Emotional day at Traveller Pride event

October 13th, 2021 11:55 AM

By Southern Star Team

Clonakilty mayor Anthony McDermott with Rosie McCarthy Adair, Holly Cairns TD, Anne O’Driscoll, Jessie McCarthy Adair, Brittany Mongan and Elizabeth Burke.

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HISTORY was in the making at Kennedy Park in Emmet Square, Clonakilty  when West Cork Travellers celebrated Traveller Pride Week locally for the first time.

Amidst the celebrations last Saturday, live filming took place as part of a film project where six young Traveller girls and young women are currently scripting, editing and producing their own film.

It is being done with the professional guidance of Toma McCullim  – the producer, creator and director of the project.

It is also supported by Charlotte Donovan, a development worker with West Cork Travellers.

The internationally-awarded and made in West Cork film Float like a Butterfly, written and directed by Carmel Winters, was shown on the outdoor screen in the park at the event.

People from all walks of life dropped by to experience stepping back 60 years in history, and to see an actor from Float Like A Butterfly, singing a Traveller lullaby sitting on the old barrel top wagon.

Toddy Hogan of West Cork Travellers said it was an emotional day for many Travellers taking this significant step to be seen publicly celebrating Traveller Pride and showcasing their rich culture and unique traditions.

‘To hear a mother and daughter individually perform their heartfelt poems, the power of the spoken word brings it home that lived experiences are unique and are to be celebrated and cherished, not judged and discriminated against,’ she said.

Public representatives attending and actively supportive of the Traveller community were Holly Cairns TD, Clonakilty mayor Anthony McDermott and Cllr Paul Hayes.

The theme this year’s event was ‘stronger together’.

‘The West Cork community can only be stronger together if we create strong collaborative, supportive and positive relationships,’ added Toddy

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