The Truth about Travelers

The Field with Richard Harris, Sean Bean and Tom Berenger

The Field with Richard Harris, Sean Bean and Tom Berenger

In the movie The Field, Richard Harris as The Bull McCabe disowns his only living son Tadhg, for running away with a traveler girl.

The truth is, that the Irish traveler has been shunned for decades. As the tinker girl says, the community in general is afraid that they would “lose the soil,” beneath their feet, and become un-landed, or homeless, like the tinkers.

In the clip below, the tinker’s daughter is mocked for attending a local dance, and shunned by dancing partners.

In England the Irish travelers are considered as a distinct ethnic group, as of yet in Ireland they have not been awarded that status. Intolerance is a huge problem toward the travelers. The “road way of life” is foreign to most settled people, but that’s changing rapidly. You can’t just become a traveler, even if you married into the traveler community, and your wife would be chosen for you, you’d always be considered a “countryman.”

Here is a documentary about Irish travelers, unfortunately there is a stamp in the first couple of minutes of each video, but then it is taken down. This is an interesting documentary as it talks about “decent” travelers and those who cause trouble, bare knuckle boxing, and the changing role of male travelers.


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