Friday, August 7, 2009


Roma families return to Belfast

By Lisa Smyth
Thursday, 6 August 2009

Twelve Roma men who fled Northern Ireland following a series of racist attacks have returned to the province.

Their families are to arrive in time for the children to start the new school term in September.

Derek Hanway from An Munia Tober, an organisation representing the Travelling community in Northern Ireland, said the men have found some work and are hoping to build new lives for themselves and their families in Belfast. The locations of the new homes have not been revealed.

While the airfares of the families returning to Romania after the racist attacks were paid by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Mr Hanway said he was not aware of Government funding to the families returning to Northern Ireland.

A spokesman from the Housing Executive said: “We have had no contact whatsoever with any of these individuals. They are not receiving any assistance.”

All but two of the 114 Romanians who were forced to flee their homes after a spate of racist attacks in June left Northern Ireland.

Over 70 flew out of Dublin Airport after spending more than a week in temporary accommodation.

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