Frances Black to headline at first Irish Traveller ethnicity celebration this March

Event to include Traveller music, drama, cinema, historical talks and photographic exhibitions as well as special children’s activities

Singer & Senator Frances Black is to be the headline musical act at the forthcoming Irish Traveller Ethnicity Celebration which will be taking place on March 1.

The celebration is being held to mark the first anniversary of the State’s acknowledgement of Traveller ethnicity and will take place at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin.

The programme for the day is available at

Speaking on behalf of the nine national Traveller organisations hosting the event – with the support of the Department of Justice and Equality – Maria Joyce said that the celebration (which is open to the public free of charge and will commence at 11.00am and end at 6pm on Thursday, 1 March next) will be a family-oriented day with lots of fun activities for people of all ages.

“This first anniversary of the acknowledgement by former Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, of Traveller ethnicity provides the space for the Traveller community to express – in a collective setting – the impact of this acknowledgement of their unique minority status as well as providing an opportunity to showcase Traveller culture and heritage. 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,” Maria Joyce said.

Ms Joyce explained that the Irish Traveller Ethnicity Celebration will draw together essential elements of Travellers’ rich culture and heritage including music, craft traditions and language. It will also showcase the history of the community through its creative traditions as well as through photography and genealogy and will feature national collections from the UCD Folklore Collection, the National Library of Ireland and the National Museum of Country Life.

Among the key items on the programme for the Irish Traveller Ethnicity Celebration ( – for which admission will be free – will include exhibitions and performances will be:

Musical performances – Senator Frances Black, Paddy Keenan, Thomas McCarthy;

Look back at 10 years of Traveller Pride Awards;

Performances of dramas written by Rosaleen McDonagh and Michael Collins;

Films and documentaries;

Photographic exhibition;

Workshops/clinics on Traveller language, folklore and heritage, genealogy and music;

Interactive features including audio collections from the national folklore, music and story archives as well as craft demonstrations;

Displays of different elements of Traveller culture such as Tinsmithing, Beady Pockets, rugs and quilts

For children there will be a Barrel Top Wagon to explore as well as arts and crafts workshops.

The Irish Traveller Ethnicity Celebration is being organised by the following nine Traveller organisations with the support of the Department of Justice and Equality:

-Irish Traveller Movement;

-National Traveller Women’s Forum;

-Minceirs Whiden;

-Pavee Point;


-National Traveller Money Advice and Budgeting Service;

-Parish of the Travelling People;

-Exchange House Ireland National Travellers Service;

-The Traveller Counselling Service


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