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Irish Traveller Family Settle High Court Action Against Tipperary Co. Council.

An Irish Traveller family of six, named as Mr John and Mrs Nikita McInerney, together with their four young children, have now settled a High Court action taken against Tipperary County Council, latter who had opposed their claim.

The family had been forced to reside in a single-berth caravan and to sleeping in a motor vehicle, while camping in a variety of locations, including a retail park and by the roadside. The family had stated that they were under constant fear of prosecution and having their vehicle seized by Gardaí, who continuously sought their removal, which resulted in the family seeking orders and declarations from the court.

The family’s legal representatives had argued that the council’s policy was rigid and failed to meet their basic needs. According to them, the council only provided funding that partially covered the cost of hotel or B & B accommodation. Furthermore, they claimed the caravan given to them was totally unsuitable for their family’s needs. The family alleged that Tipperary County Council’s decision had violated constitutional and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the council’s own obligations under the 2014 Irish Human Rights and Equality Act.

After a legal battle, a resolution has now been reached and the council have provided the McInerney family with a four-bedroom house on an emergency basis, which in turn has resulted in the court case being dropped.

The judge has welcomed the settlement and praised the efforts of both parties in resolving their dispute.
This case further highlights the need for government agencies and County Councils to ensure that their policies and actions remain in line with existing human rights and equality legislation.

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