New national Traveller survey shows little change for lives in 17 years
2017-10-15 05:58:53 -

Life satisfaction in Ireland for Travellers is worse than 17 years ago, according to a new study into the attitudes of the Traveller community nationwide. 


The survey by Behaviour & Attitudes — only the second ever conducted nationally — queried Travellers about their views on health, identity, accommodation, employment, education, culture and relations with settled people.


Among their main concerns was mental health, with an overwhelming 90 per cent in agreement that mental health issues are common within the community.


Some 82 per cent of Travellers have been affected by suicide, while 44 percent of those affected in their immediate family have also experienced suicide in their wider family.


Discrimination is also a hot button issue, with more than three-quarters (77%) saying they experienced discrimination in the previous 12 months.


Gardaí were alleged in the majority of these reports (70%), followed by pub staff (53%), hotel staff (51%), shop workers (45%) and nightclub staff (43%). 

Almost two-fifths (39%) also claimed discrimination from housing authorities.


A similar number (40%) indicated that they or their children had been bullied at school due to their Traveller identity, while more than half (52%) said they had faced obstacles when job-seeking.


Overall, those surveyed believed the vast majority of the Traveller community adapt the way they present themselves to ‘fit in more’ when working or looking for work (92%), when at school or college (83%), when accessing goods and services (80%) or interacting with their local community (79%).


Only 60 per cent of Travellers surveyed classify themselves as being ‘satisfied with life in general in Ireland’, compared with 71 per cent in the previous national poll in 2000. 


A simultaneous barometer survey of settled Irish this year found that only three in 10 had positive feelings about Travellers - though nearly three-quarters (73%) agree that Travellers should receive support to access education.


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