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"Irish Travelers" County Kerry Local Custom Tip by Bwana_Brown

County Kerry Local Customs: 6 reviews and 7 photos

  Irish Travelers near Tralee
by Bwana_Brown

During our day's drive to the Dingle Peninsula, we came across what I thought was a Gypsy family plodding along the highway not far west of Tralee, at Castlegregory. This was a sight that I had not seen before and I was very glad that they were more than willing to let us take their picture! I had thought this to be a relatively new Local Custom because Ireland, due to years of famine and hardship, has never been a big magnet for wandering Gypsies. However, we were surprised on our drives through the countryside at how affluant the housing appeared. It seems that the change in Ireland's fortunes has resulted in it now being a choice for immigrants - in the summer of 1998 about 1500 Romanians arrived, mostly Roma (the new term for Gypsies). These people were fleeing from poverty in their land and many arrived hidden in container shipments on ferry runs from Cherbourg, France. However, fellow-VTer 'nomorewars' has set me straight in that the people in my photo are a completely different sect of wanders. Known as the Irish Travelers, they are physically more 'western' appearing and the thousands in their dispersed community have wandered Ireland for hundreds of years, preserving their own distinct society.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 27, 2004
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