A dedicated Traveller organisation is to be set up in Clare for the first time ever, to progress the needs of the travelling community here.
It’s one of a number of recommendations from a report carried out into Traveller health across the county, which includes some stark findings.
Now, Travellers will be working with the HSE in addressing their health needs.
Up until now, Travellers have had no dedicated organisation in Clare to work on the likes of housing, health and social needs.
But that’s due to change, on foot of a report carried out by Pavee Point and the HSE Midwest.
The assessment of Traveller health found a number of issues that are facing the community here in Clare, including low life expectancy, access to healthcare and mental health issues.
Martin Collins from Pavee Point admits Travellers are in the midst of a health crisis, and is hopeful this report will play a part in addressing that.
Three recommendations have been outlined in the report; one being the establishment of a primary health care project for Travellers in Clare.
That’s already been put in place and sees seven Traveller women employed as community healthcare workers, working with the approximately 1,000 Travellers in the county.
Chief Officer of the HSE Midwest Community Healthcare Organisation Bernard Gloster believes having Travellers employed on this project will be a game changer.
Aside from a specific healthcare project, an overall representative group for Travellers is to be established in Clare, which will work on everything from community development and equality to partnership with the settled community.
Josephine Fogarty is the coordinator of the Traveller Health Unit with HSE Midwest and says the idea is to improve the lives of Travellers in this county.