Progress Needed on Traveller Accommodation, Hate Speech and Hate Crime

Council of Europe Report Spotlights State Action Required

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has welcomed the publication today of updated recommendations by the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) which set out that that the State needs to do more to meet its human rights obligations on the provision of appropriate accommodation for Travellers, and on delivering new hate speech and hate crime legislation.

The Council of Europe’s anti-racism body has published its report on how Ireland is responding to its 2019 recommendations.

In respect of Traveller accommodation, while welcoming some progress, today’s progress report states that “ECRI regrets that little has been done to address the structural shortcomings in the identification of the housing needs of Travellers and to ensure greater accountability in the use of the Traveller accommodation funds… Most importantly, there has been no major improvement in the accommodation conditions of Travellers”

In light of this, ECRI concludes that its recommendation has not yet been implemented.  The ECRI report also points to the Commission’s Equality Reviews of all local authorities on Traveller accommodation.

On tackling hate speech and hate crime through new legislation, ECRI concludes that while progress is being made towards having these important laws in place, their 2019 recommendation has been only partially implemented to date.

Sinéad Gibney, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission said:

ECRI is clear in this updated review of Ireland that significantly more must be done by the State to provide culturally appropriate accommodation for Travellers. Today’s Council of Europe recommendation comes on the back of the recent Supreme Court ruling in the McDonagh case on the responsibilities of Local Authorities to provide accommodation, and the persistent campaigning of Traveller men and women, It must be heard and it must result in action.

“ECRI expresses its concern that there has been no major improvement in the accommodation conditions of Travellers. We echo this as today, young children and their families continue to live in appalling, unsanitary and unsafe conditions.

Sinéad Gibney added,

“Hate crime and hate speech aim to undermine the dignity and value of a human being. They have a chilling effect on both the victim of the crime and the wider community. The Commission welcomes ECRI’s recommendations today that further progress is needed to bring new laws into force.”


The full Council of Europe Report is available at the following link:

For further information please contact:

Brian Dawson, IHREC Communications Manager,

087 0697095

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Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission 

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is an independent public body, appointed by the President and directly accountable to the Oireachtas. The Commission has a statutory remit set out under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act (2014) to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland, and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding in the State.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s national human rights institution and is recognised as such by the United Nations. The Commission is also Ireland’s national equality body for the purpose of a range of EU anti-discrimination measures.