Donegal rights campaigner Hugh Friel has said no Irish Travellers are employed in Buncrana

Donegal rights campaigner Hugh Friel has said no Irish Travellers are employed in Buncrana or any large town outside Letterkenny.

Mr. Friel, a health and development worker at the Donegal Travellers Project, said unemployment levels among his community were unacceptable.

Hugh Friel

Hugh Friel

He said: “It is disgraceful in my community. I will speak about the rural perspective of Donegal, where I come from. Sometimes at national level the rural areas can be forgotten in terms of transport and other matters.

“Donegal Travellers Project has been running for the past 20 years. Like me, the majority of the Traveller community, approximately 94 per cent, is employed in Donegal Travellers Project.

“The other 6 per cent of Travellers who are employed outside the Donegal Travellers Project have low paid jobs.”

Speaking at a briefing of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Key Issues affecting the Traveller Community he said the rate of joblessness among the 1,200 travellers living in Donegal was far higher than in the population at large.

“Outside Letterkenny, there are no members of the Traveller community employed in Ballybofey, Donegal town, Ballyshannon, Bundoran, Killybegs or Buncrana.

"We talk about changing attitudes in Irish society to the Traveller community and other ethnic and minority groups. Consider the relationship building from the perspective of Travellers taking up public sector jobs. I can speak about that with regard to County Donegal. No Travellers are employed in the local authorities or in social welfare,” said Mr. Friel.