Northern Ireland news

More than 40 per cent of Irish Travellers feel life has become worse for them over the past 17 years, survey finds

Nearly 500 Travellers were interviewed for the survey, carried out by market research company Behaviour and Attitudes on behalf of Traveller advocacy groups
Deborah McAleese

MORE than 40 per cent of Irish Travellers feel life has become worse for them over the past 17 years, a survey has found.

Accommodation, mental health and unemployment were singled out as areas where their negative experiences had increased.

But educational attainment had risen strongly since the last survey in 2000.

Of those questioned for the national survey of Travellers, released on Wednesday, 60 per cent said they were unemployed.

More than 80 per cent said they had been affected by suicide, with more than a quarter saying they had experienced suicide directly within their immediate family.

Nearly 500 Travellers were interviewed for the survey, carried out by market research company Behaviour and Attitudes on behalf of Traveller advocacy groups.

Compared with survey findings in 2000, only 26 per cent said they felt that life in general had improved for Travellers in recent years, compared with 61 per cent 17 years ago.

Just over 40 per cent said they felt life had become worse, compared with 19 per cent who believed that in 2000.

Discrimination was experienced by 90 per cent of Travellers surveyed.

For 70 per cent the discrimination was at the hands of gardai, according to the survey.

While educational attainment among Travellers is still much lower than the general population, the survey found that it had risen greatly.

Figures show 16 per cent of Travellers now complete their Leaving Certificate, compared with just 2 per cent in 2000.

The survey also found that 40 per cent of Travellers completed their Junior Certificate or an equivalent, compared with just 9 per cent almost two decades ago.

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