The Clare Traveller Community Development Programme Strategic Plan 2023 – 2026 was launched in Ennis this morning by Minister for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien.

Clare Traveller CDP aims to improve living conditions, opportunities and achievement of human rights for Travellers in Clare.

This will be pursued through establishing and strengthening local alliances and, most importantly, through building effective Traveller leadership and a strong Traveller voice.

The strategy highlights the conviction that much-needed and urgent change for Travellers in Clare will come about only if Travellers themselves are at the centre of that change.

This strategy will guide the implementation of changes and improvements to the living conditions and life opportunities available to members of the Travelling community throughout County Clare over the next number of years.

Minister O’Brien said: “Community development is all about supporting and empowering communities to face current and future challenges, this is evident in abundance in the plan.”

“I welcome how clear the plan is about the size of the challenge, and the very serious issues facing members of the Traveller community in housing, living conditions, access to education and employment, the lived everyday experience of discrimination and unfortunately – the grave reality of the unacceptable levels of mental health issues affecting the Travelling community.”

“I am confident that you will in time achieve the goals set out in this plan; that is; establishing and strengthening local alliances, building effective Traveller leadership and most importantly giving Travellers in Clare that voice; the voice to help make those important decisions that affect their lives and the lives of their community”

Clare CDP was one of the projects selected for the new Community Development Programme launched in June 2021. This programme helped Clare Traveller CDP to develop community development responses to a range of social and environmental concerns, and facilitate an empowering collaborative approach to building relationships between marginalised groups and mainstream services.

Minister O’Brien concluded: “I’d like to commend Clare Traveller CDP, who are in their second year of the programme, for their hard work and commitment to date. True community development is trusting communities to develop their own solutions and pathways. The evidence is here, you are making a real difference to the lives of the Travelling communities you have supported since the start of this programme.”

Funding for three more projects granted under Community Development Programme