Travellers to celebrate anniversary of ethnic status in Dublin

Free events highlighting culture to be held at Royal Hospital Kilmainham on March 1st

The first anniversary of Travellers gaining ethnic status will be celebrated with a concert in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on March 1st.

Last year the Government granted Travellers ethnic status following a campaign for recognition stretching back three decades.

The recognition means that Travellers will have greater leverage in asserting rights in relation to housing, education and health.

Organiser Bernard Joyce said the day-long series of events, which includes exhibits, speaker clinics and performances, in the Royal Hospital will proceed with the emphasis being on celebration.

“It is about our community and the wider community coming together,” he said.

“Hopefully, it is the first of many such anniversary celebrations, but the State’s priority now must be to give real effect to this acknowledgement in the everyday lives of Travellers through its policy and practice ensuring the community’s future as a minority group while also enabling the community to share real equality of opportunity with the majority population.

“There is a lot of work still to be done, but it is the beginning of celebrating and enjoying it.”

The programme was launched on Thursday at a photocall in Dublin's Merrion Square Park.

It will include musical performances from Paddy Keenan and Thomas McCarthy and dramas written by Rosaleen McDonagh and Michael Collins.

There will also be a look back on 10 years of Traveller Pride Awards.

Mr Joyce explained that the Irish Traveller Ethnicity Celebration will draw together essential elements of Travellers’ culture and heritage including music, craft traditions and language.

It will also showcase the history of the community through the national collections from the UCD folklore collection, the National Library of Ireland and the National Museum of Country Life.

The details can be found at

Admission is free.