Pavee Roads Home is an innovative project designed by a group of Traveller men exploring cultural identity through research and personal history.

The men, who are part of the Men’s Health Programme at Pavee Point took a number of months to document the history and journey of their families from when they travelled the roads to when they arrived in Dublin.

Family Histories

The men worked on developing their family trees. They had to collect and research the information from older members of the family – as some Traveller births and deaths were not necessarily registered.

Martin Reilly with his wife Katie and baby Paddy with geneologist Tony Hennessy.

However, with the help of professionals the men were also able to find out information that family members did not have. Martin Tooth Collins discovered one of his relations was a member of the Connacht Rangers .

Martin Reilly also discovered that his ancestors had military history and had fought in European wars. “Discovering this information made me proud,” he says.

Mapping out old camps

The project then mapped out elements of this journey and collected information on what camps were used and memories of life then.

“There was an image of a bird carved in a tree that probably Travellers made – and there it was still as good as ever,” said Michael Collins from the Project.

The intergenerational element of the project was central as the older generation of Travellers played a key role. Pavee Point Primary Health Care Workers were vital in passing on the treasure trove of information on history and culture of Travellers.

Pavee Roads Home is an evolving project which is creating something that the community as a whole can access to learn about their own past. The project is also looking at the changing role of Traveller men over the years.

The project will be on view in Finglas Library opening on the 10th December.

The project, along with a number of other local Finglas projects, was supported by Dublin City Culture Company and Pavee Roads Home will be donated to the National Library of Ireland when complete. We also want to thank the Dublin North West Area Partnership for their support.

Dublin’s Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe speaks of the pride of community in Finglas at the presentation of the Dublin City Culture Company Projects this week.