Travellers will face strict restrictions on travel to and from the Republic of Ireland as part of the ongoing economic crisis.
Key points:It is understood that restrictions will be enforced from September 30th, but it is not yet clear what they will beThe Government has said it will introduce a new travel directive for the first time in over 40 years to address the impact of the economic downturnOn Friday, the Irish Traveller Travel Association said it was “deeply concerned” about the restrictions, and said they would “be a major step backwards” for the thousands of travellers who have taken advantage of the Dublin Metro.
A spokeswoman for the group said it is “deepening our sense of alarm at the level of restrictions that are now being introduced to the island”.
“We are calling on the Government to ensure the safety of all travellers and businesses, including those who are not Irish Travelled, by removing the threat of a ban or restriction from September 29,” she said.
“The Government must immediately release a new policy to address these concerns, which will ensure the safe travel of Irish Traveled people to and fro in Ireland.”
The Irish Travelling Association said in a statement that its members were “deepenedly concerned about the level and timing of the implementation of this new travel restriction”.
“This is an absolute disaster for all travellers to and through Ireland and it is a disgrace that it is being imposed now and at this time of economic distress,” it said.
The Association also called for the introduction of a new Irish Traveler Travel Directive, which it said “would allow Irish Traveeds to continue travelling, but not under the threat that a ban would be imposed, for the time being”.
“It would also allow Irish travellers to travel between the island of Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom and the Republic, and to continue doing so until a decision was made on whether or not they should be allowed to travel to other parts of the world.”
However, the spokesperson said that would be contingent on the government bringing forward legislation that would allow the new directive to take effect.
“We strongly encourage the Government and the Irish Travel Agency to work towards a new directive that would include the ability for Irish Traverers to travel in Ireland on a regular basis and with no risk of a national ban, as well as the introduction and implementation of the new travel restrictions,” she added.
On Friday morning, the Minister for Tourism, Tourism, Culture and Sport, Eamon Gilmore, confirmed that he would not be able to meet with Travellers on Friday.
“If there’s anything I can do, I will meet with the Irish community.
There will be no more meetings tomorrow,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
Mr Gilmore said that he has already met with Traveller groups in recent days, and that he hopes to meet Travellers in the coming days.
“I’m not going to be able, in my role as Minister, to meet in person with Travelled people.
I’m not even going to talk to them,” he said.
He added that he is “very, very concerned” by the number of Travellers who have expressed concerns about the proposed restrictions.
“That’s a real issue for all of us,” he added.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, said that “the Irish Travellers are not the only ones affected” by restrictions, adding that there is “an ongoing concern about a lack of control and control for Travellers”.
“I’ve had a number of conversations with Irish Traveils who have been concerned by this and the need for some type of protection,” he continued.
“There are also a number who are Travelling across the country.
On Friday evening, the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, also expressed his concern about the new restrictions.”
If they can travel freely, why are they not able to travel freely?”
On Friday evening, the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, also expressed his concern about the new restrictions.
Mr Kenny said that the Government has had a “robust” discussion with Travelling groups, and he hopes the restrictions will “work”.
“The government and the Taois will be taking these decisions with all of our stakeholders in mind,” he insisted.
“As we all know, this is a long-term project and it’s going to take some time, but we want to see it get going as quickly as possible.”
On Sunday, the Government will unveil a new tourist directive to help ease the impact on the economy of the financial crisis, which has seen the Irish economy shrink by a third.
The new directive will provide for a three-month extension of the current two-month period for Traveller travellers to stay in Ireland.
It is also expected to offer a temporary visa waiver to the thousands who have not taken advantage in the past of the temporary visa system.
The Irish Government has promised to provide a $1 billion relief package to those who have lost their jobs.