Irish Travellers and the bardic tradition
in ‘Insubordinate Irish’
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Macalister posited a mixed ethnogenesis for Irish Travellers. The likely cross-fertilisation between ‘literary’ Travellers and travelling craftsmen was highlighted to take an interest in Travellers and their culture. The Questionnaire is a particularly useful insight into the perceptions that the settled community held of Travellers. Seán McGrath's views were an important forerunner of the new orthodoxy of colonial dispossession and the drop-out theory. While Pádraig MacGréine had promulgated the value of all Travellers as a repository of an older Irish traditional culture, McGrath saw only a few of the Travellers as worthy of investigation, since, in his view, only a few of them were actually ‘old-style Travellers’ and therefore heirs to an ‘older Ireland’. Anti-Traveller racism in Helleiner's view is an example of a longstanding and endogenous Irish racism.

‘Insubordinate Irish’

Travellers in the text

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