• Clodagh Meaney

Senator Eileen Flynn opens up about prejudice and racism against travellers

She is the first Traveller to serve in the Seanad.

Senator Eileen Flynn has opened up about prejudice and racism faced by Travellers.

The mother-of-one is the first Traveller to serve in the Seanad after being nominated to the position by Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

Appearing on Ireland AM this morning, alongside her husband, Liam Whyte, Eileen said everyone has prejudices, but when acted upon it is racism.

"Everybody is prejudiced, you’re prejudiced, I'm prejudiced, we're all prejudiced. It’s when you act on it it becomes racist, it becomes discrimination," she told presenters of the show Karen Koster and Tommy Martin.

"Like thinking travellers don’t wash, don’t pay tax, travellers always rob… all this negativity towards the traveller community and we see it a lot on TV," she explained.

"We seen it on one recently, the truth about traveller crime," she said referring to a recent programme broadcast on Channel 4.

“It's inherent in the title, you feel that’s offensive?” asked Karen.

“Yeah its very offensive because so many travellers have never committed a crime in their life," she responded.

Eileen went on to praise her local community in Ballyfermot, saying that she was proud to be from such a lovely working class area with people who would "give you the coat off their back."

"We don't always agree all of the time, but it's a big family."

© 2020 by EMPWR

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