Tipperary celebrates traveller pride

South Tipperary Traveller Interagency Group hosted a number of hugely successful activities as part of Traveller Pride Week which ran from Monday the 18th of June until Tuesday the 26th of June. The aim of Traveller Pride Week was to celebrate the contribution Travellers make both within their own communities and to Irish society as a whole, through their culture, enterprise, sporting excellence, professional expertise across every area and unique history and tradition. National and local events around the country focused on the theme of pride in the Traveller Community.

South Tipperary Traveller Interagency Group hosted a number of hugely successful activities as part of Traveller Pride Week which ran from Monday the 18th of June until Tuesday the 26th of June. The aim of Traveller Pride Week was to celebrate the contribution Travellers make both within their own communities and to Irish society as a whole, through their culture, enterprise, sporting excellence, professional expertise across every area and unique history and tradition. National and local events around the country focused on the theme of pride in the Traveller Community.

To open Traveller Pride week, Tipperary Rural Traveller Project based at 1. St. Michael Street, Tipperary Town held a very successful Coffee Morning in their Project on Monday the 18th of June from 10am to 1pm. Members from the community along with workers that are employed by the project were available to discuss their work. Spafield Resource Centre in Cashel also held a Coffee morning in their new building to mark Traveller Pride Week where they recognized the contribution that Travellers have made to the Town of Cashel.

The museum in Clonmel staged a number of different events as a part of Traveller Pride Week that were open to the public all week. This included a Photographic Exhibition of Traveller culture as well as a Museum exhibition based on Traveller culture. There was also a DVD displaying Traveller Culture.

A Cultural Awareness Session on Traveller Culture took place for the different agencies that work with the Travelling community. This was delivered by the Clonmel Traveller Primary Health care women who work for the HSE around improving Traveller Health. Research carried out by the All Ireland Traveller Health Study shows that Traveller health does not compare very well to the settled population with Traveller men having a life expectancy of 10 years less than a settled man. A number of workshops were also carried out with young Traveller children in the museum in Clonmel which the children greatly enjoyed.

The Highlight of the week was a Music Performance by Special Guest Singer Pecker Dunne Junior, son of the Pecker. He was accompanied by a fellow musician. A number of younger Travellers also sang on the night making it a highly entertaining night.

South Tipperary Traveller Interagency would like to thank everyone who contributed to making it a very special week, special mention must go to the Museum in Clonmel and to all their staff for their help throughout the week as well as to the staff of Tipperary Rural Traveller Project for their time and effort in promoting the event. It was a very positive week with both the Travelling Community and settled community saying how much they enjoyed it; it has also highlighted Traveller culture in a very positive manner throughout the county.Funding to assist with the staging of events was made available through the Department of Justice and Equality.