Statement on Bareknuckle fighting videos

Pavee Point wishes to respond to comments made by a judge in a hearing yesterday (Wednesday 22 February 2012) in which he expressed the view that Traveller organisations should be more pro-active in tackling the issues of bareknuckle fighting and the promotion of bareknuckle fighting.  We are similarly concerned about the erroneous impression given in broadcast media that Pavee Point and other Traveller organisations have shirked their responsibility to lead in these areas.

Pavee Point agrees with Judge Hughes that videos produced by those seeking to promote and incite fights are disgusting and vulgar in the extreme.  Pavee Point feels strongly that these videos do serious damage to the community and its standing in society.

Pavee Point is happy to clarify that we have always maintained a position opposed to this illegal fighting and we explicity reject it as a solution to conflict.  On the contrary, Pavee Point has repeatedly and consistently expressed opposition to this brutal activity, and has expressed concern about the tendency of publicity for the activity through social media and video websites to exacerbate conflict and fuel tensions within the community when they arise.

Pavee Point promotes a mediated dialogue methodology for the management of conflict where it arises.

Pavee Point is also concerned that bareknuckle fighting has become a vehicle for the exploitation of Travellers in conflict situations for profit and that the unfettered availability of videos online fuels this exploitation and violence.

Not only has Pavee Point identified these as issues, but we have been clear on our opposition to bareknuckle fighting and its exploitation across all media. When asked to speak at events where the issue is relevant, we have ensured that our opposition is well known and understood.

As always, we welcome the highlighting of this activity as a serious issue by a member of the judiciary and by the broadcast media.