Travellers to protest in Killarney on Patrick’s Day over ‘discrimination’

Spokesman for Travellers claims discrimination in town has intensified in recent years

Killarney Chamber of Commerce and Tourism said it does not condone any form of restriction or discrimination but says businesses manage their own business as they see fit. Photograph: The Irish Times

Killarney Chamber of Commerce and Tourism said it does not condone any form of restriction or discrimination but says businesses manage their own business as they see fit. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

Hundreds of Travellers are set to protest in Killarney on Friday at the town’s St Patrick’s Day parade, the traditional start to the town’s tourist season and one the biggest parades in the southwest.

The theme of the Killarney parade this year is diversity.

Travellers living in Killarney claim they are discriminated against in the town and have to travel elsewhere for a meal or a social evening.

Some sixty Travellers have signed statements to that effect, according a social media site set up by those organising the protest.

Two meetings so far have been held by Travellers in the town to discuss the issue. Travellers from other towns have been asked to support the protest.

Some 5,000 t-shirts demanding “human rights” for Travellers who wish to socialise in Killarney, will be available on the day of the parade.

A spokesman for the Travellers said flags and banners have been ordered and claimed hundreds of Travellers are expected to turn up in support of the fight against discrimination in Killarney, which he said had intensified in recent years.

Killarney Chamber of Commerce and Tourism said it does not condone any form of restriction or discrimination but says businesses manage their own business as they see fit.

It says the St Patrick’s Day parade is open to all ethnic groups.

A Facebook page “Tom Rights” has been set up by the group of Travellers to register complaints or incidents of alleged discrimination in Killarney.