Who are Travellers?
The name "Travellers" refers to a nomadic Irish ethnic group.
They have a long shared history, value system, language and customs and
traditions which make them a group which is distinct from the rest of the
Irish population, although they are as fully Irish as the majority population.
Their lifestyle sets them apart from the sedentary population or "settled
What does "Pavee" mean?
Pavee is a word used by Travellers to describe themselves.
How many Travellers live in Ireland today?
There are estimates of around 30,000 Travellers living in the Republic
of Ireland, with about 1500 more living in Northern Ireland.
The median age of the Traveller community is 14 years while the national
figure is 27 years.
Only 4.4% of Travellers are over the age of 55. 80% of Travellers
are under 25.
Where do Travellers come from?
Travellers are native to Ireland; they have been part of Irish society
for centuries. While Traveller history is largely unrecorded, research
dates their origins to before the twelfth century.
What kind of occupations do Travellers have today?
Traveller occupations in the past included tinsmithing, seasonal farm
labour, door-to-door sales and recycling. While many of these occupations
have become more difficult, or even obsolete, many Travellers are employed
today in a variety of economic activities, including market trading, scrap
collecting, and antiques dealing.
A small number of Travellers are have their own business, such as shops
and garages. Other Travellers are employed in community enterprises
established by Traveller groups, or with voluntary organisations, and training
centres. However, many Traveller families have become deskilled and
are dependent on social welfare for survival.
Do Travellers face discrimination?
Yes, Racism against Travellers is a problem.
With the introduction of the Equal Status Act discriminatory
practices such as these should change. Under the Act, Travellers
can bring a case against a person, group or institution that discriminates
against them on the grounds of their being a member of the Travelling Community.
For more information on the Act and what it means to you contact the following:
Phone: (01) 4173333
Lo-call: 1890 245545
List of Traveller Support Groups.
46 North Great Charles St
Phone: (01) 8780255
Irish Traveller Movement
4/5 Eustace St
Phone: (01) 6796577
Galway Traveller Support Group
78 Prospect Hill,
Phone: (091) 562530
National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI)
26 Harcourt Street
Phone: (01) 4785777