President honours 'proud' Traveller role models
Published 02/12/2011 | 05:00
A father and daughter who acted together on 'Glenroe' were among members of the Travelling community honoured by the President yesterday for their contributions as ethnic role models.
Michael D Higgins presented actor and playwright Michael Collins with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Traveller Pride Awards in Dublin yesterday.
He was among 10 recipients honoured for promoting Traveller culture in the areas of human rights, arts, music, employment, sports and heritage.
"He has done an extraordinary amount to promote understanding of the Travelling community and to inspire, within that community, a rightful pride in their rich culture and tradition," Mr Higgins said.
Mr Collins said Travellers were "natural actors" and he encouraged members of his community to get involved with drama.
His daughter Christine Collins (23) was among the cast of the play 'The Trailer of Bridget Dinnigan' which won the Arts/Culture gong for being the first All-Traveller cast in a professional play. The production was adapted from a Spanish play by the actors themselves to reflect life at a modern-day halting site.
"Travellers are very proud people and I think our achievements should be recognised," she said.
The play is being staged again as one of the highlights of Traveller Pride Week, which runs from December 1-9.