Irish Traveller

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Irish Travellers (Irish: an lucht siúil, Shelta: Pavee) are traditionally nomadic people of Irish origin with their own language and traditions, living predominantly in Ireland but also in Great Britain and the United States of America.[1][2] Travellers refer to themselves as Minceir or Pavees in their own language or in Irish as an Lucht Siúil, meaning literally "the walking people". The European Parliament Committee of Enquiry on Racism and Xenophobia found them to be amongst the most discriminated-against ethnic groups in Ireland[3] and yet their status remains insecure in the absence of widespread legal endorsement.[4]



The historical origins of Travellers as a group has been a subject of academic and popular debate.[5] It was once widely believed that Travellers were descended from landowners or labourers who were made homeless by Oliver Cromwell's military campaign in Ireland and in the 1840s famine. However, their origins may be more complex and difficult to ascertain because through their history the Travellers have left no written records of their own. Others claim there is evidence of nomadic groups in Ireland in the 5th century, and by the 12th century the name Tynkler and Tynker emerged in reference to a group of nomads who maintained a separate identity, social organization, and dialect.[6]

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