Casey stands by comments after visiting Thurles Traveller development

Photo © Tipp FM

Travellers staged a protest this afternoon during the visit of Presidential candidate Peter Casey to a housing development at the centre of the controversy near Thurles.

Mr Casey has been criticised for saying members of the community aren’t an ethnic group, don’t pay their taxes and camp on other people’s land.

In a statement issued ahead of the visit to the housing development for Travellers at Cabra Bridge the families have also hit out at Tipperary County Council and the media for the situation which has arisen.

The families say they never asked for houses, stables or paddocks – they say they agreed to move from their present location if grazing land was provided for their horses.

However the Travellers claim that instead of fulfilling their promise Tipperary County Council have decided to wage a campaign against them through the media.

The statement points out that the families have been living at Cabra Bridge for four generations and that they would rather stay in the substandard accommodation they currently have than give up their culture and identity.

They families also say that if Tipperary County Council decides to allocate the houses at Cabra Bridge to members of the settled community who are on the local authority housing list they will do their best to be good and respectful neighbours.

Around 20 members of the Travelling community staged a protest during his visit to the houses at Cabra Bridge

Barry McCarthy is a member of one of the six families at the centre of the dispute.

He outlined what he wanted to hear from Peter Casey

While Peter Casey didn’t meet with any of the families involved in the dispute he was standing by his comments in relation to Travellers ethnic status.