“Feuding is neither a sport nor a form of entertainment. People get hurt. Families are damaged. The fabric of the community gets torn.” Rosaleen McDonagh.
Last April, the Traveller Counselling Service, Exchange House Ireland and the Traveller Mediation Services organised a conference on ‘Inter-family Violence and its Impact on Traveller Mental Health’ in Dublin Castle. The conference aimed to highlight the causes of violent conflict and its impact on Traveller mental health and to explore possible solutions and ways to support the community. It also intended to address a common misperception; that feuding is not inherent to Traveller culture but rather “a feature of continuous oppression” caused by institutionalised racism and discrimination, a lack of education and employment opportunities, which is further compounded by the negative portrayal of Travellers in mainstream media.
Over 150 Travellers, Traveller activists, service providers and state department representatives attended. Speakers included Margaret Casey of the Tipperary Rural Traveller Project, Chris McDonagh and Frank Kavanagh of the Traveller Mediation Service, Jane Mulcahy a PhD Candidate in Law, UCC, Thomas McCann of the Traveller Counselling Service and the Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton whose department is committed to supporting and implementing the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy (NTRIS).
You can read the full report and synopsis here: Conference Report – Inter-Family Conflict and its Impact on Traveller Mental Health