North West bucks the national trend of an increasing Traveller population

The number of Travellers in Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim is falling.

The latest figures from Census 2016 show 586 Irish Travellers lived in County Donegal in April 2016, a fall of more than 19% since 2011.

There were 383 Travellers living in Sligo, a decline of more than 7% in the five years.

And in Leitrim, there were 203 Travellers, a drop of more than 23%.

The fall in numbers in the three counties contrasts with the overall national picture which shows the number of Irish Travellers increased by more than 5% to almost 31,000.

Bernard Sweeney, a member of the Traveller community from Sligo, says some Travellers may not want to identify themselves as such:

And he agrees that many Travellers simply may not have filled out a Census form: