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‘Insubordinate Irish’Travellers in the Text$
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Mícheál Ó hAodha

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719083044

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719083044.001.0001

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Irish Travellers and the bardic tradition

Irish Travellers and the bardic tradition

(p.26) 3 Irish Travellers and the bardic tradition
‘Insubordinate Irish’

Mícheál Ó hAodha

Manchester University Press

Macalister posited a mixed ethnogenesis for Irish Travellers. The likely cross-fertilisation between ‘literary’ Travellers and travelling craftsmen was highlighted to take an interest in Travellers and their culture. The Questionnaire is a particularly useful insight into the perceptions that the settled community held of Travellers. Seán McGrath's views were an important forerunner of the new orthodoxy of colonial dispossession and the drop-out theory. While Pádraig MacGréine had promulgated the value of all Travellers as a repository of an older Irish traditional culture, McGrath saw only a few of the Travellers as worthy of investigation, since, in his view, only a few of them were actually ‘old-style Travellers’ and therefore heirs to an ‘older Ireland’. Anti-Traveller racism in Helleiner's view is an example of a longstanding and endogenous Irish racism.

Keywords:   Irish Travellers, anti-Traveller racism, Macalister, Questionnaire, Seán McGrath, Pádraig MacGréine, Irish traditional culture

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