The Seanad Public Consultation Committee invites written submissions on Travellers, towards a more equitable Ireland.

The closing date for receipt of submissions is 4pm on Friday, 14 June 2019.

Background

On 1 March 2017 the Irish State formally recognised the ethnicity of Irish Travellers and in doing so ushered in a new era of mutual understanding and relations.

“I hope that today will create a new platform for positive engagement by the Traveller community and Government together in seeking sustainable solutions which are based on respect and on an honest dialogue.”

- Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, speech on recognition of Traveller ethnicity

Seanad Public Consultation Committee objectives

In light of this new period of State engagement, the Seanad Public Consultation Committee wishes to reach out to, consult with and listen to Travellers and others; to consider proposals to support Travellers’ full equality post-ethnicity; and to make recommendations on the way forward.

We openly invite members of the Irish Traveller communities, both as individuals and organisations, and any other interested parties, to put forward legislative, policy and other constructive ideas. We would like to receive views from people from across the spectrum of age, ability, gender, sexuality and geography.

The Seanad Public Consultation Committee welcomes your submissions under the two themes:

1. Traveller participation and politics…your ideas to:

  • Strengthen the political representation of Travellers locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Promote and support increased involvement of Travellers in decision making processes within the public sphere.
  • Increase the inclusion of Travellers within civil structures, governmental agencies and Departments.

2. Dialogue and Traveller social inclusion…your ideas to:

  • Foster inclusion, dialogue and relationships between Travellers and the wider community.
  • Address the stigma, prejudice, discrimination, racism, social exclusion and identity erosion experienced by Travellers.
  • Ensure accurate and fair treatment in the media.

The process

The Seanad Public Consultation Committee is particularly interested in hearing from and the views and/or experiences of:

  1. Travellers
  2. Traveller NGOs, equality bodies and civil society groups
  3. Government Departments
  4. Public bodies
  5. NGOs
  6. Public Representatives
  7. Research bodies and third-level institutions
  8. Private citizens
  9. Media

In addition, the Committee may invite witnesses to make oral presentations to the Seanad Public Consultation in public hearings.

The Seanad Public Consultation Committee will draft and publish a report in which it will make findings and recommendations.

When its report has been published, the Committee will present findings and request a debate with the Minister or relevant Ministers in the Seanad.

Submissions

Submissions should not exceed five pages and should contain the following information:

  1. The name, postal address, e-mail address and telephone number of the organisation or person making the submission;
  2. A brief introduction indicating any experience, expertise or background you may have in this area;
  3. Factual information, observations or opinions that you believe will assist the Committee in drawing conclusions;
  4. Changes that you believe need to be made to legislation or public policy.

Submissions will be circulated to all members of the Committee and may be published, in whole or in part, in the Committee’s report and/or on the Committee’s webpage. If you prefer not to have your submission published in the report or on the Committee’s website, please indicate this clearly.

The Seanad Public Consultation Committee terms of reference contain a number of conditions, set out below, which govern the content of submissions. Contributors are asked to bear these in mind:

“A submission is admissible unless it –

(a) requests the Seanad to do anything other than the Seanad have power to do;
(b) does not comply with Standing Orders or is otherwise not in proper form;
(c) contains any matter which is sub judice within the meaning of Standing Order 47;
(d) comments on, criticises or makes charges against a person outside the House or an official, either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable;
(e) contains language which is offensive or defamatory;
(f) is the same as, or in substantially similar terms to, a submission made by or on behalf of the same person or body during the lifetime of the Committee.”

Closing date

Submissions must be received by the Clerk to the Committee not later than 4pm on Friday, 14 June 2019.

How to send your submission

Please email your submission, in Microsoft Word format, to: seanadpublicconsult@oireachtas.ie.

Alternatively, you can post your submission to:

Bridget Doody,
Clerk to the Seanad Public Consultation Committee,
Seanad Office,
Leinster House,
Kildare Street,
Dublin 2.