Traveller and Settled Solidarity picket court hearing

Members of TASS (Traveller and Settled Solidarity) picket a hearing at Cork District Courthouse on Friday 16 July in support of a traveller woman Mrs Harty who was summonsed by the Gardai under the Trespass Act for failing to obey their instruction to vacate an empty site at Brocklesby Courton Seminary Road on Corks northside. The woman's solicitor explained that she and four of her children were on the corporations waiting list and had occupied the site after returning from Wales as they had nowhere else to go. Photos were shown in Court to demonstrate that the area was well kept and had not been abused. Mrs Harty had vacated the site on receiving the summons.

The judge applied the probation Act because it was the woman's first time before the court and she was pleading guilty. The case demonstrates the nonsense of the Trespass Act as here was a family seeking accommodation in Cork which has over 4,000 applicants on its waiting list the act simply persecutes those in desperate circumstances and keeps them jumping from one site to another trying to keep ahead of the law whilst pursuing accommodation. In the first six months of 2004 78 housing applicants were accommodated by Cork corporation.

Also in Court that day was a Liberian asylum seeker being prosecuted for failing to carried his ID card. He was stopped by two detectives and arrested by them when he had not got his card. Despite pleading to be taken home so he could show his ID they took him to Mayfield Garda barracks and held him over night for the court sitting, again the probation act was applied provide he produce his ID to the court. The Garda had already discovered he was legitimate on their computer system but still brought him to court. His solicitor told TASS activists afterwards that this was his fourth case of this nature in the last two months. Clearly a policy by Gardai to harass and prosecute asylum seekers in Cork city.

James McBarron

See also

Ireland's 'Traditional' Racism Remains
An interview with Mrs Ellen Mongan, a Traveller with seven children. It's 2004 and close to 1,000 Traveller famlies are still living on the roadside without access to basic facilities-water, sanitation or electricity

Travellers fighting back
The history of Irish Travellers' struggle for civil rights and ethnic recognition. Their struggles have much in common with those of Indigenous people worldwide and with the struggles of Native Americans and Australian Aboriginals and also with the struggles of Gypsies, Travellers and nomads against racism and oppression.

Anarchism and Anti - Racism in Ireland
For many years racism in Ireland was primarily directed against Travellers because our weak economy and racist immigration laws made Ireland an unattractive destination for immigrants.

[A Personal report from a Workers Solidarity Movement member, these reports are posted to the Ainriail list when first written]

To the
News of Irish struggles Index