Pavee Point was delighted to be part of the launch of #HeritageWeek21 thanks to our ‘Pavee Roads Home‘ project. Speaking at the launch Heritage Minister Malcolm Noonan, TD highlighted: “This year’s National Heritage Week, focuses on encouraging the inclusion of as many people as possible in exploring, sharing and enjoying Ireland’s diverse heritage.

Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan added: “National Heritage Week continues to be an important moment for community engagement, wellbeing and social cohesion.

Photo Credit – This image features on The Irish Times Images of the Day 17 June – The Heritage Council launches National Heritage Week. At the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, to mark the launch of National Heritage Week 2021 with a “shelter tent” and other items from a traditional Traveller camp are, from right, Margaret Collins, her three-year-old son Davie Collins, family friend Sheila Reilly, and Davie’s great grand-aunt Biddy Collins. Photograph: Mark Stedman

“Projects such as the ‘Pavee Roads Home’ demonstrate the deep value of intergenerational heritage projects. National Heritage Week also offers the perfect opportunity to showcase a personal heritage project that can be part of the bigger heritage landscape and shared with the wider national community, ” said Ms. Teehan.

Pavee Roads Home Storymaps

“Our storymap tells the story of my father and my father’s father and my father’s grandfather and my family’s journey over generations from Ballinasloe, Galway to Cara Park, Coolock,” says Michael Collins, Men’s Health Worker, Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Center.

“The intergenerational aspect here was for me, really important. I was amazed at the amount of information the older Travellers had stored in their heads, I was fascinated listening to them.  This is a unique project as only Travellers have the information to bring this story to life.

Hidden Histories

 “As we know Travellers are not spoken about much when we look at Irish history so we were delighted to donate three family trees completed on Pavee Roads Home to The National Library of Ireland so we can ensure our stories are told and can be accessed, shared and enjoyed by as many people as possible.”

“Travellers and Traveller cultural heritage needs to be more visible in our cultural institutions and there is a need for investment in this cultural work.”

Intergenerational

This project would not have been possible without all the Travellers involved. The information which forms every part of this project resides solely in the minds and memories of these Travellers.

Biddy Collins, Grand Aunt to Michael and a Primary Health Care Worker, was raised in a tent and camped mostly in the midlands.  The memories she and other older Travellers have are precious as they are not well documented.  Pavee Roads Home was also an emotional journey remembering people who are gone and who are still missed today.   

“Many Travellers nowadays don’t know what life on the road was like. They can’t get a chance to experience it – so it’s very important the information is kept.

“For me it was lovely to visit the old camps, to talk to the young ones and to fill in the missing information on families.  Us Travellers have our own history and story and it’s great to tell people about it.”

Partners

This Pavee Point project was supported by the Eastern Region Traveller Health Unit, Dublin City Council Culture Company, The National Library and genealogist Tony Hennessy, artist Seamus Nolan and photographer Derek Speirs, Work on the storymaps is continuing with the Maynooth University Geography Department.