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Irish Traveller Movement Weekly News Update Friday 19th April 2013

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1. Date for your Diary: Irish Traveller Movement Annual General Meeting and Conference 11th & 12th June in Cavan

2. ITM presentation to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Equality in relation to Traveller Ethnicity

3. Traveller Pride Awards- book your place now!

4. Response from RTE in relation to complaints made to Prime Time

5. Donate to the Irish Traveller Movement online

6. Update from Cavan Traveller Movement

7. Schools invited to participate on Yellow Flag diversity programme- Schools back on Monday 8th & only 3 weeks left to encourage them to apply to take part-Closing Date MAY 1st

8. David Joyce appointed as Commissioner of new Human Rights Body

9. Traveller Counselling Service & call for the Women's Mini Marathon

10. Update from the ITM Coordinators Meeting- next meeting April Tuesday 23rd- venue confirmed as NWCI offices

11. Job Advertisement: Laois Travellers Action Group Project Administrator Part-time (8hours per week)

12. NWCI campaign on the taxation of maternity benefit

13. End Direct Provision Campaign

14. Let's Colour Programme

15. Use the ITM E-zine update to get your message across

1. Date for your Diary: Irish Traveller Movement Annual General Meeting and Conference 11th & 12th June in Cavan

Hi all, just to put a date in your diaries for the Irish Traveller Movement AGM & conference which will take place on Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th June in Cavan. Just to say that a number of loactions were proposed by ITM members and that the central group had a difficult decision based on very strong submissions made to host the AGM. Well done Cavan Traveller Movement!

The theme and agenda and further details will be announced very shortly, but we wanted you all to keep these dates free.

Remember, in order to attend the ITM AGM, you must be a fully paid up member of ITM. If you require a membership form please contact the office on 01-6796577

Can members print out the attached membership affilaition form and return it with a cheque or postal order (made out to Irish Traveller Movement) to ITM, 4/5 Eustace Street, Dublin 2

If you have any membership queries, email

Thanks to all the groups who have affiliated already- much appreciated!

Details on motions to the AGM, nominations to the Central Group and workshop participation will be made available in due course but just to flag a date for your diary: motions will have to be emailed by Wednesday 29th May at 5pm. As per the ITM consitution, all motions must be sent out to members at least 10 days before the AGM and all receieved motions will go in a special AGM ezine on Friday 31st May

2. ITM presentation to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Equality in relation to Traveller Ethnicity

On Tuesday this week Brigid Qulligan, Director of ITM and Susan Fay, ITM Independent Law Centre, made historic presentations to the Joint Oireachtas Committee of Justice, Defence and Equality in relation to the State's refusal to recognise Traveller ethnicity. This is another important step in the ITM's ethnicity campaign and is a result of lobbying of TDs and Senators, locally and nationally.

We would like to thank all our members who have lobbied their local politicians in relation to this over the last six months and to recognise that your work has moved this issue on to a new level. Also well done to Brigid and Susan for their inputs but well done to Jacinta Brack, public relations manager, members of the Central group and staff who have supported this as part of our strategic campaign. Pictures from the delegation can be viewed on our Facebook page and quotes from Brigid's input were included in the Irish Times article below:

This is a first of a series of presentations to the Joint Commitee in relation to Traveller ethnicity and a presentation was also made by Pavee Point on the same day as ITM. 

High suicide rate among Travellers linked to “hatred” in Irish society

Joint Oireachtas Committee hears submissions on recognising Travellers as an ethnic group

Travellers at risk: The Irish Traveller Movement said the community experiences an “innate” amount of discrimination and prejudice in all area of life on a daily basis. Photograph: Fran Veale

Colin Gleeson

Members of the Travelling community can “feel the hate” that Irish society harbours for them, and it is “directly linked” to the group’s high suicide rate, an Oireachtas Committee has been told.

The Irish Traveller Movement said the community experiences an “innate” amount of discrimination and prejudice in all area of life on a daily basis.

“Some of the hate towards us is because we are seen as deviants, villains and a subculture – people who won’t conform or participate in society,” said the group’s director Brigid Quilligan.

She was addressing the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality, which yesterday heard presentations on “the recognition of Traveller ethnicity”.

“That is the reason ethnicity is so close to my heart,” she said. “People justify racism against us by saying ‘they bring it on themselves’.

“That is what the general Irish population think about us – and we know that. We feel that. We feel the hate. Our children feel the hate.”

Hate in the media

“We see the hate in the media. We see it displayed by people in positions of responsibility: politicians, judges, policemen, teachers, doctors. We see it, we feel it and we experience it on a daily basis.

“We’ve been devalued within society. Never before, in my lifetime, have I seen such hate as I’ve seen in the last five years. If you open a newspaper, turn on the television, if you’re in a shop, if you’re on a train, there is anti-Traveller sentiment fired at you.”

She said the recognition of the Travelling community as an ethnic group was “vital to our survival”.

“Our suicide rate is six times the national average. Now I know, and our colleagues know, and the people in the gallery know, that that is directly related to the oppression and the marginalisation our people suffer.”

She was also heavily critical of politicians who have made comments that have been construed as anti-Traveller. “What’s happening more and more is people in power are coming out with absolutely outrageous anti-Traveller propaganda. It’s like open season on Travellers with little or no consequences for their actions.”

3. Traveller Pride Awards- book your place now!

As you all know the fourth Traveller Pride Awards, which award the achievements and contributions Travellers, make to their own community and to Irish society in areas such as;   Education, Music, Youth, Sports, Arts / Culture, Enterprise & Employment and Community will be held in Dublin on Thursday May 9th 2013 from 12 – 2pm in the Pillar Room, Rotunda Hospital, Dublin. It promises to be a fun day out with an opportuntiy to celebrate achievements in the community and special guest presenters. We're all very excited here and will announce some of our special guests.

To book a place, email or keep linked in via Facebook for more updates.

4. Response from RTE in relation to complaints made to Prime Time

As many people were offended by the Prime Time programme which took place on March 6th, many complaints were made to RTE. ITM as an organisation made a detailed complaint to RTE and has recevied a response this week (as have individuals who also wrote in to RTE to express their views). The Irish Traveller Movement is considering its response and will liasie with other groups in relation to this

Thanks to all who took the time to have their voices heard, either as individuals or member organisations.

5. Donate to the Irish Traveller Movement online

Hi all, as many of you know there is a function on our website that allows people to make online donations to the work of the ITM. We had been contacted recently by someone experiencing difficulties with this and we are delighted to say that having contacted Paypal, this has been rectified. It's always great to get support from people within the Movement and it's very heartening to receive any donation, big or small.

If you want to donate online, you can click here to go to the ITM website and on the left hand side you will see a link to Paypal where you can pay by credit or debit card.

If you have any queries, email Chantelle for more details

6. Update from Cavan Traveller Movement

Cavan Traveller Pride Award Nomination Forum

The Aim

The aim as outline in national Traveller awards is to celebrate Traveller achievements across and the contributions that Travellers make to their own community to Irish society. The Awards also highlight some of the obstacles that exist for Travellers in Irish society.  The ultimate aim is to instil pride, increase expectations and celebrate Travellers’ undoubted positive contribution to Irish life – and also the pride and determination one must have in order to succeed as a Traveller.

Cavan Traveller Movement is holding a Traveller Pride awards you are invited to nominate your Traveller champion who has inspired you and many others in youth, education, sports, community and Culture & Art, an award will be presented acknowledging this achievement and presented by prominent leaders on the day. 

Name _________________


Phone: ________________

  •  Youth                               
  •  Sport
  •  Community             
  •  Culture & Art              
  •  Education

Why does this person /organisation deserve this award?


Your name _____________________            Phone: ________________


Ground rules

  • You must have the permission of person you are nominating
  • You cannot nominate yourself. 
  • Must be living  in Cavan
  • Available to receive the Traveller Award on  the day
Closing Date 3rd May 2013,

Email: Cavantravmovement@gmail,com

Post Cavan Traveller Pride Committee; bridge Community Centre, Cavan town

Further information contact Bernard Joyce on 087-9277481

Traveller Culture Awareness Training Workshop: 

The aim of the training/seminar is to raise awareness of Traveller culture and way of life and issues impacting on Travellers to front line services and professionals working within Cavan, This training will be delivered by local Travellers within the Cavan Traveller Movement in Conjunction with the Irish Traveller Movement and cover historical context, policy, racism Traveller ethnicity and factual information.    

Date:   Friday 24th May 2013,  Time: 3pm -5pm,  Location: Cavan Town

This  workshop/ seminar  is  open to Teachers, Social workers, Primary Care teams, an Garda Soichana, Local authority, Community and voluntary Organisations

Send the following details:
 Name /organisation,  Number attending and  Contact number to Cavantravmovement@gmail,com or call Bernard Joyce on 087-9277481

Community  leadership  Training

We are also currently identifying new members throughout Cavan in terms of  participating in the training  and development, if you are interested in being part of this Movement or can offer additional support and want to get involved contact me, 

  • March -August -    Redefining member’s roles and responsibilities and defining the needs of the movement:   learning and development meeting other Traveller organisation
  • Team building
  • Community development
  • Presentation: representing the needs of the Traveller community
  • Racism and Traveller ethnicity   
  • Internalised oppression
  • Leaders and team work
  • Political lobbying
  • Influencing policy change
  • Feeding local issues into national forums                
  • Constitution & article of memorandum and association
  • Profiling the Cavan Traveller Movement
  • Developing an action plan 

In terms of coordination and planning, I will be in contact with other organisations & Traveller activists in terms of seeking expertise and support in the delivery of some key areas as listed below.  We also awaiting reply back from St Steven Green Trust for Traveller men initiates, watch this space


We are also currently identifying new members throughout Cavan in terms of  participating in the training  and development, if you are interested in being part of this Movement or can offer additional support and want to get involved contact me.  It’s important  note we have achieved so much in such short-time frame with so little in terms of resources and staff levels and am delighted with the work and commitment of all members who  have supporting the vision for a strong vibrant Traveller organisation, 


Again we are currently looking for the following information
  • Traveller Rural isolation and the impact & recommendations
  • best practice and governance 
  • Traveller initiatives
  • new initiatives being supported by Inter agency groups
  • Funding sources for sustainability 
  • Enterprise and employment initiatives
  • Initiatives with VEC youth  and adult education

Mentoring  We are also looking for a well established local Traveller organisation that working from human rights based approach that can fulfil a mentoring support role to us as a new emerging Traveller organisation, this would cover exchange visits , practice learning , inputs to our members , exchange  of personal , possible work  experiences ,  share  learning and challenges.   

Please reply to 

Thomas Maughan or Bernard Joyce members Cavan Traveller Movement 

7. Schools invited to participate on Yellow Flag diversity programme
- SCHOOLS BACK MON 8th & ONLY 4 WEEKS left to encourage them to apply to take part in Yellow Flag Programme!!!! CLOSING DATE MAY 1st

The Yellow Flag Programme is currently recruiting 15 new primary and secondary schools for September 2013 and we are looking for your support to help us identify schools that you think might be open to and would benefit from the Yellow Flag Programme.

The deadline for this round of applications is 1stof May 2013.

Application forms are available on our website

Background to the Yellow Flag

The Yellow Flag programme is a practical 8 step school based programme, which provides a framework to develop a school environment where every child is valued and included and unfair racist bullying and discrimination is challenged. Please see for further information.

Some application criteria that we would like you to be aware of:

  • Priority is given to schools with Traveller students.
  • A voluntary contribution of €250 is requested from the school to go towards costs of support, resources, flags and travel expenses.
  • The ITM needs to secure a small grant of 3K to take on each new school. We don’t expect the school to come up with this amount but instead look to see if we can secure small grants from Local Authorities, Partnership Companies etc. In  previous years grants we have been able to take on schools through grants we received from the following local authorities:

Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council, Dunlaoghaire Rathdown County Council, Wicklow County Council, Cavan County Council, Louth Leader Partnership and Galway Rural Development.

We need your help to support us to get continued support from the above local authorities but also to get support from other local authorities/partnership companies in your area.

Please call Paula Madden Yellow Flag Coordinator on 01 679 6577 / 087 241 0258 or email for any further information and or to look at how we can work together to bring the Yellow Flag to schools in your area.

Thanks to all the groups who participated in the discussion this week in relation to how Traveller groups can support the Yellow Flag, it was a brilliant discussion, pictures of which can be found on our Facebook page

8. David Joyce appointed as Commissioner of new Human Rights Body

We all in ITM would like to congratulate David Joyce, former ITM staff member, on his appointment as commissioner to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC), the new body which will be formed from the merger of the Irish Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority

From the Irish Times website

Shatter names 14 members of new human rights body

Independent panel fails to appoint chief commissioner

 The independent panel charged with appointing the members of the new Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) has failed to recruit a chief commissioner.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, confirmed this failure in a statment last night, in which he also indicated legislation to set up the new body is expected to be published before the end of the summer Dail term.

The likely makeup of the new body however became clearer when Mr Shatter announced the 14 names of the commission's members designate.

They include Professor of Law at UCC Siobhán Mullally; Mental Health Tribunal chairperson Teresa Blake; NUl Maynooth lecturers Mary Murphy and Orlagh O’Farrell; DCU lecturer Betty Purcell; Director of Exchange House National Travellers Service Heidi Foster Breslin, Barrister Sunniva McDonogh, Professor of Law Ray Murphy, Chartered Accountant Frank Conaty, Barrister David Joyce; Immigrant Council of Ireland Integration Manager Fidele Muwarasibo; Irish Council for Civil Liberties Director Mark Kelly, GLEN Chairperson Kieran Rose; and Liam Herrick of the Irish Penal Reform Trust.

The IHREC is the name of the organisation that is to replace the Irish Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority, which are to be merged. It is estimated the merger will save in the region of €500,000.

Mr Shatter said the purpose of the merger is to "promote human rights and equality issues in a more efficient, effective and coherent way".

Experts have insisted however that the role of chief commissioner is critical to making the merger work, and in re-establishing an effective equality and human rights presence in the State.

"The objective of this body will be to champion human rights, including the right to equality," said Mr Shatter. "Legislation to set up the new body is expected to be published before the end of the summer term.

"In the meantime, the members of the new Commission will take up their positions on the two existing bodies that are being merged. This will both fill the existing gap at board level in the two organisations and ensure they can begin operating as a cohesive whole."

A statement from the Department of Justice said it was "unfortunate" that the selection panel had been unable to recruit a chief commissioner.

"The terms on which this post was advertised included a requirement that the person to be appointed should not have served on either the Equality Authority or the Human Rights Commission.

"The requirement was considered essential to ensure that the new chief commissioner would bring balance and neutrality to the position in a sensitive merger context. The selection panel suggests also that the full-time nature of the position and the length of the contract (5 years) may have been issues that militated against a successful recruitment.

"As it has not proved possible for the present to recruit a chief commissioner for IHREC, the Minister will invite the group of 14 persons who have been selected to select one of their number for appointment to chair both the Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority pending recruitment of a Chief Commissioner,” it said.

9. Traveller Counselling Service & call for the Women's Mini Marathon

Hello Everyone

Its that time of year again and no better excuse to get exercising and fit for the summer ahead than the Flora Women's Mini Marathon.  Once again we are looking for people to run, jog or walk the 10km Flora Women’s Mini Marathon to raise some much needed funds for the Traveller Counselling Service.  This could be the perfect opportunity to start exercising and a great opportunity to link in with friends and family in an event that raises funds for the Traveller Counselling Service.   

The money raised last year went towards the setting up and launch of our website and also went directly towards the provision of counselling  hours to members of the Traveller Community.  Mental health is a very real concern within the community with suicide rates among young male Travellers almost seven times higher than they are within the settled population.  The money that you raise will go towards the continued provision of counselling to Travellers who are dealing with issues such as bereavement, depression, relationship issues,  violence and addiction to name but a few. 

As this is a women's event we are particularly interested in bringing together as many Traveller women as we can to join us on the day so please pass this info on to your friends and family and all that you think might be interested.   We are very keen to promote this event among Traveller women so therefore would be grateful if you could ensure that the Traveller women in your area, particularly those who don'e have access to e-mail are made aware of this event and our campaign to engage as many Traveller women as we can.  We are hoping to increase our numbers each year and turn this into an annual social event that brings Traveller women in the community together, gets us out in the open and also raises funds for a very worthwhile service within the community. 

This is a fun and easy going event with thousands of women of all ages and backgrounds from across the country coming together to raise funds for a variety of very worthwhile causes.  Unless you intend to run or jog, it doesn't require any real training  and the vast majority of participants walk - so please don't be put off by the word "marathon"! 

The race itself takes place at 2.00pm on the the 3rd June, which is a bank holiday Monday, though the closing date for entries in April 24th.  It is most important that you are registered well before this date to ensure you don't miss out as we had a number of women disappointed last year as there is a  limit on the number of entries into the event and this was reached well before the closing date.  You can read more about the event and you can enter on line through the following link, or you can register using the entry forms in the Evening Herald every Wednesday and Saturday.  There is an entry fee of €18.00 which you can either take our of the sponsorship money that you raise or you can contribute it to the service by paying it yourself. 

So - give yourself that extra push, dust off your walking or running shoes and get going for the Traveller Counselling Service!  If you are interested, please send us back your details so that we can ensure that you and your friends are registered before the closing date which is April 24th.  Details can be either sent by e-mail to this address or by post to Traveller Counselling Service, 6 New Cabra Road, Phibsborough, Dublin 7.  If you have any questions just send us an e-mail

Many thanks for your continued support and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on 3rd June.

Thomas McCann

10. Update from the ITM Coordinators Meeting- next meeting April Tuesday 23rd

The second meeting of coordinators of ITM members took place on 5th March. Building on the meeting in January, it was agreed that this space would be useful and allow coordinators to come together to look at the role of a Traveller organisation, the role of the coordinator within that and how best to share information and best practice among coordinators.

One of the issues that members were keen to look at was collating best practice in relation to staff/organisational handbooks for Traveller organistions and bring these ideas back to the group. We are calling on groups to share their handbooks in order to build a really strong set of policies specific to the work of a local Traveller organisation. If ITM members could email and once this is collated it will be put on the members' section of the ITM website.

The next meeting will take place on the 23rd April from 11am-1pm in Dublin. Venue will be confirmed in due course, for more details email

11. Job Advertisement: Laois Travellers Action Group Project Administrator Part-time (8hours per week)

Laois Travellers Action Group (LTAG) was founded in 1996 under the name Laois Travellers Views to work for the equal rights of Travellers living in the county.  LTAG is looking to employ an administrator to carry the project administration and accountancy tasks and support the co-ordinator in administration related tasks. This is a part-time position to be carried over two days (4 hours each day).

The purpose of the post will be:

  • To carry out the administration tasks of the project
  • Maintain accountancy records and submit financial reports.
  • Filing and record keeping/ database organisation.
  • Record, compile, and distribute minutes of meetings
  • Liaise with members of the board of management and directors.
  • To submit reports.
  • Organise project’s supplies
  • Coordinate maintenance of the office (equipment, repairs, etc)
  • To report to funders and Identify funding opportunities, submit funding applications and report to funders whenever necessary.
  • Other clerical duties
  • Contact with Auditor
  • Organise meetings, agendas and support in the organisation of project’s events.
  • Maintain communication with media and prepare press releases

The successful applicant will be required to have:     
  • Computer skills and knowledge of relevant software.
  • knowledge of principles and practices of basic office management
  • knowledge of clerical and administrative procedures and systems such as filing and record keeping
  • Accountancy skills
  • Excellent communication, facilitation and interpersonal skills
  • Report writing skills

Desirable: A knowledge of community development ethos and practices.  Commitment to human rights and social justice and to work from an anti-racist work perspective

Please submit a Curriculum Vitae and a detailed cover letter outlining qualifications, experience and skills specific to the position to the LTAG Coordinator at: by Monday 22nd  of April . Interviews will be held on Thursday 2nd of May.
This post is funded by the HSE.

Laois Travellers Action Group is an equal opportunities employer.

12. NWCI campaign on the Taxation of Maternity Benefit

Taxation of Maternity Benefit - NWCI campaign. ITM as a member of the National Women's Council of Ireland would like to make all our members aware of this campaign and ask you to give your voice to this.

Dear NWCI Member,

I am writing to let you know that NWCI have just launched a campaign, calling on Minister Noonan to provide an exemption to women who do not receive a full top-up salary payment from their employer from the intention to tax maternity benefit. The campaign notes that women who are on low and middle incomes and do not get a full top-up salary payment from their employers will be hit hardest by this measure, putting them under severe financial pressure. It also points out that the Commission on Taxation noted the positive social dimension to the payment that allows mothers to remain outside the workforce for a period to nurture their newborn children and recommended that maternity benefit remain outside the tax net.

The campaign will initially be in the form of an email to elected representatives in the participant’s constituency copied to Minister Noonan. See the NWCI website for more -

We are asking a broad range of NWCI Members, Unions, organisations and individuals to support the campaign and would be grateful if you would forward to your own members and contacts. I am attaching a brief note on the issue for your information.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.



Le deá-ghuí,

Ann Irwin

Policy Officer

National Women’s Council of Ireland

4th Floor, 2-3 Parnell Square East, Dublin 1

Tel: 01 – 8787248/085 858 9103



13. End Direct Provision Campaign

The IRC working with Asylum Seekers and Refugees and others around the country is calling for nationwide campaign to End Direct Provision.  The recent media coverage of the issues of Direct Provision, particularly the comparisons with the Magdalene Laundries, offers an opportunity to push for real change to the system. The IRC is also working with individual politicians and NGOs within the DP Forum are committed to this already.  We think public and political awareness of the problems with DP are finally coming to the fore and that now is the time to demand an end to DP.

  • We are coordinating a national campaign asking for review and reform of DP and we hope that you will come on board with a National Day of Action on DP to take place on Tuesday 23rd April.
  • The message of the campaign is: ‘End institutional living.  D P: No place to call home.’  We will be calling for an investigation into DP and reform of the reception system.
  • On 23 April 2013, we will be sending a message to the Government that we, the people who live in Ireland, want an end to DP.  We are working with residents in each DP centre and partner organisations to hold gatherings in solidarity with residents of DP at locations across the country.  We will provide support and materials for organisation, messaging and publicity, but we are hoping that each group will bring their own creative touch to their gathering which will then be broadcast on YouTube and sent to local TDs and the ministers responsible for DP.  We are inviting people who are not coordinating regional events to the Dublin gathering and children in living Direct Provision will present their own messages to the Minister for Justice or his representative calling for review and reform of DP
  • This will not only be an on the ground campaign but a coordinated nationwide social media campaign to end DP, which we believe has potential to go viral, with your help.
  • The IRC is holding a planning meeting and training for campaign organisers on Wednesday, 3 April 2013 in Dublin, 11am – 4pm.  We will be able to assist with transport costs.
For more information please  contact:
Sue Colan
Paula Quirke
Sharon Waters
Lassane Ouedraogo
Reuben Hambakachere
Grace Kennedy
Tel: 01 764 5854

14. Let's Colour Programme

Let’s Colour is open to community groups, charities, individuals and groups of friends in Ireland who have the desire and determination to make a difference in their community.
If you have a community space that you’d like to brighten up, then nominate your project below. If your project is chosen, you’ll receive the paint you need for free. But hurry, the deadline for applications is the 7th May 2013.
Spaces and buildings that are used by the community, and are not derelict, residential or commercial are all eligible

For full terms and conditions, see our FAQs section.

15. Use the ITM E-zine update to get your message across

All ITM members who wish to circulate positions available and upcoming events etc can simply send information to be circulated to the membership. 

Please send details and information to to be included into the next e-zine. Deadline for inclusion of material is Thursday 5pm of each week.