SINN FÉIN TD Dessie Ellis has criticised Environment Minister Phil Hogan over a report that he raised a query about a second Traveller family who were being housed in his constituency, asking if they had any dogs or horses.
The Irish Daily Mail today reported that information released to the paper shows that the Minster made the query about the family two weeks after he was informed that the McCarthy’s, another Traveller family, would not be moving into the local area.
Ellis today called on Hogan to “stop interfering in the housing of families with a legitimate housing need and get back to doing his job”.
Hogan was criticised last month when it emerged he wrote to constituents in Bonnettstown, Co Kilkenny, informing them that the family would not be moving into the property.
When the Minister was informed that another Traveller family, the Cashs’, were earmarked for the property, he reportedly raised a query in relation to horses and dogs attached to the household and was told there were none.
When contacted by TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for Minister Hogan said he had no comment to make on the report for “legal reasons”.
In a statement today, Dessie Ellis said Hogan is doing “a poor job” as Minister.
It would be a better use of Minister Hogan’s time to work on these issues, stop interfering in Kilkenny County Council’s decisions on who should be housed where, and to give up with his fixation with the traveller community. Anti-Traveller racism is a serious problem in our nation and the Minister should be more mindful of the consequence of encouraging this scourge or legitimising it.
The Sinn Féin TD said Hogan should apologise to the traveller community and its leaders.
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