MICHÉAL MARTIN HAS said that comments made by a Fianna Fáil councillor in Donegal that Travellers should be “segregated” in a “community of their own” are not acceptable.
The party leader plans to speak with Donegal County Councillor Seán McEniff in the coming days over comments the local representative made about the Travelling community in a number of interviews including on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland on Tuesday.
“I’m very annoyed with that kind of comment. [There is] no room for that in terms of Fianna Fáil policy,” he told TheJournal.ie in an interview this week, adding that it was “wrong” and “not acceptable”.
McEniff was responding to a fire which destroyed a €230,000 social housing property in Ballyshannon that had been bought for the purposes of housing a Traveller family.
While he condemned the “unacceptable fire” McEniff argued that the house should not have been made available for the purposes of housing the Traveller family.
“I believe they should be housed in a community of their own,” he said. “It’s very unfair to put them into a very settled community for a lot of retired people… to the residents of Parkhill in Ballyshannon.”
He agreed that Traveller families should be “segregated” saying that this would not exclude them from getting “first-class housing”.
He added: “I think maybe if you consulted with the Travellers they might be happy enough to move into a community of their own as well”.
Martin said that McEniff was currently out of the country but he planned to speak to him upon his return.