Belfast Telegraph

Travellers' support group forced to close

By Donna Deeney

A community support group for the Traveller community in Londonderry has been forced to shut its doors due to lack of funding.

Travellers in Ballyarnet now have no early years provision, advice forum, youth club and education programme.

Martin Doherty, of the Peace and Reconciliation Group, has been asked to help broker a deal to save the group.

“Most of the funding for this group came from either the Government or a statutory body, but there is very little money available and the criteria is set very high and offers little,” he said.

Martin Stokes said the closure leaves his community without a voice. “This establishment was very helpful to the Travelling community. Any voice we had was this centre, they would have come and discussed things and told us what the next step was.”

A spokeswoman for Derry City Council said that while it was not in a position to comment on the exact circumstances around the closure of the service, it was hopeful a solution could be reached in which provision of services can be restored in some form.

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