Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Roma Families Claims Denied by Romanian Ambassador

Source: ireland.com

Claims that a group of Roma families camped on a roundabout on Dublin's M50 lived in more squalid conditions back home were tonight denied by the Romanian Embassy.

Ambassador Silvia Davidoiu said many of the people concerned are not homeless in Romania, with some even having permanent addresses at apartments situated in blocks of flats.

The Embassy of Romania in Ireland also accused Irish aid agencies of leading a campaign which has misled the public.

But the families have denied the ambassador's claims and the Pavee Point Roma Support Group has also questioned their veracity.

"The claim of living in makeshift tents in a rubbish dump back in Romania is a deliberately repeated falsity," said Ms Davidoiu.

"We ask those persons who, for various reasons, believe such assertions: how can whole families living in rubbish dumps, therefore having no property or financial means, finance their flights to Ireland?

"How much do more than fifty flight tickets to Ireland cost? And how can families with no resources or property support such costs?"

On Saturday, immigration papers were served on 86 members of the extended Roma family living on the roundabout at Ballymun and in an derelict house on the Old Swords Road.

It is understood there could be up to 15 children ranging in age from six weeks to nine years old at the camp, living in tents surrounded by rubbish, mud and human excrement.

Three of the children were taken into state care because of squalid living conditions. Despite having no sanitary provisions, and it being one of the wettest summers on record, the gypsies maintain their conditions are an improvement on life back home.

While Romanian and Bulgarian citizens are free to travel within the EU, they need work permits to get a job and they are not entitled to state benefits or emergency accommodation. If they are in the state more than three months, they must prove employment.

The Romanian Embassy also denied that Romas are refused jobs at home, adding local authorities are implementing projects to aimed at putting land at the disposal of poor families, in order to support them making a decent living.

"We regret that the persons in the makeshift camp are using this difficult situation, which they got into by ignoring the Irish legislation regarding the access on the Irish labour market, in order to accuse the Romanian government of discrimination," added Ms Davidoiu.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice previously said most of the individuals concerned have been in the state for more than three months, adding there were also public safety issues.

The Romas have 15 days to make representations to Minister for Justice Brian Lenihan as to why he should not make a removal order. The documents served over the weekend were immigration papers to make removal orders against those concerned under European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006.

Pavee Point said they would not be appealing the serving of the papers, but such a move could only be made by the Roma.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Same as our own really, homes in galway/limerick claiming all over the place robbing and over and back to England - but still playing the hand that they are victims - thats a first how about get a job and an education or clear off