Donegal Travellers Project says stop now!!! Prejudice hurts and damages

Donegal Youth Service stand in solidarity with the Donegal Travellers Project, and the Traveller Community  against these prejudiced comments.  Please see their press release below:

“Donegal Travellers Project are calling today to an end to all the negative comments being made regarding the Traveller community by Peter Casey and others.

The organisation is a partnership of Travellers and settled community all of who are professionals working to address the issues which impact on the lives of the Traveller community here in the county and nationally. We campaign to build positive relationships between all communities in the county and promote trust, respect and equality.

The society we see ourselves living in Donegal is a place of “care” of 400 plus community groups! A place we pride community as we move more and more towards a county of positive inclusive relationships! We need a Donegal where our children and young people are proud to stay because we care not a place of division, exclusion prejudice and isolation but a place of inclusion equality happiness.

DTP believed we are working on building an inclusive Donegal. We set out daily to address the challenges experienced by Travellers! We work in solidarity with BME communities, the Roma community and community sector! Peter Casey made prejudiced comments and significant ill informed generalizations about Travellers! Yes his vote went up yes Travellers feel really hurt and upset by the statements! This was headline grabbing statements in a dull presidential campaign! It increased his vote yes, what we are left with is the hegemonies in society where you can say whatever you want about minority groups for personal gain.

Travellers in this county work to change their lives daily, 80 adults across the county attend community based education programmes weekly, 9 Travellers graduated from third level this year to date and many others have made both professional and personal positive outcomes to bring about change and a new life for their families for the future.

Hugh Friel Mens Health and Development Worker and Chair of the Social Inclusion linkage group in Donegal calls for politicians, candidates in elections and others to stop using prejudiced comments about his community to attract media attention and votes. “We are human beings who hurt like others and racism damages you for your whole life. Our children don’t need the media coverage of awful comments about our community so that they are made to feel that they are inferior or lesser than settled people.” There is complacency in the public discourse that we are immune to nasty populism and racism.

DTP calls on community groups across the county to come out and say this is a county of care and there is no place for this damaging prejudiced attitudes here in 2018! DTP is asking for your support we are county of inclusion and modernity where our hegemony is we respect for diversity!!

Contact Siobhan McLaughlin on 0861741056 or Hugh Friel on 0861453426 for further comments. “

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