Monday 19 March 2018

Celebrating a rich and unique culture

Cllr John O'Rourke, Bridget Wall, Wexford Local Development and Laura Myles, Traveller Community Health Programme, WLD
Cllr John O'Rourke, Bridget Wall, Wexford Local Development and Laura Myles, Traveller Community Health Programme, WLD
Lizzie Connors, Nan Connors and Nellie Connors
Laura Myles speaking at the Church Institute in Enniscorthy
Kathleen Connors, Alice Connors, Maggie Connors and Andy Connors
Esther Brennan (WLD), Nan Moorehouse (WLD) and Polly Coonors (WLD) at the event celebrating Traveller ethnicity, hosted by Wexford Local Development, in the Church Instutite, Enniscorthy

When then Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced the formal recognition of Travellers as a distinct ethnic group, it was a real turning point for Travellers across County Wexford, as well as the whole country. It was regarded as a majorly positive step in acknowledging the uniqueness and inclusion of Traveller identity as part of Irish society, rather than being apart from it.

It was to celebrate this inclusion that Wexford Local Development hosted a special event at The Church Institute in Enniscorthy last week. The event was hosted as part of a series of Traveller Pride events in association with Wexford's Traveller Interagency Group supported by the Department of Justice and Equality. Other events taking place locally include planting projects in Bunclody and Drumgoold in association with the local Tidy Towns and Enniscorthy Municipal District.

At last week's event, a special social media campaign in celebration of Traveller ethnicity was launched, along with an open Traveller Cultural Awareness workshop, a cultural exhibition and a drop in coffee morning.

The event was attended by Travellers from right across the county along with elected representatives such as Cllrs John O'Rourke and Deirdre Wadding and James Browne TD.

The social media campaign, produced by local company Boom Media, features a number of short videos which feature local Travellers talking about their hopes for the future in the wake of this historic announcement. The videos are available for viewing on Wexford Local Development's website, Facebook and YouTube channels.

WLD has a wide engagement with the Traveller community across Wexford and runs a number of programmes and services. Over 120 Travellers availed of education, training and employment supports in 2016 and it is hoped that this year they will be able to provide assistance for even more people.

Enniscorthy Guardian