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The Irish Travellers are different


"A few make it bad for the rest of them," is the general consensus among reasonable people. But in reality Irish Travellers live in a manner that is in conflict with the way "settled" people live, and the problem is more complex than "a few bad ones." It's not really a matter of good or bad at all, but different. Completely different.

And, of course, as Ireland modernizes — drastically — the problems are bound to be more visible, at least.

Now, to be fair to the majority Irish. It is true that in some places of the country, publicans, for example, have had awful trouble with Travellers. A group of 20 or 30 folks may roll into town and occupy a pub. As the story goes, this is not always a destructive occasion—but sometimes it is.

Some pubs in Ireland ban Travellers altogether. This is illegal. The Irish Vintners Association, an organization of pub owners, has been involved in some efforts to allow pubs to do this legally. It seems awful, and it is. But, for a businessman, a rolling party (the weddings and funerals are said to be the worst) that takes control of his establishment, in a town that may only have two cops.... It's not an easy situation.

Kilkenny, 2002


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