The County Longford Primary Health Care Project was established by LCRL in 2003, to address health inequalities affecting the Traveller Community. Supported under SICAP, the project is a peer-led initiative and employs trained Community Health Workers who are members of the Traveller Community themselves.
Our project contributed to the All-Ireland Traveller Health Study, published in 2010, focusing on key aspects of Traveller health. Life expectancy for Traveller men was found to be 15 years lower than for the general population and 11 years lower for Traveller women, with heart disease and stroke among the main causes. Suicide rates in the Traveller community are 6 times higher than the general population, accounting for about 11% of all Traveller deaths. Infant mortality rates were also 3.5 times higher than the general population.
Both Travellers and health service providers recognise that this situation can be improved only by working on the social determinants of health, such as: education, accommodation, poverty, employment, discrimination and access to services.
Currently, our 6 Traveller Community Health Workers and 2 Traveller Men’s Workers regularly visit over 160 families in Co. Longford, delivering health education and supporting people to access services that will make a difference in their social and health situations.
This project is funded by the HSE and is a member of the Midlands Traveller Health Unit, the Pavee Point National Traveller Health Network and the Irish Traveller Movement. We work in conjunction with the HSE Public Health Nurse for Travellers and the LCRL Community Development Worker with Travellers.
• To improve the health status of Travellers in County Longford
• To identify and address inequalities and discrimination that affect Travellers’ health
• To improve community participation and assist in the dialogue between Travellers, service providers and the overall community
How to find us:
Our project is based in 51 a, Main Street, Longford (at the back of Crossan Electrical).
Come and visit us. We are open every Tuesday – Wednesday – Thursday from 9 am to 5 pm.
Some of our activities and campaigns
• Healthy Heart campaign
• Diabetes awareness
• Mental Health education
• Alcohol and drugs awareness
• Child safety and Fire safety
• Cancer prevention and screening programme
• Information on diet and nutrition
• Antenatal education for expectant parents
• Signposting and referrals to useful services as appropriate
• Providing links with the Traveller Mediation service in case of conflict and feuding
• Support in applying to relevant education / accommodation / employment services etc.
Groups and events
• ‘Operation Transformation’ programme on cardiovascular health
• Men shed: barrel-top wagons, wheelwrighting, carpentry, repairs, upholstery, etc.
• Sports & Physical Activity groups: football, handball, horseshoes, running, walking etc.
• Groups based on interests: music, fishing, wood work, gardening, etc.
• Health Promotion coffee mornings, either in our office or hosted in local Traveller families’ homes
• Heritage and Traveller Pride events, photographic exhibitions etc.
Get in touch and get involved
Are you interested in our activities and wellness programmes? Would you like to join a sports group, a music group or do some carpentry or gardening? Do you need any other information or support?
Just give us a ring.
Tony Owens (mob: 087 9478135)
HSE Public Health Nurse for Travellers:
Lisa Sweeney (mob: 0873428304)
Bridget Power (mob: 087 9488071)
Caroline Stokes (mob: 087 9467260)
Mary Nevin (mob: 087 9164766)
Mary Stokes (mob: 087 2946756)
Teresa McDonnell (mob: 087 2040153)
Winnie Stokes (mob: 087 9160681)