‘Daily Mail’ column on Travellers criticised by Equality Authority

Column by journalist Brenda Power ‘designed to be demeaning, hurtful and risk incitement’

Brenda Power: accused Travellers of continuing to “milk the State for all they’re worth”. Photograph: Collins Courts

Brenda Power: accused Travellers of continuing to “milk the State for all they’re worth”. Photograph: Collins Courts

Wed, Apr 9, 2014, 10:56


A column in the Irish Daily Mail which claimed feuding was the main expression of modern Traveller culture has been condemned as “shameful” by the Equality Authority.

In her weekly column in the newspaper, journalist Brenda Power also accused Travellers of continuing to “milk the State for all they’re worth” and Traveller males of being lazy, violent, drunken and misogynistic.


Tone and content
The authority yesterday said it was greatly concerned at the tone and content of Power’s column, particularly its assertion that all members of Traveller communities behaved in the same negative manner.

It called on the Daily Mail to remove the column from its website. It said it was not only untrue but was “designed to be demeaning, hurtful and risk incitement”.

However, Irish Daily Mail group editor Sebastian Hamilton defended the article on the grounds of free speech.

“We will continue to fight – alone if we have to – for the right of citizens to debate all matters of public policy without state censorship,” said Hamilton.

Power could not be contacted for comment last night.