Minister for Arts, Heritage, Rural, Regional and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys, TD, sampled the enthusiasm and energy for arts and heritage at Pavee Point and reiterated her belief in pride in Traveller culture.

The Minister recalled her own family’s contact with Travellers in the days gone by and said her programme ‘Creative Ireland’ was committed to enabling creativity in all communities and enabling the creative potential of every child.

Missie Collins chats to Minister Humphreys. Photo by Derek Speirs.

Pavee Point spoke of the need for resources for Traveller organisations to promote Traveller pride in Traveller culture while at the same time ensuring that Traveller culture was included in the work of mainstream arts and heritage institutions.

“Travellers and Roma have largely been excluded from the national framework for promoting arts, culture and heritage despite the contribution the communities have had in Irish and international contexts,” said Mary Collins, Pavee Point.

We also spoke about the importance of prioritising social inclusion in development programmes including the LEADER programme – especially in areas where no Traveller organisation exists.

Mary Collins speaks on the importance of inclusion in the Arts.

“The Leader Rural Development Programme offers an opportunity to target measures at Travellers and Roma and the collection of ethnic data can identify barriers for groups in accessing and using services,” said Patrick Reilly of Pavee Point.

We showed the Minister our commitment to cultural action over our 30 years existence and called for Traveller and Roma organisations to be mapped as key institutions in the cultural area.  Click on image to see full timeline.