The exact percentage of Irish people who are Travellers is not known, however, a 2016 report by the Department of Justice and Equality suggests that it is estimated to be at least 0.5%, which would equate to approximately 25,000 to 30,000 people.
This estimate is based on reports from the Central Statistics Office’s 2016 Census, which showed that there were 22,436 Irish Travellers in the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Traveller Movement (ITM) also suggest that this figure should be closer to 32,000, as there are many Travellers living in Northern Ireland, and in other countries, who are not counted in the CSO’s figures.
Of the individuals counted in the 2016 census, 98% identified as Irish, with the remaining 2% identifying as British, Polish and other nationalities.
Table of Contents
Are Irish Travellers ethnically Irish?
Yes, Irish Travellers are ethnically Irish. They are an ethnic minority in Ireland and are recognized as an ethnic group by the Irish government. Irish Travellers have their own distinct culture and identity, although there is a lot of overlap with the wider Irish population.
Irish Travellers are historically nomadic, travelling in family groups, and live by their own customs and traditions. Despite their distinct culture, their language, music, and lifestyle remain significantly tied to the Irish culture and identity.
It is believed that Irish Travellers have their origins in the pre-historic times, and are descended from an ancient nomadic group known as Tuatha Dé Danann. Irish Travellers are distinct from, but closely linked to the Roma people throughout Europe.
Are Irish Travellers indigenous to Ireland?
Yes, Irish Travellers are an indigenous group in Ireland. The Irish Traveller community is thought to have originated in the 1800s, when nomadic people began travelling around the country in horse-drawn caravans.
Today, the Irish Travellers continue to maintain distinct cultural traditions and their way of life remains rooted in nomadic, itinerant practices. Irish Travellers are a distinct ethnic group, and they can be distinguished from the settled Irish community by their language, Traveller Cant, customs, and lifestyle.
The Irish Traveller Movement is an advocate group that works to protect the rights of Irish Travellers and to promote their culture and heritage. Although Travellers often face discrimination in hotel, employment, and education settings, they are an integral and vibrant part of Irish culture and society.
Are Irish gypsies an ethnic group?
Yes, Irish Gypsies are considered an ethnic group. Irish Gypsies are also known as ‘Travellers.’ Members of this group have a long history of living a nomadic lifestyle, travelling from place to place.
They are typically of Irish or English origin and speak a dialect of the English language, known as Shelta. Historically, Irish Travellers and the Romani people have had a contentious relationship, but both are recognised as distinct ethnic groups in Ireland.
Irish Travellers have their own unique customs and traditions, and their traditional arts, music, and storytelling are highly valued by the Irish culture. Further, their communities are marked by strong family ties and a distinct way of life from the more sedentary population.
While Irish Travellers have faced discrimination and prejudice in the past, they are now formally recognised as one of Ireland’s ethnic groups.
What genetic disease do Irish Travellers have?
Irish Travellers are an ethnic group in Ireland who have a distinct genetic history and a high rate of certain diseases due to their distinct gene pool. A genetic defect known as Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy (HMSN), also known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), is one of the most common genetic diseases affecting Irish Travellers.
HMSN is an inherited condition that affects the nerves responsible for sensory and motor functions in the body and can cause symptoms such as muscle weakness, muscle wasting, loss of sensation in the lower extremities, and overall limb and foot deformities.
Other genetic diseases common among Irish Travellers include Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC), also known as Lynch Syndrome; Oculocutaneous Albinism (OCA); and Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS).
HNPCC is an inherited genetic defect that increases the risk for colorectal and other cancers. OCA is a genetic disorder characterized by a lack of skin and hair pigmentation. CRS is a condition caused by a virus that can lead to birth defects, hearing loss, and developmental disabilities.
What part of Ireland are Irish Travellers from?
Irish Travellers are a traditionally nomadic ethnic group native to Ireland who primarily inhabit the island of Ireland. The traditional homeland of the Irish Traveller community is the region known as the Emerald Isle.
Traditionally, Irish Travellers have come from all parts of the island of Ireland, with the largest populations located in the provinces of Donegal, Galway, Kilkenny, Waterford, and Wexford. The Irish Traveller population has been historically concentrated in rural Ireland, typically around small villages, where they have lived in caravans and makeshift homes on the outskirts of towns and cities.
Though traditionally made u p of native Irish speakers, today members of the Traveller community can be found throughout England, Scotland, Wales, Australia, and the United States. Irish Travellers share many similar cultural and heritage practices, yet differ significantly from their settled counterparts in terms of language, dialect, religion, and lifestyle.
Although Irish Travellers are a close knit and traditional community, their nomadic lifestyle has in recent decades created increased social and economic difficulties, leading to growing numbers living in overcrowded and substandard housing conditions in urban areas.
Why do Irish Travellers look different?
Irish Travellers look different from other people in Ireland and from the settled community because they are from a distinct ethnic background and culture. Although Irish Travellers have lived in Ireland for centuries, their distinct culture has been shaped by a combination different influences; from the native language and customs of Ireland, to the influence of centuries of British domination.
Today, Irish Travellers are characterized by their distinct style of dress and speech, a preference for living a nomadic lifestyle, and an avoidance of mainstream education, among other things.
One of the most obvious physical characteristics of the Irish Travellers are their physical features. Irish Travellers tend to have darker skin, lighter eyes and hair, and more rounded features than the general population of Ireland.
This is due to the fact that Irish Travellers are an ethnically diverse group, with a history of intermarriage among the various traveller groupings.
Another reason why Irish Travellers look different is due to their lifestyle and the economic conditions that many Irish Travellers face on a daily basis. As a distinct ethnic group, Irish Travellers suffer from discrimination and low social inclusion, often living in poverty and facing difficulties in finding work and housing.
This means that many Irish Travellers are unable to afford modern clothing which leads to a more traditional form of dress. Furthermore, Irish Travellers also have to deal with a lack of good health care, which can lead to poorer physical health and further differences in appearance.
Do I have Irish Traveller blood?
Whether you have Irish Traveller blood or not can depend on how far back the information of your heritage goes. If you are aware of a direct ancestor within your family line who has identified as an Irish Traveller it is likely that you do have Traveller blood.
However, if your family’s heritage is not known to you beyond a few generations, it may be difficult to definitively answer this question.
If you are interested in learning more about your possible Irish Traveller heritage, there are a number of resources available to you. DNA tests can help you to trace your ancestry and to determine whether or not you have Traveller blood.
You can also research your family history as far back as you can, to see if there are any records or documents that point to a Traveller connection. Additionally, if you are able to contact any living relatives, they may be able to provide you with family stories or documents that could point to a connection too.
In addition to this, it is important to remember that Irish Traveller culture has its own distinct values, customs and way of life. If you wish to understand more about this culture, you can visit museums, watch videos or read books that cover the history and values of the Irish Travellers.
Ultimately, whether or not you have Irish Traveller blood can often be hard to ascertain. However, if you take the time to research your family history, you can gain a deeper understanding of this culture and your personal identity.
Who are the indigenous people of Ireland?
The indigenous people of Ireland are the Irish. Historically, the Irish were a Celtic people, with origins in the British Isles, although there were significant Viking, Norman and other influences. The Irish are descendants of ancient Irish, Pictish and British tribes who settled in Ireland from at least the 6th century.
Today, the majority of the Irish population is descended from these original inhabitants, although there are also Irish communities that trace their origins back to subsequent invasions and migrations, including those of the Vikings, Normans, and Scots.
The Irish language is descended from the language spoken by the Irish, and is still spoken by a small minority of Irish people.
What are Irish Traveller surnames?
Irish Traveller surnames are names originally derived from the Irish language, such as Mac, Mc, O’. Some of the common Irish Traveller surnames include:
MacDonagh, Rea, Roche, Cassidy, McDonagh, McGeoghan, O’Neill, McDonald, O’Brien, O’Connor, MacEoin, O’Reilly, McEvoy, McEvoy, O’Donnell, McElroy, and O’Rourke.
These names were used historically to help identify Irish Travellers in a legal capacity, such as for taxation and land leases. There are a variety of variations of each name as well, such as MacDonaghs spelt MacDonah or MacDhonagh.
Some of the surnames are also common among other communities in Ireland, like the O’Neills and the McDonaghs.
Other Irish Traveller looks at have other surnames that are less common, such as Breslin, Connelly, Duffy, Healy, Joyce, McGuiness, Moffett, and Quigley. In more rural parts of Ireland, some Catholic Irish Traveller families adopted local Gaelic surnames.
The use of Irish Traveller surnames, particularly among younger generations, is declining in favour of more mainstream surnames in more urban areas, like Kelly, Walsh, and Smith.
What’s the difference between Irish Travellers and Romani?
Irish Travellers and Romani are both traditionally nomadic ethnic groups with shared cultural practices, but there are some stark differences between the two. One major difference is their language. Irish Travellers predominantly speak a language called Shelta, which is an anglicization of the Irish language, while Romani traditionally speak Romani, also referred to as Romany.
Irish Travellers are more closely associated with Ireland, while Romani are associated with Eastern and Central Europe. Additionally, there are differences in the cultural practices of the two groups, such as the styles of music and clothing they prefer, the religions they follow, and the types of work they traditionally perform.
Irish Travellers are predominantly Roman Catholic and tend toward a love of country music, traditional physical activities like boxing and horse trading, and work such as road work and tarmac laying.
On the other hand, Romani tend to follow either the Eastern Orthodox or Protestant religions and prefer traditional gypsy music, dancing, horse tradings and festivals, and professions such as metalwork and fortune-telling.
There are even vast differences in the ways in which the two groups view marriage and gender roles. Irish Travellers typically practice arranged marriage and traditional gender roles, while Romani marry for love and abandon traditional gender roles.
Despite some of the major differences between Irish Travellers and Romani, both groups share a common nomadic lifestyle rooted in maintaining their cultural identities in the face of social and economic discrimination.
How are Irish Travellers different from Irish?
Irish Travellers are a distinct ethnic minority in Ireland, with a distinct identity and culture of their own. Although there are some overlaps between Irish Travellers and Irish people, there are many differences between them.
In terms of heritage, Irish Travellers are not of the same ethnic background as the majority Irish population. They are descended from a nomadic people known as the Pavee, who predate the majority Irish Celts.
Irish Travellers also have unique customs and language, being the only indigenous ethnic minority in Ireland to speak the Cant language.
In terms of lifestyle, Irish Travellers lead a unique and often itinerant lifestyle, with many living in caravans and stopping in certain areas before moving on. This makes them distinct from the wider Irish population, many of whom are settled in one place for long periods of time.
Irish Travellers also have a different attitude towards education, with many receiving little formal education and instead learning work and life skills through the family.
In terms of social and economic status, Irish Travellers are seen as an underprivileged and marginalised group, living in poverty and suffering from discrimination on both a social and institutional level in Ireland.
Overall, Irish Travellers differ significantly from the Irish in terms of heritage, lifestyle and social and economic status. These differences are why Irish Travellers are considered by many to constitute a distinct ethnic minority in Ireland.
Is an Irish Traveller a gypsy?
No, an Irish Traveller is not necessarily a gypsy. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, they traditionally refer to two distinct ethnic groups. Irish Travellers are originally a subset of the Irish.
Beginning in the Norse or Viking invasions of the 8th or 9th century, they are an indigenous minority group found mostly in Ireland, with some pockets of communities in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Irish Travellers are traditionally itinerant, typically living in caravans or substantial mobile homes and subsisting by craftsmanship, semi-skilled labor, and trade in used goods.
Gypsies, on the other hand, are traditionally an ethnic group originating in northern India during the medieval period. Possessing different genetic,cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds from the Irish Travellers, Gypsies are usually identified as a distinct ethnic group from the Irish.
Furthermore, Gypsies tend to have different ways of living from the Irish Travellers, typically having itinerant lifestyles but frequently living without vehicular homes. In the past, most Gypsies spent time in the service of royalty, and as artisans, serving trades, or else as entertainers such as musicians or acrobats.
Some aspects of their culture have become assimilated with the cultures of countries they have settled in, while some Gypsy customs remain distinct.
In conclusion, while there are some similarities between these two ethnic groups, Irish Travellers are not necessarily gypsies. They are distinct ethnic groups with different origin, cultural and social backgrounds.
What do Irish Travellers call non Travellers?
Irish Travellers refer to non-Travellers as ‘Settled’ people or sometimes as ‘Gorjers’. This is a slang term used to describe non-Travellers, who tend to live in ‘settled’ housing where they remain more or less in one place.
By contrast, Travellers maintain a nomadic lifestyle, which requires them to move from place to place. The term ‘Gorjers’ is believed to have come from an early 19th-century English dialect word meaning ‘strange’, ‘odd’ or ‘peculiar’.
Irish Travellers typically have strong social networks within their own communities, and so the term ‘Gorjers’ is also used in a derogatory way to describe non-Travellers whose social interactions with Travellers may be limited or non-existent.
As a result, the language used reflects the socio-cultural divide between Travellers and Settled people.
What are offensive names for Travellers?
Common offensive names include “knackers,” “tinks,” “pavees,” “gypsies,” “romanis” or “roms,” “gitanos,” “gitan/gitane,” and “Nomads.” These terms carry a negative connotation and are used as derogatory terms by those with prejudice against Travellers.
Such offensive names perpetuate negative stereotypes and should not be used.
Travellers are a distinct ethnic group who inhabit Europe and parts of the Middle East, and are a traditionally itinerant people with their own language, history and culture. As with any minority group, anti-Traveller prejudice exists, and offensive labels are often used to further ostracize, marginalize and alienate them.
Respectful interactions and open dialogue between Travellers and non-Travellers are vital in overcoming prejudices and promoting understanding.