STSG - Sligo Traveller Support Group

Culture and Heritage

Travellers have been a part of Irish society for centuries. They have a strong cultural identity, a rich history of tradition and a distinct value system. The Irish government officially recognises Travellers as a cultural minority, however the Traveller community have long been campaigning for ethnic minority status. There are approximately 30,000 Travellers in the Rebublic of Ireland, as well as 1,500 in Northern Ireland. Abroad, there are over 15,000 Irish Travellers in England, Scotland and Wales. It is unclear how many Irish Travellers are living in America but the figure is thought to be anywhere between 10,000 and 40,000.



Travellers have traditionally always lived a Nomadic lifestyle, from the old tradition of living in wagons and travelling the country, to living in more modern caravans. Many Travellers now live fixed in accommodation, such as staying permanently on one site or living in houses. But a Traveller living in a house is still a Traveller, and nomadism is still a part of the Traveller Identity whether it is practiced regularly or not.



Travellers have their own language which is known as Cant. It has roots in the old Irish language but has an influence from English also. It is unclear how widely spoken this language is within the Traveller community.


Music and Storytelling

Travellers have a rich tradition of music and storytelling. In the past Travellers were revered for these talents and would bring their own music and stories to every place they travelled to. Their unique style of singing and playing music has influenced many Irish musicians.


Religious Devotion and Cures

The majority of Irish Travellers are Roman Catholics and are extremely devoted to their religion. Travellers often wear icons of religious figures and relics of various saints. Many Travellers have a strong belief in the power of healers and old cures for illnesses.

Address: STSG, 1A St Annes, Cranmore Road, Sligo
Tel: (071) 9145780
Fax: (071) 9145782

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