Travelling Community Accounts for Half of Galway Homeless

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According to a newly published report, half of Galway's homeless come from the travelling community.

The report from the Galway Traveller Movement found that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on members of the community in the county and across Ireland.

The findings show that members of the travelling community account for 50% of Galway's homeless figures and that 83% of travellers are unemployed. The suicide rate among the community was revealed to be six times higher than the population average. Only 1% of travellers enter third level education. Life expectancy was found to be 10 years lower than the Irish average.

63% of travellers claim to have been subjected to racism and discrimination. Martin Ward, Joint Co-ordinator of GTM, said racism is "lethal to the Traveller community."

The pandemic was found to pose extra problems for the travelling community, with many finding it impossible to self-isolate. Many lacked access to running water and electricity, while only 41% of families in the community had the internet access and computers required for their children to complete schoolwork during lockdown.

"Covid-19 exposed the fragility of Traveller life and health," said GTM's Joanna Corcoran. "It exposed how much we all rely on having safe, dry, warm homes and what happens when they don’t exist."

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