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Bryan Fanning

7 The legacy of anti-Traveller racism Introduction This chapter examines changes in responses by the state to Travellers from the establishment of a Commission on Itinerancy in 1960. The Report of the Commission on Itinerancy (1963) was followed in the ensuing decades by two major reports which outlined shifting understandings and responses to Travellers in Irish social policy. These were the Report of the Travelling People Review Body (1983) and the Report of the Task Force on the Travelling Community (1995). Together, these three reports depicted shifts in

in Racism and social change in the Republic of Ireland
Author: Bryan Fanning

In the last decade Irish society has visibly changed with the emergence of new immigrant communities of black and ethnic minorities. This book draws upon a number of academic disciplines, focusing on the relationship between ideological forms of racism and its consequences upon black and ethnic minorities. Media and political debates on racism in Ireland during this period have tended to depict it as a new phenomenon and even as one imported by asylum seekers. Ireland was never immune from the racist ideologies that governed relationships between the west and the rest despite a history of colonial anti-Irish racism. Citizenship reproduced inequalities between nationals on the basis of gender and race and ethnicity. The book explores how the processes of nation-building which shaped contemporary Irish society and the Irish state were accompanied by a politics of national identity within which claims of social membership of various minority groups were discounted. It examines the exclusionary and assimilationist consequences of Irish nationbuilding for Protestant, Jewish and Traveller minority communities. The book also considers anti-Semitism in Irish society from independence in 1922 until the 1950s. It examines how contemporary responses to refugees and asylum seekers have been shaped by a legacy of exclusionary state practices. Finally, the book talks about anti-Traveller racism, the politics of Traveller exclusion, the work of SPIARSI, and the efforts to contest racism and discrimination faced by minorities in Ireland as expressions of multiculturalism.

Mícheál Ó hAodha

dominations. It became a place where the patriarchal values of the rural bourgeoisie occupied pride of place. (MacLaughlin, 1995: 72) An anti-Traveller racism that was once ‘deeply embedded in the social fabric and agrarian history of Ireland’ (1995: 73) has acquired new adherents in Irish towns and villages with the increased urbanisation of Ireland. This racism, like sedentarism, is rooted in the belief that the way of life of Travellers is an anachronism and a throwback to a less civilised era in Irish history. It is this racism, MacLaughlin argues, that is at the root

in ‘Insubordinate Irish’
Abstract only
Bryan Fanning

entitlements of citizens. A hierarchy of differing ‘alien rights’ has been shaped by a mixture of indigenous legislation, notably the Aliens Act (1935) and the Refugee Act (1996), and Introduction 5 international agreements. Asylum seekers in Ireland have been further split into a number of groups with different entitlements. Some asylum seekers have a ‘right to work’. Some are entitled to social assistance and rent allowances based upon long-standing practices. Others on ‘direct provision’ are deemed not to have such entitlements. Chapters 6 and 7 examine anti-Traveller

in Racism and social change in the Republic of Ireland
Ronnie Fay

policy area by consistently reporting the extent to which anti-Traveller racism and discrimination exist in Ireland. In 2010, a national survey of attitudes and prejudices towards Travellers reported: 40 per cent of respondents were unwilling to employ a Traveller; 79.6 per cent were reluctant to purchase a house next to a Traveller; and 18.2 per cent would deny Irish citizenship to Travellers. 9 A more recent 2017 analysis on discrimination found that Travellers are almost ten times more likely than their settled

in Immigrants as outsiders in the two Irelands
Bryan Fanning

imagined religious transgressions. Here there were striking parallels with Christian anti-Semitism. At the same time Travellers remained an invisible or discounted minority within the nation until they were dislodged from rural society in a later phase of economic modernisation and social change. Furthers parallels between past manifestations of anti-Semitism in Ireland and anti-Traveller racism might be noted. Travellers since the 1960s might be viewed as a nonassimilatable minority. They are highly visible and exceedingly marginal. Anti-Traveller racism has proved to

in Racism and social change in the Republic of Ireland
Bryan Fanning

might be understood as a response to a prohibition of ‘race’ talk in public space.177 Anti-Traveller racism in Clare local politics might be The politics of Traveller exclusion 145 understood as unfettered by comparison. Open hostility by councillors and officials from the 1960s onwards was virtually uncontested until the 1990s when occasional requests for moderate language were made. There were few objections to anti-Traveller tirades at local authority meetings until the late 1990s. Instead, racialised accusations which emerged at these meetings were reproduced

in Racism and social change in the Republic of Ireland
Bryan Fanning

Imagination. London: Chatto and Windus. MacGréil, M (1977) Prejudice and Tolerance in Ireland. Dublin: College of Industrial Relations. MacGréil, M. (1996) Prejudice and Tolerance in Ireland Revisited. Maynooth: The Survey and Research Unit, Department of Social Studies, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. MacGréil, M. (2011) Pluralism and Diversity in Ireland. Dublin: Columba Press. MacLaughlin, J. (1999) ‘Nation-building, social closure and anti-Traveller racism in Ireland’, Sociology, 33(1): 129–51. McDonagh, P. (2008) ‘Muslim anger at opposition calls for school ban on

in Tolerance and diversity in Ireland, North and South
A critical race perspective
Paul Connolly and Romana Khaoury

See: J. MacLaughlin, ‘Nation-building, social closure and anti-Traveller racism in Ireland’, Sociology 22:1 (1999), pp. 129–51; McVeigh and Lentin, ‘Situated racisms’. 55 MacLaughlin, ‘Nation-building’. See also B. Fanning, Racism and Social Change in the Republic of Ireland (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002). 56 MacLaughlin, ‘Nation-building’, p. 138. 57 S. ní Shuinéar, ‘Othering the Irish (Travellers)’, in Lentin and McVeigh, Racism and Anti-racism in Ireland (Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications, 2002), p. 187.

in Northern Ireland after the troubles
Úna Crowley and Rob Kitchin

practical work on anti-Traveller racism has come from within Traveller ‘resistance’ groups (for example, Pavee Point and the Irish Traveller Movement). These groups have influenced policy both at national and European level (Lentin and McVeigh, 2002). For these organisations and writers like Fay (1992), MacLaughlin (1995, 1998), Ní Shúinéar (1997), Whyte (2002), McVeigh (2008) and others, the promotion of a separate ethnic Traveller identity serves a number of purposes. It provides a reaction to the poverty studies of the previous decades, when defining Travellers as an

in Tolerance and diversity in Ireland, North and South