BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: UK: Northern Ireland
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Friday, 7 December, 2001, 07:08 GMT
Irish president opens travellers' centre
Travellers' camp
Travellers face difficulties in accessing services
A community centre built to help the travelling community develop their lives in Londonderry has been opened by Irish President Mary McAleese.

The Derry Travellers Centre, which was opened on Thursday evening, is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

The project's co-ordinators hope it will act as a catalyst for the development of the traveller community.

It was started in temporary premises 11 years ago.

Mary McAleese:
Mary McAleese: "Attitudes are changing"
Mrs McAleese said that in the past the travelling community's contribution had been ignored.

She said: "The message which the building sends out is that there is a change in thinking - it is a change in attitudes and culture.

"But it also says to the travelling community - you are a respected and talented part of Irish life."

Northern Ireland Education Minister Martin McGuinness also attended the launch.

While in Derry, Mrs McAleese also officially opened the Long Tower Youth and Community Centre in the Brandywell area.

The facilities include refurbished and newly built accommodation for the Long Tower Youth Club, as well as nursery and community facilities.

The project received a 111,000 grant from the Department of Education, in addition to funding from the Department of Social Development, National Lotteries Charity Board and Derry City Council.

See also:

28 Nov 01 | Scotland
Travellers 'losing out' in schools
11 Aug 99 | Northern Ireland
'New deal' pledge to travellers
14 Apr 00 | Northern Ireland
Racism growing in NI
Links to more Northern Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Northern Ireland stories