The Irish Travelers . by Delia Toja

The Irish travelers are a nomad group set in Ireland, not to be confused with Romani people. They share a common background with Irish people, such as the Gaelic language, which some speak instead of English. They are also extremely catholic. Nowadays, we can find them in Ireland, the UK, and, due to the general Irish immigration of the XIX century, in the United States. Even though there is much debate around them, it is said that they do have an ethnic Irish origin different from the vast majority. Various theories exist about them: some say they became nomads during the middle Ages, as they were followers of an aristocratic nomad clan, others say they hit the road when Oliver Cromwell started his military campaign in 1640. As they do not have a writing tradition, we cannot know.

Nowadays, the European Commission on Xenophobia considers them as the most discriminate and attacked ethnic group in Ireland. Other issues are their lack of education and access to health, giving them one of the lowest life expectancy in Europe. You can learn more details here or here or here!!

DELIA TOJA is a Master Student in European Studies at Sciences Po Paris, she is super cool and she comes from Barcelona, Spain.


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