As a Senator, one of Colette’s key priorities has been highlighting the need for Irish society to address the inequalities and prejudices facing the Traveller community. She has worked closely with the Irish Traveller Movement, other Local and National Traveller NGOs and Travellers. She has recruited a paid Intern from the Traveller community to develop a programme of work. The work  includes convening the cross party Traveller Oireachtas Group. She helped establish and now chairs the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Key Issues Affecting the Traveller Community, which is examining issues relating to mental health, health, education, employment and their effects on Travellers. The Committee will report in 2020 with a set of recommendations for action. Colette has introduced the Traveller Culture and History in Education Bill 2018 which has passed all stages in the Seanad.

Key Actions

  • The Seanad Public Consultation Committee launched its report Travellers Towards A More Equitable Ireland Post-Recognition in January 2020, read the report of the Committee here.
  • The National Council for Curriculum and Assesment published ‘Traveller Culture and History in the Curriculum: A Curriculum Audit’ in November 2019, read the report here.
  • Traveller Culture and History in Education Bill 2018 passed all stages in the Seanad in October 2019. Read the Irish Times take on how Traveller Culture and History should be taught in schools here.
  • Read Colette’s Op-Ed in The Irish Examiner on the Traveller Culture and History in Education Bill here. Read the Irish Times piece on how Traveller history and culture should be incorporated in the curriculum here.
  • Established and is Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Key Issues Affecting the Traveller Community in 2019.
  • Colette was a member of the Seanad Public Consultation Committee and the Rapporteur of the public consultation ‘ Travellers: Towards a more equitable Ireland post-recognition’.
  • Convened the Traveller Oireachtas Group in 2018.
  • Colette funded the Traveller Equlaity and Justice Project’s ‘Know Your Rights: A Guide to Challenging Discimination’, which is available to read here.


Colette speaking on Traveller education