Tragedy of a young girl's horror wedding
When it comes to Traveller violence, tolerance shouldn't mean putting up with the intolerable, says Eilis O'Hanlon
On a list of 'Things No Nice Middle Class Mother Wants To Hear Her 17-Year-Old Daughter Say', the words, "Mum, I'm getting married" would be right at the top.
You should be out living a life, getting an education, having a career, she'd say. There'll be plenty of time for marriage and kids later. What's surprising is not that Traveller mothers don't feel this way; they've been primed by a set of values that normalises child brides. Far from disapproving, they often arrange the whole thing, down to choosing a husband.
The surprising thing is that so many of those middle-class settled women don't feel the same horror when a 17-year-old Traveller gets married as they would if it was their own daughter, or one of their friends' daughters; or they don't feel they should say so at least, because it's Traveller "culture".