Irish Travellers - Settlements



As recently as 1960, 92 percent of Traveller families camped in rural areas in horse-drawn wagons and in tents. Most lived in dispersed groups of one to three families from mid-March until November, when they moved back to their home village or took shelter in abandoned houses in the countryside. When traveling, they seldom remained camped in one place for more than two or three weeks and frequently for only a day or two. By 1971, the number of Traveller families living in horse-drawn wagons and in tents had dropped to 27 percent; and by 1981, to 4 percent. Today most families live in modern trailers or in houses in urban areas. Forty percent live on the roadside or in vacant lots in groups that range in size from a single nuclear family to as many as fifty families on occasion. A quarter live on government "sites" in trailers or small houses built especially for them; most of these campsites accommodate fifteen families. Thirty-six percent now live in public housing estates.


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