A new report has found that a considerable amount of Traveller homelessness is caused by the actions of Kerry County Council.
The report, published by the Cork and Kerry Regional Traveller Accommodation Working Group, found that Kerry had 171 families on unauthorised sites or sharing housing in 2019.
The Traveller Homelessness in the South West report, which was compiled between 2008 and 2018, says that the development of unauthorised sites in the backyards of Traveller families' homes is a common occurrence in Kerry.
The sites, the report says, lack proper and safe facilities and the local authority has been known to evict Travellers from them without providing adequate alternative options.
In 2018, there were 16 homeless family units in the county, however the Cork and Kerry Regional Traveller Accommodation Working Group says that number is likely to be much higher as the report does not include families sleeping in cars, rough sleeping or accessing temporary accommodation through local groups.
The report says that a considerable number of Travellers experiencing homelessness are homeless as a result of local authority actions or inactions and that there are no active transient sites in Kerry, although the working group believes there is a demand for them.
The group has recommended that the council adopt appropriate policies including the provision of family-specific hubs, serviced halting sites for temporary and emergency accommodation for young couples and a toleration policy of caravans and mobiles in relatives' yards.