Environment Minister Defends Letter Regarding Traveller Family

Following newspaper reports that environment minister Phil Hogan wrote to constituents saying a particular family would not be moved to a house near them, the minister has denied claims of being racist.

Speaking at the National Ploughing Championships in New Ross, he defended his decision to write the letter, saying he was entitled to write it.

He had earlier been urged to make a full statement over his apparent intervention in a housing allocation case to prevent a Traveller family from being housed.

The Irish Traveller Movement has expressed concern, saying that as they understand it neither Ministers Hogan nor Jan O'Sullivan have the legislative functions to impose or intervene in individual cases on accommodation matters.

A statement said: "We are therefore concerned that in this case involving a family in Kilkenny that Minister Hogan should appear to intervene favourably on a constituent's behalf, in what could be interpreted as being opposed to the favourable provision of housing to Travellers."


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