The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) – which represents organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide – has welcomed the announcement today that the Irish Government is to recognise Travellers as an ethnic group. The NYCI has long supported the campaign, arguing that recognition as an ethnic group is critical, especially for young Travellers, so that they can be proud of their identity and heritage.
“This is a momentous day that promotes pride and dignity for a group that have, for far too long, often been left out of conversations about belonging, identity and integration held with other minority ethnic groups living in Ireland. It is time to finally bury the assimilationist policies of the past that did so much damage to Travellers and to enter into a new era where intercultural dialogue is to the fore,” said Anne Walsh, of the NYCI Intercultural and Equality Programme.
“To hear young people tell their peers for the first time that they are Irish Travellers and they are proud of it are special moments that are far too rare. We hope this will now start to change and young Irish Travellers can grow up with dignity,” continued Ms Walsh.
“The National Youth Council of Ireland commends the Traveller organisations (some of whom are its members) who have all campaigned long and hard to achieve this outcome. We also applaud the small number of politicians who have supported this call over the years,” concluded Ms Walsh.
For further information, please contact Daniel Meister, Communications Manager at NYCI on 087 781 4903 or 01 425 5955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
National Youth Council of Ireland
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests of voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people.