How The Persecuted Irish Travellers Survive The Modern World

There’s a great deal of prejudice in
the United Kingdom towards Irish Travellers. You hear stories all
the time about how dirty they are, how they leave
conditions in terrible places, how unpleasant they are. And they were nothing like that. None of those
stereotypes ever fitted. NARRATOR: Irish travelers are
a nomadic ethnic group living throughout Ireland and the UK. They traditionally move in
caravans living in encampments alongside roadways. MARY TURNER: Many of the
Travellers are illiterate. Through years of moving around,
many of them don’t read. They don’t write. NARRATOR: That’s Mary
Turner, a photojournalist who spent seven years getting to
know a group of Travellers who face marginalization and
are stereotyped because of their unique lifestyle. MARY TURNER: They
were far from dirty. They’re the cleanest
people I’ve ever known. You’ll notice that
inside their trailers, everything is covered in plastic
so that the children don’t make anything dirty. NARRATOR: Laws introduced
in 1994 gave police greater authority
to evict Travellers from roadside encampments, which
led many Travellers to settle at Dale Farm, near Essex,
hoping to form a community. MARY TURNER: They
live tightly together, away from the outside
world, and they totally depend on each other. [MUSIC PLAYING] MARY TURNER: Their weddings,
Christmas celebrations, Holy Communions– these
celebrations will go on for days. At a wedding, there
are no invites. It’s just whoever wants to come. They’re really
amazing occasions, but it’s also one of
the most important days in a Traveller girl’s life. NARRATOR: In 2011, after
a dispute over planning permissions, the
families at Dale Farm were evicted, resulting in the
displacement of 80 Traveller families and 45 arrests. After protesters became
involved, tensions escalated. MARY TURNER: The eviction
was particularly brutal. Riot police came pouring down
the hill behind the site, started tearing down
walls, screaming, shouting, and I remember my friends’
children standing there in tears. Just– in their own
country, I think, feeling something that I
never expected to witness. NARRATOR: Since being
evicted from Dale Farm, some Travellers
have wanted to find more stability in their lives. MARY TURNER: I think they
realize the importance now of settling a little and
allowing their children to go to school and engaging with the
world around them a little bit more. They have, over the last three
or four years, all got iPhones. When I first went,
they were terrified of the idea of photographs
being put on Facebook. And now, they quite
regularly do that themselves. And that’s really
helping them to overcome some of those challenges
that I’ve mentioned. Engaging with technology is
hugely important for the future of their community. NARRATOR: Many families
have been forced back on the road and risk
being stopped by police. Last year, Mary
traveled with them and witnessed the treatment
they face by skeptical and wary British citizens. MARY TURNER: I really
saw for the first time then what that was like,
actually driving through town and having people look at
you, having the police pull up and speak to you. People are always
afraid of things that they don’t understand. That’s why I felt it was so
important as a photographer to try and show the things
that we have in common. NARRATOR: Don’t forget to
subscribe to Seeker Stories, and click here to learn about
the human cost of jade mining in Myanmar.

Stephen Childs


  1. I don't think they should be forced to give in to someone else's idea of how they should live. It doesn't matter if you live in a camper, wagon, house or mansion that makes you a good and decent person. The house and earthly possessions do not make a person better than others. Stupidity.


  3. the travellers are not irish, they tell us that, they are of eastern european/indian origin. ireland cant have undocumented migrants/nomads roaming wild in the country.

  4. Save your bs for people who live in leafy suburbs …and don't interact with them .

  5. Ok, so we live in UK and know score. The photographer woman is quite a bit full of shite in what she's saying but at the same time I can't help having a good sense of positive bridges being build with these people. I personally know some travelers who would rob you but there's also a good side to some of them. They're people arn't they? Thieving wrongens but still people. so someone's gotta give people a chance and see their good side too at some point and and I'm sorta glad that this leftist anoying lady is giving these people a fair crack of the whip. Fair play to you. I hope they rob you dry you gobshite you.

  6. I don’t understand why they are sugarcoating and these dirty trampy inbred animals for? Whenever you come pass or across them they always start fights with anyone for no reason. They will tell you to get out of whichever are they are in if you come into that area. They all stink and are always in filthy unhygienic condition and all look like they were born from two siblings as their parents.

  7. I love Irish traveler women they are stunning and look like angels

  8. They sound like a bunch of hippies…whats the big deal? Love your people…like damn.

  9. My father and me are travellers. The reason my family abandoned the group is because they were bad people. They stole, vandalized, and trespassed on private property just to leave it trashed. But when they were evicted and told to leave, they cried and wined like children and said it was discrimination. Many are selfish and delusional, but some are ok people who actually have morals and leave that life like my father did. He left to be with my mom who wasn't a Gypsy and hasn't spoken to most of his family since. He left because he knew it was fucked to pull this shit.

  10. I am from New Zealand. Irish travellers have recently caused a lot of trouble recently In Auckland. They even made the news for their unruly behaviour. Its unfortunate that this particular group of people fit the stereotypical description of gypsy travellers. I've always been interested in their culture and are open to the idea that there are decent people within their community. Its a shame that New Zealand have experienced them in such a negative light right now.

  11. What a load of shite LOOOL the first 10 seconds are 100% true, then she talks absolute shit saying them stereotypes never fitted, they do for 90% of them!

  12. No one is gonna read this but I am a traveller and I admit there is many bad people in my culture . Tbh the things they do are sickening to me . But there Is bad people in every culture and belief , if you actually go out and become friends with a traveler they will be there for the rest of your life becuse all we have been learned is ride or die. Most of us has all grown up with people being prejudice most are still mad. But the ones who aren't are the travellers you see feeding the homeless, going to holy countrys, trying to educate children is a way there not dissing there culture but still leaning ( I'm 15 I get home schooled 1 a week) most girls in my area do aswell. I dont live in a trailer my dad owns a travler sight it's so safe people walk there dogs and bring them here so the kids who are playing outside can play with them.
    One thing about my culture is my family dont think getting married at 16 is right my full family dont . My dad bought me a car and said ino your not old enough to drive it but live your life like your sister who got married at 19 . 19 seems young to non travlers but to us that's a bonus . We don't arrange marriages becuse love is love. One thing country people need to experience is bieng on a green field in the summer all the dogs a loose and you and all your friends theres 15 of us walking to the shop.

    All I have to say is theres more to my culture:)
    God bless all of you prejudice people
    I wrote this fast so If its messy sorry

  13. It's not prejudice. It's like saying "gravity is attractive" or "water tends to be wet"… if we all have experience that is consistently negative then it's a philosophical obligation to draw the most logical inference. It's like saying people are prejudice against fire because there's this insistence that fire burns..
    Try NOT talking with them — just go around, following some. Watch how they interact in areas. They leave every place dirtier and worse than when they arrived – and I'm being generous.

  14. Stop acting like gypsies and settle down, they are not "persecuted" they are nuisance and get punished accordingly for breaking the law.

  15. Why are travellers disporportionatly more likely to start violence and commit crime? This weekend alone, two dozen travellers were arrested when two groups started fighting in Belfast Airport without any regard or car for the other passengers. The following day, 200 travellers gathered in a graveyard and police in riot gear had to be called to stop the violence. A group of travellers from Liverpool were recently deported from New Zealand because of the level of public order offences they committed in the space of a fortnight. A resort in lanzarotte is considering banning members of the travelling community because they cause so much trouble. We can't all be anti traveller racists? There has to be some foundation based on fact that the issues faced by travellers are often self inflicted by their lack of ability to live with respect of other people. In 2014 my local borough council agreed to give a plot of land to a travelling community. By 2016 they'd been evicted. The local pettry crime rates soared and many local businesses began issuing banning orders against them. These actions were reactive and not proactive, meaning they were taken becuase of what travellers did and not because they were travellers.

  16. They're not persecuted; they persecute everyone else. They even do it to each other; the lads are known to knock the shit out of other travellers and their wives/pets/kids. They're thieving, rude, aggressive, and always up to no good. I'm Irish blood myself and no other Irish can stand them.

  17. The travellers are good peoole ive never had a problem them. they used to camp on field next where i lived and they were sound

  18. Stop stealing and fly-tipping and maybe you won't be so "persecuted".

  19. Hahahaha that's hilarious. "Persecuted". Stop stealing and living in bins and maybe people will respect them.

  20. 'None of those stereotypes ever fitted' why don't you take a survey on that one? Oh, is it just your opinion?

  21. I like how she mentions that they’re illiterate “from having to move around all the time.” Ok and? Why is that? Is it because they’re lazy, thieving scumbags perhaps? Seems like you can’t call a spade a spade anymore. It’s just wrong to call the obvious.

  22. They are down the road from me in edenderry Ireland and one of them are in my class and she smells and Does not have to pay for anything in the school

  23. Hey i have something to say😡


  24. The inside of their caravans are clean because they leave all their waste behind them, the dirty bastards. Last lot that came our way left bags of human shit, used tampons and beer cans all over a children’s play park. They covered the ticket machine in the car park with human excrement and burgled the local pub. If they cleaned up after themselves and stopped burgling all the locals, they wouldn’t be considered vermin. I fucking hate them.

  25. They post nothing other then fights and videos goading each other on YouTube and they're persecuted? I'd rather move to Chernobyl then have travellers move next door

  26. Im from limerick and travelers here are disgusting they act like they own the place! Rude fuckers they are.!!

  27. Living in a caravan to avoid paying taxes and stealing people's pet dogs doesn't magically make you an "ethnic minority".

  28. There are many crazy things in our world which I know very little about, I was watching the other day gypsies in Bulgaria who are living in a condition less fitting to a dead dog than a living human. I think those gypsies atleast they are ethnically marginalized, excluded, and condemned in the past as a slaves, and then later as forced labourers during the Nazi, who almost annilate them by starving to death, the communist saved them, and after the fall of the communist, gypsy hunt began again, removing from their homes, denying them access to basic human needs such health, education and job, ofcourse a human being is a living being and will fight to survive by any means necessary in order to stay a life if pushed at edge of a cliff.

  29. 😂😂😂😂😂 "persecuted" fk me that made my day… say that to any of us who have been the victims of their crime.

  30. If only the majority of Brits felt this way about Muslim immigrants who do far worse to their country 🤔

  31. Irish travelers came up to my dad one day and asked him and his mates who was good at fighting and one of them head butted my father in the head.

    They have robbed where we work , destroyed where we work , killed people.

    They are stereotyped properly

  32. They were evicted because they didn’t own the land. The riot police were justified both morally and legally to do this!

  33. The same way we hate Muslims for being able to migrate into british culture we hate them

  34. "Forced back on the road" ? These were so called travellers who tried to steal land. Xero sympathy for these arseholes.

  35. In Germany the Irish Travelers park their trailer where ever they want, although they
    are not welcome.. After a few days they depart the area is damaged and piles of trash are everywhere. They are a good example of uncivilized people.

  36. Sorry but I believe they are the ones persecuting everyone else. Majority are total bullies with a terrible attitude. To paint them as victims highlights the total absurdity of today’s victim culture.

  37. Yea I live beside travelers and it's none stop fighting and screaming and violating the law

  38. All these comments from people and I guarantee not even a fraction of ye know what travellers r like. I am not a traveller but I was reared up travellers all around me and now i live next door to travellers. They r the best neighbours I could ask for and so clean and always keep to themselves. Yea there is a few that spoils it for the rest but as they saying going ya dont tar everyone with the same brush .

  39. Obviously whoever is making this has no real world experience with the communities as a whole.

    Yes there are some who just want to live life and integrate into society

    And some who just want to live with their lifestyle and freedom of their culture

    But for the most part they steal, burgle, abuse and attack anything that moves

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