THE ROMA COMMUNITY in Ireland are being forced to live in extreme poverty, according to a new report.
Roma people are “going to bed hungry”, children are malnourished, and they’re being marginalised from state services and support according to a new report commissioned by the Department of Justice.
Roma In Ireland: A National Needs Assessment, also found that 45% of Roma people are living in overcrowded conditions. Some are living with rats, damp and sewerage problems.
The survey as carried out by the Traveller and Roma support organisation Pavee Point, says that the Roma community are completely marginalised from State services and supports, while “over half of respondents reported someone in the household has gone to bed hungry.”
Information was gathered from around 500 households as a recommendation of the Logan Report. The report derived from an incident whereby two Roma children were removed from their families in 2013.
Service providers reported cases of malnutrition among Roma children while 60% of Roma respondents reported being consistently poor.
Major barriers to public services were ineligibility for medical cards, training and employment schemes, social protection payments and homeless or other supports.
Parents with children in Irish schools told how they were not entitled to receive child benefit or welfare payments as they are unable to satisfy the habitual residency condition.
The report also estimates that around 5,000 members of the Roma community, mostly of Romanian origin are living in Ireland, with the majority residing in Dublin, Cork, Kerry, Kildare, Louth, Clare and Donegal.
The report issues a request for the Government to now consider these issues.