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New Children's Minister doesn't support Traveller ethnicity

Flanagan says he doesn’t think ethnic recognition would ‘be to Travellers’ advantage’.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE NEW MINISTER for Children says that he does not believe that Travellers should be afforded ethnic status.

Speaking to The Last Word on Today FM, Charlie Flanagan said that he didn’t believe in an Ireland where people are treated differently.

“I don’t believe that it will deliver the type of improvement that is needed for the Travelling community.

“I believe that Travellers are Irish like the rest of us – some good, some not so good – I don’t believe that in a Republic it is in the best interests of society that we segregate people in to different groups; that we have one the one hand members of the travelling community, on the other hand members of the Polish community.”

Flanagan’s statements come just weeks after an Oireachtas committee said that the Minister for Justice should confirm that the country recognises Travellers as an ethnic group.

However, Flanagan says that that would go against the ‘basis of a Republic’.

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“The whole basis of a Republic is that we treat everybody exactly the same, under our law.

“I don’t believe it would be to their advantage, and I don’t support it.”

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