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23/10/2021

Traveller body slams ‘reckless’ Longford wedding after party

Traveller wedding

William Stokes leads his wife, Shelby and father in law Stephen Kelly into court on Monday

Traveller representative group Pavee Point have described the decision taken by members of its own community to host a wedding party in defiance of Covid-19 regulations as “reckless”.

A spokesperson from the non governmental organisation said the rationale of those behind an event which saw over 100 partygoers attend a post wedding party in Longford last week was highly questionable.

“It’s hugely disappointing,” said the spokesperson.

“It just shouldn’t have happened.

“The work that the HSE and Traveller organisations have done to educate travellers, to see this is just very reckless and disappointing.”

The comments came as Judge Keenan Johnson said the upshot of last week's events had threatened to undo all the progress traveller representative groups had done in highlighting the needs of its members to the wider public.

“There is little doubt that travellers have suffered and continue to suffer significant discrimination,” he said.

“However, the actions of the people before this court for contempt does little to further the cause of travellers.

“Indeed it could be said that their actions only further increase the isolation of travellers from the rest of society and that is something which is wholly undesirable.”

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