We are working with Maynooth University Geography Department to document Travellers’ stories of belonging and unbelonging in North Dublin to promote an awareness and pride in Traveller  identity and culture – and so promote Traveller health and well-being.

We know that maps tell us about places and show us how A is linked to B.  But in this project we are creating a Community Map – this is a map that shows us Travellers’ experiences, sense of identity and emotional geography in Coolock.

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Travellers from Coolock are getting together in a series of workshops to talk about and map out places in the area that have special meaning for them – this can be in a positive way or a negative way.

These places can be particular places or types of social spaces (schools, work places, and so on). We want to understand what feelings people have in these places and where the emotions are coming from. Where do Travellers feel at home? Where do Travellers feel like they don’t belong?

Positive Identity – Positive Mental Health

In this way we will uncover more about Travellers’ lives today.  Our map will be used to create discussions and to develop understanding of the Traveller experience.  It will also help to affirm and validate that experience, to record it and make it available for both Travellers and non-Travellers.

Travellers experience discrimination, marginalisation and exclusion and this affects Travellers lives.   This project puts a lens and a focus on the Traveller experience in an area of Dublin where Travellers are often pushed to one side and forgotten about.  By reclaiming Coolock this projects promotes positive identity and contributes to positive mental health.

We’d like to thank The Irish Research Council New Foundations Grant #LoveIrishResearch for their support on this project.