Annie Budiongan

Getting To Know Some Travelers In Ireland

By Annie Budiongan

My three year term here in the only Columban parish in Ireland, St Joseph’s, Ballymun, Dublin, gave me a great opportunity to get a glimpse of the life and culture of Travelers, an ethnic minority with their own history, value system, customs and a nomadic tradition, part of Irish society for centuries. Their distinct culture can be seen in their dress, language, accent, family structures and use of symbols. According to the Department of the Environment there were about 28,000 Travelers inIreland in 1999, nearly a quarter in or near Dublin, the capital.