Belfast Telegraph

Travellers report worsening life experiences

More than 40% of 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% said they were unemployed.

More than 80% 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% said they felt that life in general had improved for Travellers in recent years, compared with 61% 17 years ago.

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

Discrimination was experienced by 90% of Travellers surveyed.

For 70% 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% of Travellers now complete their Leaving Certificate, compared with just 2% in 2000.

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

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From Belfast Telegraph