Academic ‘truth’ and perpetuation of negative attitudes and intolerance towards Travellers in Contemporary Ireland

Kitchin, Rob and Crowley, Una (2015) Academic ‘truth’ and perpetuation of negative attitudes and intolerance towards Travellers in Contemporary Ireland. In: Tolerance and Diversity in Ireland, North and South. Manchester University Press, Manchester, pp. 153-170. ISBN 9780719097201

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Official URL: http://10.7228/manchester/9780719097201.001.0001

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In 2014, fifty-one years after the publication of the seminal Report of the Commission on Itinerancy, Irish Travellers remain one the most marginalised groups in Irish society. This is despite the fact that vast resources and energy have been introduced into programmes, campaigns and partnerships aimed at improving relations between Travellers and sedentary society. Whether recognised as an ethnic group, as in Northern Ireland (see Hamilton, Bloomer and Potter, Chapter 4 above), or a listed concern of equality legislation, as in the Republic, Travellers continue to perform very poorly on every indicator used to measure disadvantage including unemployment, illiteracy, poverty, health status and access to decision making and political representation. Nomadism, a core element in Traveller culture, has been severely curtailed as a number of government Acts were ratified in the second half of the twentieth century to regulate Travellers’ lives and delimit their spatial mobility with respect to housing, trespass, use of roads, ownership and control of animals, anti-social behaviour and trading.1 Recent surveys of the general population reveal widely held negative, intolerant and prejudicial attitudes towards Travellers and their lifestyle (see for example, Powell and Geoghegan, 2004; MacGréil, 2011; Tormey and Gleeson, 2012). Indeed as McVeigh (2008: 92) suggests the ‘combination of fear and contempt in anti Traveller discourse has changed remarkably little over time’.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Academic ‘truth’; perpetuation; negative attitudes; intolerance; Travellers; Contemporary Ireland;
Academic Unit: Centre for Teaching and Learning
Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
Item ID: 7676
Depositing User: Prof. Rob Kitchin
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2016 11:20
Journal or Publication Title: Tolerance and Diversity in Ireland, North and South
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Refereed: No

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