The flag-raising ceremony yesterday marked the annual Traveller Pride celebration of Traveller culture and traditions.
In Cork, the Traveller Visibility Group (TVG) and Cork Traveller Women’s Network (CTWN) are co-ordinating local events, which were launched at City Hall yesterday with the presentation of the Cork Travellers’ flag to Lord Mayor, Tony Fitzgerald.
It was designed in a collaboration between Travellers and the Lewis Glucksman Gallery at UCC.
TVG worker John O’Sullivan said: “The significance of this emblem is that it was made by the Travellers of Cork, in the Cork colours. I would like to thank Cork City Council for displaying the flag. This is a very positive action which shows Cork city’s commitment for inclusiveness and interculturalism.”
Brigid Carmody of CTWN, said:
To have our flag flying over City Hall is hugely significant as a mark of respect for Travellers as citizens of Cork.
However, Fianna Fáil councillor Ken O’Flynn urged Traveller leaders to focus more on representing their community.
“I welcome every step that the Traveller community takes to help wider society understand and appreciate their culture,” he said.
“But we have some serious difficulty with elements of Traveller culture in this city — vast sums of public money being spent on security while developing Traveller housing projects and clearing illegal dumps.
I think those who represent the Traveller community in this city should focus less on showboating and flag-flying and spend less time trying to look good, and more time doing good.
Two films on Traveller culture will be screened at the Triskel Christchurch cinema on Saturday, as part of a free public event featuring a talk by Noelle Mann, a writer with Traveller Voice Magazine, about how Travellers have been portrayed on the big screen.