The Government is committed to improving the quality of life of members of the Travelling community. As the Deputy will be aware, In June 2017, the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy 2017 – 2021 (NTRIS) was published. The Strategy represents a whole of Government approach to bring about meaningful change and progress for the Traveller and Roma community in Ireland. It brings Government Departments and Agencies together along with representatives of both Traveller and Roma communities to bring a focus to the issues which affect them most in a structured way. I chair the quarterly meetings of the NTRIS Steering Group, which held its most recent meeting on Wednesday 16 October, 2019.
My Department has allocated €3.9m in funding in 2020 to support a range of Traveller and Roma projects including the provision of core funding to both local and national representative groups.
In 2019, recipients of Department funding to Traveller projects and NGOs included the Traveller counselling service and an education pilot. The Traveller mediation service was approved funding of €250,000 from the Dormant Accounts Fund. Some €25,000 was allocated from the budget to fund the Traveller Pride awards and concert event. The education pilot received €350,000 funding for 2019. The special initiative for Travellers has seven locations around Ireland and overall funding for these projects in 2019 was €410,000.
While the Department of Justice and Equality is not currently providing funding for specific supports for the Traveller community in Balbriggan and there are no additional supports or investment planned at this time, my Department is considering the possibility of running Open Calls for funding equality programmes in the future.