St Patricks Day is a very important day in the Travellers calendar and could be said to be of bigger importance than even Easter! It is said to signify the end of the winter season and beginning of summer which is a much brighter and happier time especially for those on the road.
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.
As part of the national Gathering 2013 celebrations, MTW is hosting a one day festival on the Hill of Tara, which will tell the story of the crowning of High King through drama, music and pageantry. The Tara Festival of the High Kings will take place on September 22nd 2013.
For years Travellers have been in and out of the penal system here in Ireland and this project aims to involve and give Travellers awareness of the opportunities and education that is available to them within the prison system.
Integrate Ireland is an organisation which is run in conjunction with Meath Partnership and Cultur. They are engaging with the different ethnic groups in Co Meath. They will deliver training for needs analysis and identifying different problems within the ethnic groups.April 2013
“The young people came up with an idea of doing the map of Ireland, putting a different country flag for every county to represent all the cultures in Ireland. As time went on and we had our 32 counties picked we decided to put religious and cultural symbols around the outside of the flag.”
Childcare Manager Marie and childcare workers Lola, Cathy and Michelle are kept busy. Both pre-school and after-school children planted some beautiful flowers for Easter which they got to take home.
Morning Pre School 9am to 12pm – After School 2pm to 6pm
In early July a group of four Swedish girls from the Muslim/ Kurdish and Swedish community along with two youth leaders came back to Ireland following the Irish exchange to Sweden last year as part of the international project called “Breaking the Pattern” which examines women’s roles in each community.
As part of the celebrations of Traveller Pride Week June 18th-26th MTW are delighted to announce they will be officially launching An Tinceir- The Craft of the Tinsmith, a handbook detailing traditional Traveller Tinsmith Skills.
MTW are helping to organize a unique and worthwhile community trip to Canada in a bid to strengthen links with a Canadian town, also called Navan and promote the Irish town of Navan. This project is the brainchild of the Navan Shamrock Festival Committee, of which MTW have always played a pivotal role in putting on every year.
On December 6th, the third Traveller Pride Awards, were held in Dublin and attended by President Michael D Higgins and prominent Irish personalities. Traveller Pride Award winners were singled out for their contributions locally and nationally to Travellers rights, employment, sports and heritage while overcoming barriers to achieve those goals with their Traveller identity intact. All of MTW were very proud when our manager, Michael McDonagh received a Traveller Pride award for his work on behalf of the Travelling Community.
The young people attending our Wednesday night session in the Unity Centre have undergone a 5 week (once a week) Practical First Aid Skills Programme delivered to us by Bernie Woods & Michael Fitzsimons from Meath Civil Defence.