Traveller family histories give visibility to Traveller culture at National Library
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Pavee Point is proud today to donate family history materials that are part of Pavee Point’s ‘Pavee Roads Home’ project to the archives at the National Library of Ireland. This donation marks an important addition to the archive because it is material generated by Travellers themselves and gives visibility to the role Travellers have played in Irish society.
histories – which detail the ancestry of 3 Travellers living in Finglas and
Coolock – provide insights into Traveller history and identity. They show the parts of the country the
families came from, the various connections and also reveal Irish Traveller
contribution to Irish military history.
conducting this research into our own family histories, we discovered strong
connections to the Connacht Rangers. This
is something we never knew and reveals a lot about Travellers contribution to
society and it really makes me proud,” said Michael Collins, Men’s Health Worker
at Pavee Point.
and culture of Travellers isn’t written about and in many ways is being
forgotten. It was great for a group of
Traveller men to lead out on researching and documenting important historical
information relating to Travellers and to be able to share and celebrate it
with Travellers and settled people,” said Michael Collins “Now this information
will be safe and available for the future in the National Library.”
Roads Home project visited the National Library in July 2019 and met with
genealogist Tony Hennessy. The research
team worked closely with Tony to develop their family trees. This involved collecting and researching
information from older family members via the Pavee Point Primary Health Care
National Library support our work was significant. Not only was the technical assistance vital
it also affirmed to us that the work is important and that Traveller history is
important,” said Martin Reilly of Pavee Roads Home.
“A lot of
young Travellers today are struggling with their identity and a lot of
Travellers feel they need to hide their Traveller identity to get on in
life. This project is about Travellers
becoming proud,” said Martin Collins who also worked on the project. It is hoped the project can be continued and
inspire other institutions to give more visibility to Traveller culture and
The Director of the Nation Library, Dr Sandra Collins, said “We are honoured to receive this donation to the national collections and delighted to have worked with the Pavee Roads Home project and Dublin City Council Culture Company on this initiative. /2
important that the national collections include the diversity of Irish
experience, and Traveller heritage is a welcome addition to our collections
which tell the story of Ireland.”
was supported by The National Neighbourhood which consists of Dublin City Council
Culture Company in partnership with Dublin City Council (Dublin City Libraries,
local area offices, Arts Office, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane) and
National Cultural Institutions (Abbey Theatre, Chester Beatty, Irish Museum of
Modern Art, National Archives, National Concert Hall, National Gallery of
Ireland, National Library of Ireland, the National Museum of Ireland).