|Committee for the Rights of Travellers
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Many thanks to Alan Mac Simoin for scanning and forwarding this document to the Archive. This is a very interesting document produced on the back of activism by Travellers, members of Sinn Féin and people who were later amongst the founder members of the Workers Solidarity Movement in support of Travellers’ rights encompassed in the Committee for the Rights of Travellers. This was avowedly non-party political activity and in this issue of Pavee the focus is on events in Tallaght where there were marches against Travellers. Prominent Travellers representatives were arrested and this issue details the case of two such happenings and the harassment of families of members of the Committee for the Rights of Travellers including the joint Chairpersons of the Committee.
There’s also criticism of the Review Body Report released on Travellers in the recent past and the annual Conference of the National Committee for Travelling People. It notes that:
There was a good deal of talk from the Leadership of the National Committee, but few of them could point to any gains made by the Travellers in their struggle to be accepted as human beings.
And it suggests that:
It is not of the Comm. For the Rights of Travelling People how to conduct their Annual Conference but as we were invited as ‘observers’ could we make some observations? Why not a National Committee OF Travelling People? Why not make the Conference less formal and in surroundings that would encourage more Travellers to attend? Why not a bit of music and a bit of Crack for the children?
It notes various encounters with Dublin County Council, one in relation to the cleaning of sites which it suggests was part of an election effort, the other being a meeting with Councillors where ‘we found the Councillors all baring a few more worried about their votes rather than the miserable conditions Travelelrs are forced to live in’. There is mention of vigilante groups and increasing activity by them. And there’s a prize for ‘Bigot of the Month’.