We attended a conference called “Ethnicity and Travellers: an Exploration” being run by the Department of Justice and Equality in Dublin Castle in late September. A panel of guest speakers from academics including Dr Robbie McVeigh, Dr Anastasia Crickley and Traveller speakers Catherine Joyce and Brigid Quilligan.
Irish Travellers have not as of yet been recognized as an ethnic minority in Ireland and this conference was held to address the issue. Irish Travellers and members of the settled population attended the conference. Speakers discussed the issue of Irish Travellers losing their identity in the next few decades and the consequences this already has on Irish Travellers; for example, the practice of nomadism (moving from place to place in trailers) is no longer practiced as much as it was a few decades back. If Irish Travellers are recognised as an ethnic minority in Ireland, the Irish government will have to preserve our culture.