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Assimilation Policies & Outcomes:Travellers’ Experience

Assimilation Policies & Outcomes:Travellers’ Experience

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Published by woodstockwoody
In Ireland, Travellers remain the most discriminated-against minority in the country. This small-scale research project was conceived as a contribution to identifying
how the inclusion of Travellers can be positively promoted to the enrichment
of both indigenous ethnic groups, Traveller and settled.
In Ireland, Travellers remain the most discriminated-against minority in the country. This small-scale research project was conceived as a contribution to identifying
how the inclusion of Travellers can be positively promoted to the enrichment
of both indigenous ethnic groups, Traveller and settled.

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Published by: woodstockwoody on May 25, 2010
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05/12/2014

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Assimilation Policiesand Outcomes:
Travellers’Experience
Report on a research project commissioned by Pavee Point Travellers’Centre
 
INTRODUCTION
Rationale,aims and objectives for this research project1The Research Project3Theoretical Framework and Project Report Outline8
01
HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENTS ANDGOVERNMENT INTERVENTION
1.1 Historical Developments111.2 Government Intervention14
02
TRAVELLER IDENTITY AND SETTLED SOCIETY
2.1 Conceptualising Travellers172.2 Conceptualising Travellers and Settled Society27
03
SERVICE PROVISION AND TRAVELLER EXPERIENCE
3.1 Accommodation373.2 Education,Training and Work47
04
EVALUATIVE SUMMARY,CONCLUSIONSAND RECOMMENDATIONS
4.1 Evaluative Summary534.2 Conclusions624.3 Recommendations644.4 Concluding Comments67We would like to thank Mairín Kenny and Eileen McNeela,Independent Research Consultants,for conducting this significantpiece of research and writing the Report on the impact ofassimilation policies on the Traveller community;and Sharon Kellyfor editing the final report.Although the Report’s recommendationsare mainly targeted at local,community and family developmentagencies the findings are significant and pertinent to a broaderrange of policy makers,service providers and public opinion shapersas well as to Travellers and Traveller organisations.The Report illustrates the dichotomy between official policy andactual practice and illustrates the difficulties that Travellersencounter in trying to integrate into Irish society.It illustrates someof the strategies Travellers have used in managing their identity andattempting to improve conditions for themselves and their childrenin Ireland over the past 40 years.It becomes clear “that it is notTravellers’nomadism that fuels anti-Traveller racism;it is theirgroup identity.They are ostracised whether they ‘settle’or not.”
Ronnie Fay,Director Pavee Point Travellers Centre,December 2005.
contentsforeword
 
Rationale,aims andobjectives for thisresearch project
Ethnic diversity is an enriching,problematic and increasingly importantfacet of modern societies.Although untilrecently Irish society presumed itself to beethnically homogeneous,historical recordsshow that Travellers have been presentsince at least the twelfth century.
They remain the most discriminated-against minority in this country.Thissmall-scale research project was conceived as a contribution to identifyinghow the inclusion of Travellers can be positively promoted to the enrichmentof both indigenous ethnic groups,Traveller and settled.Just as traditionalinequitable and hostile relations between these populations presaged howimmigrant minorities are presently treated,so too the development ofpositive inclusive programmes will contribute to developing an Irish societythat welcomes diversity.Social programmes targeting Travellers were initiated by the Report of theFirst Government Commission on Itinerancy,published in 1963.TheCommission’s terms of reference were:
to enquire into the problems arising from the presence…of itinerants and…to examine the…problems inherentin their way of life
(CI Report,1963,p 11).
Travellers have been the ‘objects’of official policy since then.A key issuein shaping social policy and practice has been the way in which Travellers’identity is conceptualised:who the Travellers are and what their place is inIrish society,in the eyes of policy makers,service providers,and the majoritypopulation;and how Travellers themselves assert their identity.As will bedemonstrated in this Project Report,although policy statements on Travellersand their needs became more nuanced,they remained strongly shaped bythe assimilationist aims of that First Government Commission.In particular,Travellers’nomadism continues to be perceived as a problem rather thanas a valued tradition and way of life.
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