Traveller Community

There is growing awareness in UCC that there are issues experienced by people of a minority ethnic background as a result of their ethnicity that must be addressed.  As a starting point, the UCC Equality Committee and the EDI Unit convened a Race Equality Working Group in early 2019 in order to explore what these issues are and how they may be addressed.  This working group became the Race Equality Forum, which provided a platform for BAME staff and students to air their experiences, identify issues and make suggestions as to how the university can improve.  This report is in the process of being drafted at present.

In tandem with this, the EDI Unit ran a workshop for academic staff, which focussed on Race Consciousness in Postgraduate Supervision, and a series of workshops for both staff and students on Race Consciousness in Higher Education.  These have been unfortunately interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

More workshops and training are in the pipeline - more details to follow.

(Last updated June 2020)

“Irish Travellers have been documented as being part of Irish society for centuries.  Travellers have a long shared history, traditions, language, culture and customs.

The distinctive Traveller identity and culture, based on a nomadic tradition, sets Travellers apart from the sedentary population or ‘settled people’.

Accepting, resourcing and celebrating Traveller identity, culture and heritage is a central element in any strategy to counter discrimination and the exclusion and marginalisation of Travellers.” (Pavee Point)

Since the first of the Equal Status Acts in 2000 and Employment Equality Acts 1998, it has been illegal to discriminate on the basis that someone is a member of the Traveller Community.

On the 1st March 2017, then Taoiseach Enda Kenny, in the Dáil, made a Statement of Recognition of Travellers as an Ethnic Group.  The full text can be read here.  Working closely with Minceirs Whidden and other Traveller representative groups, the government came together with the Traveller community to have their unique heritage, culture and identify formally recognised by the Irish State.


Publications All Ireland Traveller Health Survey: Our Geels (Summary of Findings) CSO statistics 2016 survey HSE Guide: Irish Traveller Community Travelling with Austerity (Pavee Point, 2013)

Traveller Organisations Bray Travellers Community Development Group Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre Traveller Visibility Group Cork The Irish Traveller Movement

Other National Traveller Money Advice and Budgeting Service

Statement of Recognition of Travellers as an ethnic Group's_Speeches/Statement_by_An_Taoiseach_Enda_Kenny_TD_on_the_recognition_of_Travellers_as_an_ethnic_group_Dail_Eireann_1_March_2017.html


Equal Status Acts in 2000


Responding to racism guide: How to report racism and where to find help: On 4th April, ENAR Ireland launched their publication  ‘Responding to racism guide: How to report racism and where to find help’. Authored by Shane O’Curry (ENAR Ireland) and Dr Lucy Michael (Ulster University), the Racist Incident Reporting System was launched in July 2013. It allows the people, communities, and organisations of Ireland to confidentially report racism nationwide.



Experiencing Racism

If you have been a victim of racism, whether overt, subtle or systemic, there are resources within UCC which may be of assistance.

UCC EDI Unit: The EDI Unit is happy to advise students and staff on equality-related issues.

Students and staff seeking to make a formal complaint about an equality-related issue have a range of supports, which include (as relevant):

UCC Student Advisor and Ombudsman:

UCC Campus Watch:

UCC Human Resources Business Manager (relevant to your University Area):

UCC Staff Ombudsman:

Other Supports for Staff

Employee Assistance Programme:

Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT, UCC): Email

Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU, UCC): Email

UCC Researcher Staff Association:

Other Supports for Students

First Year Experience Co-Ordinator:

First Year Student Peer Support:

Student Counselling and Development:

Student Health Centre:

Student Union Welfare Officer:

UCC Niteline Listening service Mon-Thurs 9pm-1am: 1800 32 32 42 or Chat

Racism in Ireland

Ireland is fighting its own battle with racism, both overt and systemic.  Here are some article and discussions on Irish racism.

Anti-Traveller Racism:

TitlePublicationDateReference Report
Racism against Travellers 'embedded' in Irish Society RTÉ 10th June 2020  
Ireland's anti-Traveller hate speech is the respectable group prejudice Irish Times 9th June 2020  
Still 'significant discimination' towards Travellers Examiner 20th June 2019 Fourth Opinion on Ireland - CoE
Do Traveller lives matter? 6th June 2020  
Travellers urge end to racism as George Floyd buried Irish Times 9th June 2020  

INAR have published a number of articles on racism in Ireland:

TitlePublicationDateReference Report
Racist Ireland indictment exposes ignorance wrapped in a threadbare shroud Kilkenny Now 9th June 2020 Origin and Integration (ESRI)
Why Black Studies Matter in ireland and responding to the Murder of George Floyd Hot Press 8th June 2020  
Group wants anti-racism laws in Ireland FM104 10th June 2020  
'You dirty black *****' - I don't want to say the word out loud Irish Times 4th June 2020  
I was a dark secret Extra 8th June 2020  
'It's not political.  It's about racism.  I was so angry.' Breaking News 9th June 2020  
People of colour in Ireland need allies 'not bystanders' Irish Times 18th June 2020  


A microagression is defined as being a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.  The term was coined by professor Chester M. Pierce in 1970 to describe insults and dismissals which non-black Americans were witnessed inflicting on African Americans but is now applied to the casual degradation of any socially marginalised group.

Some publications on microagressions including examples and suggestions of how to respond are:

Examples of microagressions

Microagressions are a big deal...

Dear anti-racist allies: here's how to respond to microagressions

How to respond to microagressions


If you have been subjected to racism or have witnessed a racist attack, the Irish Network Against Racism has set up a confidential Racist Incident Reporting System, which:

  • enables people who experience or witness racism and/or those supporting them to do something about it and break the silence.
  • provides a national, confidential and user-friendly way to report racism from any online device.
  • is used for monitoring racism in Ireland.
  • provides evidence and data on racism in Ireland.
  • is a resource to counter an increase in racism and hardening of racist attitudes.
  • responds to the need to focus the discussion on finding solutions to racism.

This is an important data-gathering inititiative, and we encourage everyone to make use of it.

Responding to racism guide: How to report racism and where to find help: On 4th April, ENAR Ireland launched their publication  ‘Responding to racism guide: How to report racism and where to find help’. Authored by Shane O’Curry (ENAR Ireland) and Dr Lucy Michael (Ulster University), the Racist Incident Reporting System was launched in July 2013.

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Unit

Comhionannas, Éagsúlacht agus Ionchuimsitheacht