Galway Traveller Pride Awards 2016

By Rebecca GTM

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Galway celebrates the strengths and achievements of the Traveller community

The Galway Traveller Movement is holding the first annual Galway Traveller Pride Awards on June 27th in the Institute for Life and Society building (ILAS) NUIG. The awards are a celebration of Traveller achievements across Galway City and County. Traveller Pride is a national celebration of the contribution that Travellers make both within their community and to Irish society as a whole. It also is a recognition of the determination and resilience of the Traveller community to succeed against a backdrop of racism and discrimination and strong anti Traveller sentiments in Irish society. It will celebrate achievements across a variety of different areas including education, sport, youth, arts and culture, music, enterprise, community and environment.

Joanna Corcoran said that “Traveller Pride is a celebration of our culture and identity. It is a time where we can celebrate our strong sense of community and family, our language and our nomadic tradition. The awards ceremony is an opportunity to highlight the talents of the Traveller community including our many self taught skills”

Bridget Kelly passionately added that “Traveller Pride is a chance to tell the positive story of our community which is often overlooked by wider society. It is a space to challenge the racist stereotypes held by Irish society and challenge negative perceptions that people may have. The awards will also create a welcoming space for the settled community to build connections with the Traveller community.”

Joanna Corcoran continued by calling for leader ship from the Irish State as part of Traveller Pride 2016.

“Traveller Pride is also about recognising Travellers rights including our cultural rights. In our struggle for full equality the government recognising Traveller ethnicity is the way forward”

Despite David Stanton, the Minister for Equality’s comments at the National Traveller Pride Awards, the Traveller community should not have to win the ‘the hearts and minds of the settled population before Traveller ethnicity can be recognised’

Travellers should not have to convince the settled community that they are a valued part of Irish society. The Traveller community have self identified themselves as the community of people commonly so called who are identified (both by themselves and by others) as people with a shared history, culture and traditions including, historically, a nomadic way of life on the island of Ireland…

Travellers in Galway City and County call on the Taoiseach Enda Kenny to take action and recognise Traveller ethnicity. This would ensure a more positive future for Travellers.

 

Galway Traveller Movement held a series of events city and county celebrating Traveller Pride 2016. 3 meetings were organised for Travellers in Ballinasloe, Athenry and Loughrea to come together through connections of spirituality, cultural strengths, and knowledge of local issues. The events were relaxed creating an opportunity for all participants to be involved and have a voice for advancing Travellers’ human rights. The meetings were facilitated by Galway Traveller Movement. A further morning for Travellers was organised in Gort to discuss health issues in a relaxed atmosphere with Community Health Workers from Galway Traveller Movement chatting about the links between Traveller health and Traveller Pride.

“The events in the county were well attended and offered an opportunity to the Traveller community in South East Galway to have their voice heard” said Kathleen Ward a community health worker with GTM in South East Galway.

She continued by saying that  “ Galway Traveller Movement  intends to set up local Traveller action groups with a view to challenging the inequality experienced by my community”

Meetings were also held in Ballinfoyle, Westside, Doughiska and Ballybane in the city.

For more information contact:

Margaret Ó Riada – 087-0517321

 

Notes

  1. At the National Traveller Pride Awards David Stanton, Minister for Equality said that ‘the hearts and minds of the settled population must be won over before Traveller ethnicity can be recognised’
  2.  Galway communities call on the Irish State to live up to its commitment and

 

“promote the full and effective equality of persons belonging to minorities in all areas of economic, social, political and cultural life together with the conditions that will allow them to express, preserve and develop their culture and identity.” Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

 

The Framework Convention, which entered into force on 1 February 1998, is one of the most comprehensive treaties designed to protect the rights of persons belonging to national minorities.

 

 

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