Hoarse Inside



Senator Michael D’Arcy (Fine Gael) spoke in the chamber this morning about unprecedented criminal activity in the Travelling community.

Now that we’re into the long dark winter nights, people are finding it that they’re not safe in their homes and it’s a real concern. But specifically it has been brought to my attention about the level of criminality in the Travelling community is now out of control. And I think it’s important to qualify that statement Chair because I don’t want anybody to say that I’m against Travellers or anything of that nature. I certainly am not. But where one sector of society seems to be ignoring the boundaries that we all live by, that’s not acceptable. The travelling community are not taking responsibilty for their own members. I’ve been informed by senior members of the Gardai that very serious crime within the travelling community at a level that was never seen before is now occurring. I’m calling for the Minister for Justice to come in to have a debate upon serious criminality and that we can scope further the actions of the Gardai to see are they able to impact upon the level of crime within the travelling community. It just can’t be left unchecked because it is burgeoning and spiralling upwards in a way that is not acceptable.

Genuine concerns or has the Senator been watching Love/Hate?

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94 thoughts on “Hoarse Inside

  1. Jess

    “The travelling community are not taking responsibility for their own members.”

    So what he’s suggesting is some sort of vigilantism? does he go around and sort people from his own community or does he outsource that responsibility to the police?


    1. Bobby

      He has a point and he’s not calling for vigilantism. The likes of Pavee Point willfully ignore criminality by any Traveller and screams racism when anyone else points it out.

        1. Bobby

          And for the rest of the crime? Look, Pavee Point are an incredibly important organisation and have made leaps and bounds in positive action for minority groups. But they are one sided.

          1. JogOn

            Do you even know what point you’re trying to make? Seriously, what are you talking about when you say “And for the rest of the crime”?

            Pavee Point are evidently not “wilfully ignoring criminality”.

      1. Rep

        There is a lot of crime in Dublin. What exactly are the people of Dublin doing to take responsibility for their own brethren? They should be more like the people of Waterford and blaming a few certain families for all the crime in the capital. That is taking responsibility.

        1. Bobby

          Not enough. They should be doing more, just like the Traveller community should be.

          I know everyone on this page wants to think I one of those crazed anti-traveller racists that think Padraig Nally was a hero, and I know you don’t care that I say I’m not. I’m simply pointing out that the Senator has a bit of a point in what he was saying.

          1. Nially

            We don’t care that you “say you’re not” because saying something doesn’t make it true/untrue.

            I can say that I’m a carrot, but the most basic of empirical observation will prove that to be untrue. You can say you’re not a racist, but scrolling up a few posts will demonstrate pretty clearly that you are.

            So you see why we don’t listen to you?

    2. Alfred E. Neumann

      Exactly, Jess.

      Bobby, travellers don’t have their own police force. If not vigilantism, what exactly are you expecting them to do?

      1. Bobby

        Read what I posted. Traveler groups actively campaign for equality, but scream bloody murder when anyone points out that there are Travelers who commit crimes.

        Each Traveler community is exactly that: a community. They all know each other within that community and they know the bad elements in that community. And they rarely do anything about those bad elements (such as reporting any crimes to the police). If you see a neighbour breaking the law, do you report them or leave them to continue breaking the law?

        We live in a society. Unless we treat everyone equally, and all work together to stamp out crime, then we can’t hope to stamp out crime. Travelers are no different to the rest of us and so shouldn’t be afforded special consideration if any of them are to break the law.

        1. Alfred E. Neumann

          I don’t care if you dislike Pavee Point, or think they see racism where none exists. You and D’Arcy are the ones suggesting travellers be treated differently.

          To put it simply. When he asks that travellers police themselves, and claims that “one sector of society seems to be ignoring the boundaries that we all live by” he is being a racist and a tool.

          1. Just sayin'

            You can’t be racist against travelers if you’re Irish – they’re not a race. Someone actually accused me of being racist against working class people once. Jees.

          2. Bobby

            And now you’re calling me racist. I never said I dislike Pavee Point. But it has been shown time and again that they refuse to accept wrong doings by members of the Traveler community. They work very hard for equality, but by not accepting that there is a very high crime rate amongst travelers, they are coming across as blinkered.

            And again, I’ll explain it simply: You’re at home with your family. Your father starts beating your mother. You can either call the police of let it happen. The Senator is pointing out that many amongst the traveler community would simply let it happen, instead of calling the authorities.

            So why is it a bad thing to ask people to report a crime? Why is it racist to ask people to report a crime? Why must you attack people who asks why reporting a crime is a bad thing? Why the need to accuse them or racism, when you could take a second to think logically about why criminals get away with crimes?

          3. Alfred E. Neumann

            The battle to make “racism” mean discrimination against a certain race (whatever that is) was lost long ago. At this stage it’s just a dull way of changing the subject.

          4. Alfred E. Neumann

            Bobby, making an unsubstantiated claim is not “pointing something out”. When it’s a derogatory claim about a particular group of people, it’s racist – regardless off how reasonable you feel.

          5. Bobby

            @Alfred E. Neumann Try reading anything I’ve posted instead of just making up stuff. Not once has anyone said Travellers should dress in black and run around at night beating up criminals. So stop pretending anyone has.

            There is crime in Ireland. It is under-reported. This includes the Traveller community. I’m sorry you don’t want them to be included in society, but that’s your opinion. A racist opinion.

          6. Clampers Outside!

            @Sidewinder, check the DNA research again… there are many assumptions made in it.
            It is wholly down to interpretation.

            But on the race thing, yes, they are recognised as such, but not because of DNA.

      2. DoM

        I presume he’s asking that they co-operate with Gardaí, report criminality when they know about it, and generally not accept criminality in their midst.

        Not saying he’s right, but it’s not rocket science to figure out that he isn’t demanding lynch mobs.

        1. Bobby

          That’s exactly what I and the Senator are saying. Too many crimes in Ireland go unreported. This is true of both the settled and traveler communities.

        2. Alfred E. Neumann

          None of those are hard words to pronounce, even for someone in the Seanad. If he wants to say that he should say it clearly, back it up with some facts about reported crime rates, and leave the racist dog-whistles at home.

  2. Walter Ego

    Orders from FG HQ, “Quick, say anything controversial to deflect the peasants anger at our beloved leader and Irish Gravy”.

  3. narkie

    Travellers and Roma are the only two groups in Ireland who are somehow, magically, expected to police themselves. I am from Galway. I know that I will never be held responsible for a crime committed by someone else from Galway, or made to feel that somehow all people from Galway are culpable.

    1. Mani

      I hold you responsible for giant papier mache heads of Bono, children called Ultan and vegan restaurants. Please present yourself to your nearest Garda station where you will be summarily beaten with a sock filled with door knobs.

        1. narkie

          Vegan restaurants? Where. I don’t live there any more but last time I checked it was mostly non-vegan curry chips from Supermacs

    2. ahjayzis

      That’s cause Galway’s a simple land of fairies and Michael D’s and whatnot.

      Limerick on the other hand…

  4. SOMK

    Halting site down the road haven’t noticed travelers out of control, nor in the last 20 years, they did once drive into our driveway to have a ‘look’, my then 50-ish mother told them to piss off which they did, funnily enough a woman on her own didn’t need a shotgun to scare them off, let alone shoot anyone, meanwhile locals, the types who live in houses not caravans, killed our dog and boasted about it in the pub up the road, a local ex-IRA head smashed our windows, other stuff too, threats of violence, shootings, various physical assaults, locals never get involved, never see anything, even when they’re standing right there, “none of their business” obviously, travelers piss of the locals, LOVE THEM for that alone.

    I’m sure of course this is nothing to do with the recent heat being taken over the water charges, a cheap way to dig out the aulde internalised other to blame everything on, which FG seem particularly fond of, a ploy never ever used by political parties with historical ties to fascism ever of course, yep it’s the travelers fault old isolated people in rural Ireland feel alone and scared.

    “one sector of society seems to be ignoring the boundaries that we all live by”, I wonder if Senator D’Arcy ever had his penalty points canceled?

    1. scottser

      “one sector of society seems to be ignoring the boundaries that we all live by”, I wonder if Senator D’Arcy ever had his penalty points canceled?’

      this. in fukn spades.

  5. Sidewinder

    My problem with speeches like this is that they totally fail to take into account other factors within communities that have higher crime rates.

    People from disadvantaged backgrounds have higher rates of criminal behaviour but being working class doesn’t make you inherently criminal. Nor are working class people expected to form their own police force.

    Upper class people have higher rates of tax dodging, embezzlement, fraud etc but I see no-one asking for the upper classes to set up their own police force either.

    Address the contributing factors, don’t focus solely on the crime itself. Perhaps if travellers weren’t marginalised, neglected, despised and under educated by the settled government who are the ones who actually do hold the responsibility of taking care of ALL of us, then crime rates would be lower.

    And on top of all this – I’ve never actually seen a statistic that proves crime is higher among travelling people than settled people.

    1. ahjayzis

      Do you not think the traveller culture or lifestyle itself has anything to do with their poor outcomes versus non-travellers?

      That’s not me letting the state of the hook, but where do we draw the line at cultural facilitation when it involves leaving school, marrying at a young age, having kids shockingly early in life when one is neither financially or mentally ready? That’s like the first entry in the recipe book for poverty and poor outcomes, and it’s not all everybody else’s fault.

      1. Nigel

        How the hell do you think that ‘culture’ evolved? The State has been treating Travellers like third-class-citizens that need to be cack-handedly assimilated since its inception.

        1. ahjayzis

          What’s wrong with assimilation? The lifestyle is hopelessly out of date – by all means preserve your music and stories, but let’s not house kids in a leaky caravan or marry your daughter off at sixteen.

          1. Nigel

            The State should absfuppinglutely not be in the business of forcing its citizens to adopt a particular approved lifestyle, especially if there is or was nothing inherently criminal, disruptive or immoral about the lifestyle they disapprove of, the notions of an establishment of stiflingly conservative Catholics about what constitutes immorality notwithstanding. A little flexibility and compassion would have spared us a lot of grief down the years, but that could be said of a lot of things to do with Ireland in the 20th century. It’s not as if marrying children young and living in leaky abodes were exclusive to Travellers at the birth of the State, but the State’s actions helped ensure that a lot of them got left behind.

      2. Sidewinder

        The government rightly adapts services to accommodate for thousands and thousands of people with a near inconceivable range of disabilities (sight, hearing, sensory, mobility, brain injury, mental illness) – how hard would it be to adapt to thousands of people that share a culture?

        I know the adaptations for people with disabilities aren’t yet adequate but I’ve never seen a shred of evidence that they’ve tried to adapt to help travellers access government services.

  6. Fredtheninja

    There was a very unfortunate incident in Kerry last weekend with the death of two young men from the Travelling community. It is absolutely tragic. I went to both funerals. One in Tralee and one in Killarney. The Garda presence was absolutely insane. Between Tralee and Killarney hidden in Farranfore, blocking roads. Searching vans etc.

    Now, what happened was two young bucks who had a very unfortunate accident. No one was to blame, but now there’s talks of reprisals, an eye for an eye and all that malarchy. What’s my point? Well, in the settled community I don’t think you’d general see the family of the person who was driving the car fearing reprisals. They have enough to deal with. And I don’t think you would ever see such a large Garda presence at any funeral. There is a lawlessness to the Travelling community that generally does not exist in settled communities. And to a certain extent, I believe they get away with far more than your average citizen.

    1. Nigel

      It\s exactly the sort of lawlessness you’d expect from an insular, marginalised group who informally police and regulate themselves without recourse to the State, thanks to a history of mutual loathing, which is more or less exactly what the chappy above is calling for, and which is why it is such a terrible idea.

  7. narkie

    I’ve been informed by media sources that very serious crime within the Seanad Éireann community at a level that was never seen before is now occurring. Members have recently ended up in prison, several have resigned due to scandals, and several others have had to go to great lengths to avoid answering difficult questions in front of commissions of enquiry. Oh, and there are tax evaders and those who encourage clients to engage in illegal schemes. As well as those with their kangaroo courts…

    well I could go on but it’s actually depressing me…it kind of started off as a joke but wow, they are a dodgy bunch…

    Does Senator D’Arcy feel responsible for them? I don’t think the way his sector of society lives is acceptable.

  8. Bonkers

    The Senator has a point but it shouldn’t be taken out of context. The way I heard it from a senior Garda is that there is around 24,000 travellers. Of that amount Gardai believe that around 2,000 are involved in criminal activity which is around 8% of the overall traveller population. 8% of a community engaged in criminal activity is a much higher level than for the general population where it might be closer to 1.5% overall. If you apply gender to it and exclude females then what becomes evident is that a minority of traveller men are involved in criminality.

    I’m all for Traveller rights and I think it is a damnation of the Irish state that Traveller men have a life expectancy of something like 55. In fact if I’m not mistaken an Aboriginal has a longer life expectancy than that of an Irish Traveller which really does say something when you consider how shoddily successive Australian governments treated Aborginals and the racism they face from the settled community to this day.

    There can be no doubt that there is large scale institutional racism against Travellers in Irish society. It means they cant get proper and fair access to health care services, education, etc which then means they feel like sticking two fingers up at the State.

    But all that aside there is no denying there is a criminal element in the Traveller community. The problem is when people like the Senator get up and speak the truth they’re immediately shot down as being racist.

    1. Sidewinder

      Except that’s not what he said, is it? And even if it was what he said, even if he had extensive charts and stats and dates and figures and signed confessions – what you fail to acknowledge is that we only ever hear this about the travelling community when there are many sections of society that have a strong criminal element in them. Men for example, men are far more likely to commit crimes, particularly violent ones, than women. The statistics prove that. Where is the senator talking about that sector of society?

      0.1% of Dubliners committed a sexual offence in 2012 compared with just 0.07% of people from Limerick. Where’s the Limerick TD calling on Dubliners to stop ignoring the standards all people in Limerick live by? Shouldn’t Dubs be reporting these people more? We need to call on the gardaí to do more to stop all the rapist Dubs from ravaging us in our beds.

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