Wexford Local Development proudly hosted an open event on Tuesday, July 25th 2017, joining with Wexford Travellers to celebrate the formal recognition of Travellers as an ethnic minority in Ireland. On the day a Social Media campaign in celebration of Traveller ethnicity was launched, as well as an open Traveller Cultural Awareness workshop, a cultural exhibition alongside a drop-in coffee morning.
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The event was part of a series of Traveller Pride events, in association with Wexford’s Traveller Interagency Group and supported by the Department of Justice and Equality.
On Wednesday, March 1st 2017, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, announced formal recognition for Travellers as a distinct ethnic group within the State. Travellers see this as an important symbolic and positive step in acknowledging the uniqueness & inclusion of Traveller identity as a part of Irish society, rather than apart from it.
“It is a historic day for our Travellers and a proud day for Ireland”, Mr Kenny told the Dail. The statement received a standing ovation as Mr Kenny formally recognised the community’s ethnic status. The applause was sustained.
The public gallery of the Dáil and an overflow room were packed as members of the Traveller community watched the announcement. There was also a large crowd at the gates of Leinster House while the Taoiseach read his statement. View video clip
A complimentary environmental planting project entitled Our Place To Grow saw local Tidy Towns groups in Bunclody and Enniscorthy, work with local Traveller residents, County Wexford Community Workshop and Enniscorthy Men’s Shed. The planting project took place in Bunclody and the Drumgoold Traveller specific housing scheme in Enniscorthy. Traveller residents were involved in all stages of this project resulting in wooden planters, constructed locally by the Men’s Shed and by Kilcannon Industries, installed and planted in these housing schemes.
Over the years WLD has been a leader in the area of developmental work with Travellers. Read more about our full range of services to the Traveller community
We were instrumental in the delivery of pilot Local Training Initiatives (LTIs) under the Traveller Primary Health Care Programme both in New Ross and in Bunclody, which progressed into the current Traveller Community Health Programmes in North & South Wexford.
We also played a pro-active role in the development of Traveller Men’s Health programmes and continue to be active collaborators in the Traveller Interagency Group, leading out on a number of actions which delivered positive outcomes for Travellers.
From co-ordinating and supporting Traveller community participation & representation on local, regional and national decision making bodies to Traveller Cultural Awareness training, WLD has always put the voice of the Travelling community forward through building the capacity and skills of the community itself and by fostering leadership and the value of self-determination.
Video Clip: Bridget Wall talks about Traveller Ethnicity and what it means to her
Video Clip: Traveller Women discuss their hopes for the future as part of Celebrating Our Ethnicity