                                 Diversion
                                                                 Project
                                                                 Limerick Youth
                                                                 Services

Table 7: Priority Actions – Health & Wellbeing




                                                                                                                                             35
2. Key Theme – Accommodation & Community
The provision of well designed and well managed accommodation for Travellers is one of this Strategy’s key aims. Achieving a quality standard
of accommodation is key to Travellers realising their full potential. It is an objective of this Strategy for Traveller families who have been
accommodated are not only living in new houses / halting sites but are living in and feel part of the community in which they live. The focus to
date on Traveller accommodation provision has been the delivery of accommodation units which has been progressed significantly during the
period of the previous Strategy. A key action in this Strategy is tenancy support and community sustainment to assist Travellers to participate
positively in their communities.
No.   Outcome             Action                       Lead              Timeframe              Resources             Indicator
                                                       Organisation/                            Required
                                                       Partner
2.1   Increased           Meet with all residents in   L.CC.             December 2011          Funding for a         No of Resident
      participation by    estates with a Traveller     Focus Ireland.                           project Worker for    Associations formed in
      Travellers          population.                  HSE                                      2 yrs.                Local Authority estates
      residing in Local                                An Garda                                 (Funding              with a Travellers
      Authority           Promote the concept and      Siochana                                 secured).             Population.
      accommodation       benefits of inclusive        Local
      in their            residents associations.      Development                              Training              No of Travellers who are
      estates/accomm                                   Companies.                               Resources.            members on Residents
      odation             Invite all residents to an   County Limerick                                                Associations.
      schemes.            information meeting.         Local Sports                             Office
                                                       Partnership.                             space/equipment       No of estate based
      Improved            Establish a steering         F.A.I.                                   etc.                  activities initiated by the
      understanding       Group to work on the         Development                                                    Resident Associations.
      and                 development of a             Officer.                                 Venues for
      relationships       Residents Association.       Limerick Youth                           meetings.
      between                                          Service.
      Travellers and      Provide specific supports                                             Expertise and
      non-travellers in   for Travellers as part of                                             supervision time
      Local Authority     the process.                                                          of the LCC
      estates.                                                                                  Housing Services
                          Provide Training                                                      Officer.
                          Agree an
                                                                                                Professional time
                          election/nomination
                                                                                                from appropriate
                          process for a new
                                                                                                personnel in other
                          Residents Association.
                                                                                                agencies.

No.   Outcome             Action                       Lead              Timeframe              Resources             Indicator
                                                       Organisation/                            Required
                                                                                                                                               36
                           Partner

Establish a Residents
Committee in the
identified estates.
Inform established
Resident Associations of
available resources.

Develop an information
brochure on available
resources and supports
for resident groups.

Support Resident
Associations to develop
relationships with other
agencies/community
groups.

Engage other service
providers in specific
activities.




                                     37
No.      Outcome              Action                          Lead            Timeframe         Resources            Indicator
                                                              Organisation/                    Required
                                                              Partner

2.2      Develop              Each Interagency Sub-           Interagency     To commence in   Meeting rooms.        No of participants on
         improved             County Structures to            Sub-County      Jan 2011.                              the group
         community            identify a specific project     Structures’                      Facilitator/s.        -Traveller
         relationships        that representatives of         Chairpersons.                                          - Non Traveller.
         between              the Traveller sector and                                         Project materials
         members of the       non Traveller sector            Local                            dependent on          No of tasks/projects
         settled and          could undertake                 Development                      project undertaken.   initiated.
         Traveller            together.                       Companies.
         communities in                                                                        Insurance cover.      No of tasks/projects
         County Limerick                                      *Dependent on                                          completed.
                              Liaise with Local               the agreed
                              Community Councils,             project.                         Professional time     Participation of
                              local groups and local                                           from appropriate      appropriate
                              sports organisations and                                         personnel in other    agencies/organisations
                              local Travellers.                                                agencies              in the projects.

                              Assist in organising an
                              initial meeting.

                              Engage a facilitator to
                              work with the group.

                               Share experience and
                              showcase projects.




      Table 8: Priority Actions – Accommodation & Community



                                                                                                                                       38
3. Key Theme – Education, Training & Employment


The Department of Education and Skills and Co. Limerick VEC is fully committed to ensuring that Travellers receive a high quality,
integrated education from early childhood to lifelong learning that, as described in the department’s mission statement, will enable
individuals to achieve their full potential and to participate fully as members of society, and contribute to Ireland’s social, cultural and
economic development.

The objectives address the development of progression opportunities from school such as employment and third level education. The
University of Limerick, FÁS and local development companies are key partners in developing such opportunities.

Overall Objectives for the education training and employment actions are:
 Supporting Traveller parents to be more active in the role of primary educations
 Adding value to existing initiatives such as school completion, homework clubs and disadvantaged youth projects.
 Increasing collaboration between the various education providers through the local area Sub-County Structures to improve
   outcomes for Traveller students
 Develop a pilot initiative to increase engagement with Traveller Males through a skills and education programme
 Support Traveller Enterprise through a special FÁS initiative
 Establish an education sub-group to encourage collaboration, networking, ongoing monitoring and evaluation of educational
   initiatives.




                                                                                                                                         39
No.       Outcome                     Action                    Lead         Timeframe   Resources Required              Indicator
                                                           Organisation/
                                                               Partner
3.1   Improved literacy        Map the Traveller         Adult Literacy     2010           Data from the        Numbers of mothers and
      levels of Traveller       children who are          Service, HSE,                      Department of        young parents engaged
      Mothers                   starting pre-school in    Childcare                          Education and        Number of parenting
                                various locations         providers, VTST                    Skills               programmes
                               Target mothers/           Local                             Resources for
                                young parents with        Development                        programmes           Number of family
                                literacy and parental     Companies                                               learning programmes
                                programmes
                               Provision of                                                                      Track school attendance
                                programmes for                                                                    records of participants
                                parents in                                                                        children
                                understanding
                                education system and
                                role of parents
                               Family learning
                                initiatives for example
                                baby incredible years
                               Development of
                                integrated lifelong
                                learning centres and
                                programmes in
                                Rathkeale &
                                Abbeyfeale
3.2   Increased                Active involvement of     Chairs of the      2010           Active               Number of initiatives
      collaboration             local schools in the      Sub-County                         involvement of all   identified and
      between primary           area sub-groups           Structures,                        education            implemented
      and post primary         Development of            VTST, Schools,                     partners             Impact on transfer,
      schools in                initiatives to improve    VEC, youth                        Sharing of           retention and
      supporting                transfer, retention and   service                            information          progression
      Travellers in             progression in each       providers, Local                  Resources
      education                 area Sub-County           Dev.Companies
                                Structure
No.       Outcome                       Action                 Lead          Timeframe   Resources Required              Indicator



                                                                                                                                  40
                                                                Organisation/
                                                                  Partner
3.3    Develop a pilot           Choose location                               2011      Local Training      Number of Male
       programme for             Develop programme            VEC/FÁS                     Initiative          Travellers Engaged
       Traveller Men              based on Traveller           Local                      Location
       with a skills and          interest                     Development                Education and
       education focus           Implement                    Companies,                  Training
                                  programme                    D/SP                        Personnel
                                 Monitor, review and
                                  evaluate

3.4    Establish                 Prepare application                           2011      Funding from        Number of Travellers
       Traveller                  for national                 FÁS                         National            supported
       Enterprise and             programme                    U.L.                        Programme           Number in employment
       Employment                Appoint co-ordinator         D.S.P.                     Identification of
       company                   Target employment                                        targeted
                                  ready Travellers                                         individuals
                                 Engagement with                                         Identification of
                                  potential employers                                      potential
                                                                                           employment
                                                                                           opportunities

3.5    Create an                     Biannual meeting of      D.E.S.           2011      Attendance at       Monitoring of indicators
       Education sub-                 educational personnel    VEC                         meetings            as outlined above
       group to monitor               to review                VTST                       Sharing of
       implementation of              implementation of                                    statistics
       education                      education actions
       actions.                   Networking of relevant
                                      personnel
                                  Identification of
                                      training and support
                                      needs
                                  Revision of actions
                                      based on key
                                      indicator outcomes
Table 9: Priority Actions – Education, Training & Employment




                                                                                                                               41
4. Key Theme – Participation & Capacity Building

Traveller participation and representation are of crucial importance to the effective functioning of Interagency Traveller groups, which
in turn leads to enhanced participation on broad community and other representative structures.

The main objective of this element of the Strategy is to facilitate and develop appropriate mechanisms for increased participation by
Travellers in the development and implementation of agreed actions which aim to achieve long-term, sustainable improvement in the
quality of life of Travellers in County Limerick.

Active participation by both Travellers and local and statutory agencies in the initiatives outlined in this Strategy document is a pre-
requisite for the successful and sustainable implementation of this Strategy. The actions outlined in this section focus on increasing and
enhancing participation by:

      Creation and interagency funding of a dedicated post to work exclusively with Travellers throughout County Limerick to
       facilitate them to identify appropriate representative structures. It is anticipated that this post would be funded for an initial
       period of 1 year and that work undertaken in year 1 would focus on:
       -        Extensive consultations and meetings with individual Travellers and local Traveller families and groups;
       -        Establishing contacts with key agencies and nurturing buy-in to the long-term objectives of participation;
       -        Facilitation of a series of locally-based working groups of Travellers to enable them to identify how best they
                can actively participate in the development of their environments;
       -        Preparation and presentation of a comprehensive Action Plan, based on these consultations, both to the
              Traveller community and to the partners of the Interagency Traveller Steering Committee;
       -        Delivery of an achievable set of recommendations to establish appropriate representative structures, over the life of this
       Strategy document, with the active and willing participation of the Traveller community.
       If appropriate, and depending on the outcomes of the initial 12 month post, further funding may be required and sought to
       prolong the employment of an individual to facilitate the implementation of the recommendations.

      Requesting all partner agencies to nominate a representative to participate in the Sub-County Structures’ meetings and to play
       an active role in the implementation of actions agreed by the Sub-County Structures. Nomination of 1 individual from each
       agency, in each Sub-County Structure area, will ensure that each agency has a meaningful overview of the actions identified for
       each geographical area and will be able to participate more actively in the delivery of agreed actions.




                                                                                                                                       42
                                                     Lead Organisation /
No.       Outcome                 Action                    Partner        Timeframe     Resources Required               Indicator/s
                                                        Organisations
4.1   Travellers have        Employ one            Ballyhoura             Spring 2011      Funding for initial        Funding secured;
      an opportunity to       person, through       Development / West                       12 month contract          Person
      determine               multi-agency          Limerick Resources;                      period;                     employed;
      representative          funding, to work      Limerick County                         Funding of post, if        Contacts made;
      structures              with and facilitate   Council;                                 necessary, to              Number of formal
      appropriate to          Travellers to                                                  implement                   and informal
      their needs.            identify              All agencies                             recommendations             meetings held;
                              representative                                                 and actions                Action Plan and
                              structures                                                     identified in year 1;       implementation
                              appropriate to                                                Employer/ sponsor           plan for Traveller
                              their needs                                                    agency;                     Representation.
                                                                                            Steering
                                                                                             Committee;
                                                                                            Venues for
                                                                                             meetings;
                                                                                             Commitment from
                                                                                             partner agencies.
4.2   Sustained and       Ensure that               Chairs of Sub-County   Immediate        Time                    Attendance and
      sustainable local   nominated Traveller       Structures;            & ongoing                                 participation of
      actions agreed      representatives and       All agencies                                                     nominated
      and delivered for   representatives of all                                                                     representatives at
      Travellers          agencies which are                                                                         sub-group meetings;
                          signatories to this                                                                        Delivery of agreed
                          Strategy actively                                                                          actions in each area
                          participate in all 4                                                                       Sub-County
                          Sub-County                                                                                 Structure.
                          Structures                                                                                 Frequency of Sub-
                                                                                                                     County Structure
                                                                                                                     Meetings



                                                                                                                                  43
                                                                   Lead Organisation /
No.          Outcome                       Action                       Partner          Timeframe   Resources Required              Indicator/s
                                                                     Organisations




4.3     Ongoing                  Provide Training on Limerick County                     Immediate      Dedicated nominee      Comprehensive data
        Monitoring on the        the I.T. Tracking Council                               & ongoing       from each agency       collected on actions.
        progress of the          System                                                                  for training and use
        Actions.                                      Signatory agencies to                              of Tracking System     Regular updates for
                                 To report, using the this Strategy                                                             Steering Committee
                                 I.T. based Tracking
                                 System,     on     a                                                                           Six monthly report to
                                 quarterly basis on                                                                             the C.D.B.
                                 progress.

                                 Six monthly report to
                                 C.D.B.                                                                                         Agreed format for
                                                                                                                                dissemination of
                                 Disseminate                                                                                    information to the
                                 information to the                                                                             Traveller Community
                                 Traveller Community



Table 10: Priority Actions – Participation and Capacity Building




                                                                                                                                             44
              CHALLENGES AND BARRIERS

It is acknowledged at National level that interagency groups, in implementing the 2005-
2009 Interagency Traveller plans, made advances in relation to a number of Traveller
issues. The variance in the rate of progress relates to the degree of engagement by
agencies and Travellers, lack of policy or funding and in some cases a lack of vision. In the
current economic climate it is recognised that there is a greater challenge to delivering
any local strategy. Interagency working is more important than ever in these
circumstances. The barriers and challenges identified in the preparation of the Strategy
are as follows:
 Reduced Resources/Moratorium on Recruitment in Public Sector
    Leadership is needed to support agencies in developing shared initiatives for the
    delivery of services to Travellers. Every effort will be made to maximise the use of
    existing resources for Traveller initiatives that extend beyond familiar boundaries. In
    addition, Traveller specific funding will be sought within the timeframe for
    implementing this Strategy to enhance services for members of the Traveller
    community at a local level.
 Progression of Travellers in the School System
    In devising this Strategy, specific actions will be implemented to improve transfer,
    retention and progression of Travellers within the education structure.
   Lack of Employment Opportunities
    Among the key actions included in this Strategy is the objective of establishing a
    Traveller enterprise and employment company to assist Travellers to establish
    enterprises or gain appropriate work opportunities. The key issues to be considered
    are as follows:
           Travellers interest in successfully accessing employment
           The lack of recognised skills and low levels of education among Travellers
           Discrimination in the market place
 Lack of awareness and engagement by the Traveller Community in family support
  services.
    Traditionally there has been a low level of awareness and engagement by the Traveller
    Community with family support services. Every effort will be made to raise awareness
    of the wide range of services available to the Traveller Community to facilitate a higher
    level of engagement.


 Conflict resolution in areas where there has been conflict



                                                                                          45
   In the last five years there have been incidences where conflict has arisen between
   families/family groupings, which have caused issues for the delivery and accessing of
   services and have impacted on Traveller representation.


 Incidences of Criminality
   Unfortunately there have been incidences of criminality within the Traveller
   Community which have impacted negatively on:
          The reputation of Travellers
          Travellers as victims of crime
          The delivery of services
          Community relations


 Community Relations - Level of engagement with Traveller population
   There is currently no representative structure for Travellers in County Limerick.
   There are a number of actions in this Strategy aimed at improving community relations
   and Traveller participation. The actions outlined under the Themes –
   -   Participation & Capacity Building (Key theme No. 4)
   -   Accommodation and Community (Key theme No. 2)
   will lead to enhanced participation of Travellers on broad community and other
   representative structures.
   The representatives of all organisations on the Limerick County Interagency Traveller
   Steering Committee and Traveller representatives will work collectively alongside
   leadership at local, political, civic and community level and Traveller “champions” to
   achieve better relations between the Traveller community and settled community.




       IMPLEMENTATION, MONITORING &
               EVALUATION


                                                                                       46
The Strategy has been developed by the Interagency Traveller Steering Committee in
which organisations will either play a role as a lead organisation or a supporting role. It is
anticipated that this Strategy will generate a range of positive outcomes leading to an
improvement to the quality of life of Travellers in County Limerick. In order to achieve
effective implementation, it is considered important that each organisation incorporates
the elements of this Strategy into their own strategic planning processes.

Each agency will be required to report, using the I.T. based Tracking System, on progress
made to address actions for which it has either a leading or supporting role. This report
will be required in advance of the quarterly Steering Committee meetings of the
Interagency Group.

Overall responsibility for the implementation of the Strategy rests with the County
Development Board. A report will be furnished to the County Development Board within
6 months. In addition an Annual Interagency Seminar will be held to review the progress
of the Strategy.

Progress in relation to the implementation of the Strategy will be monitored at a national
level, via the Department of Justice, Equality & Law Reform which reports in turn to the
Cabinet Committee on Social Inclusion, chaired by An Taoiseach.




                                                                                           47
Commitment
We the undersigned on behalf of our respective organisations hereby
undertake to participate in the implementation of the Limerick County
Interagency Traveller Strategy and commit that any actions in respect of
which our organisations are jointly or wholly responsible will be delivered in
partnership with our co-signatories.


                        Ballyhoura Development Ltd.
                                                      _________________________

                         Department of Education &
                                  Skills
                                                      _________________________



                                   FÁS                _________________________




                              Garda Siochana
                                                      _________________________




                          Health Service Executive
                                                      _________________________



                          Limerick County Council
                                                      _________________________




                                                                           48
 Department of Social
     Protection
                          _________________________



 University of Limerick
                          _________________________




         VEC
                          _________________________




West Limerick Resources
                          _________________________




                                            49
Appendix 1
Membership of County Limerick Interagency Traveller Steering Committee

Chairperson:
Ms. Josephine Cotter-Coughlan, Director of Services, Limerick County Development Board

Members:

Local Government
Mr. Jimmy Feane, Director of Housing, Limerick County Council
Mr. Seamus O’Connor, Limerick County Council
State Agencies
Mr. Peter Clifford, FÁS
Ms. Bernadette Cullen, County Limerick VEC
Mr. John Heneghan, University of Limerick
Ms. Mary Kennedy, H.S.E. – West
Mr. Frank McGlynn, Department of Social & Protection
Ms. Norrie O’Connell, Department of Education & Science, Visiting Teacher Service for
Travellers
Sgt. Seamus O’Neill, An Garda Siochana
Mr. Gerard Quirke, Dept. of Education & Science
Inspector Seamus Ruane, An Garda Siochana
Local Development
Mr. Shay Riordan, West Limerick Resources
Ms. Catherine Smyth, Ballyhoura Development Ltd.
Traveller Representatives:
Ms. Mary Harte, Newcastle West / Abbeyfeale
Ms. Noreen O’Reilly, Kilmallock / East Limerick
Ms. Olive O’Reilly, Castletroy / City Environs
Ms. Bridget Quilligan, Askeaton / Rathkeale




                                                                                        50
Appendix 2


Glossary of Abbreviations
AITHSS        All Ireland Traveller Health Status Study
BDL           Ballyhoura Development Limited
BTEI          Back to Education Initiative
CDB           County Development Board
CLLSP         County Limerick Local Sports Partnership
DES           Department of Education and Skills
DJELR         Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform
DSP           Department of Social Protection
ECCE          Early Childhood Care and Education
FAI           Football Association of Ireland
HLG           High Level Group
HSE           Health Service Executive
LCA           Leaving Certificate Applied
LCC           Limerick County Council
LTACC         Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee
LTI           Local Training Initiative
LYS           Limerick Youth Service
NCCA          National Council for Curriculum and Assessment
NDP           National Development Plan
PHCP          Primary Health Care Programme
RAPID AIT     Revitalising Areas by Planning, Investment and Development, Area Implementation Team
RAS           Rental Assistance Scheme
SIM           Social Inclusion Measures
SIT           Special Initiative for Travellers
SME           Small and Medium Enterprise
STTC          Senior Traveller Training Centre
THU           Traveller Health Units
UL            University of Limerick
VEC           County Limerick VEC
VTST          Visiting Teacher Service for Travellers
VTT           Visiting Teacher for Travellers
WLR           West Limerick Resources




                                                                                  51

				
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