In accordance with the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998, housing authorities have statutory responsibility for the assessment of the accommodation needs of Travellers and the preparation, adoption and implementation of multi-annual Traveller Accommodation Programmes (TAPs) in their areas. My Department’s role is to ensure that there are adequate structures and supports in place to assist the authorities in providing such accommodation, including a national framework of policy, legislation and funding.
In general, local authorities are responsible for the management and maintenance of Traveller accommodation in their areas and my Department does not have a role in the operational running of individual sites. However, following the tragic loss of life in Carrickmines, County Dublin on 10 October 2015, my Department’s National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM) was tasked with developing and overseeing a programme to review and enhance Fire Safety in local authority provided Traveller accommodation. The programme was undertaken in association with Traveller representative groups. As part of the review process, a working draft of a “Guide to Fire Safety in Existing Traveller Accommodation” was developed. The process of formal approval of the draft document for publication as national guidance was recently completed and the document is being prepared for publication. My Department will be writing to bring the updated document to the attention of all local authorities and advising on the use of this document, as the basis for fire safety requirements in all Traveller accommodation.