International Irish Traveller Day Campaign

1 March 2023
International Irish Traveller Day Campaign

Campaigners call for an International Irish Traveller Day and urge all Irish Travellers to get involved by completing the survey below

Why have an International Irish Traveller Day?

It is important to create an international Irish Traveller Day of celebration to celebrate the rich heritage, culture and history of Irish Travellers capturing the key roles we have played, remembering and honouring the accomplishments of Irish Travellers throughout history. Also, to unite Irish Travellers internationally as a community in pride on the day through its celebrations. Also to create a better understanding of the rich heritage and history of Irish Traveller people around the world therefore strengthening cultural diversity and inclusivity.

Who are the Steering Committee?

Traveller Organisations and Travellers from Ireland and the UK have come together to look at the possibility of creating an international Irish Traveller Day of celebration.

Consultation period with Irish Travellers

The steering committee are  consulting with the Irish Traveller Community from July 2022 to June 2023 via an online survey which can be found here  : 

 We are also seeking Irish Traveller Organisations in  Ireland and the UK to promote and support the consultation period with Irish Travellers in their areas by hosting consultation focus groups using the survey questions and returning them to the Campaign Steering committee members for review.  Results will be reviewed in July 2023 with the majority response being the chosen day as the international Irish Traveller Day , how it will be celebrated, and a symbol/flag to represent us as Irish Travellers going forward. If you have any questions please contact Rose Marie Maughan at  if in Ireland and Josie O Driscoll at  if based in the UK. Irish Travellers based in other countries can contact either one for further information.

We asked some Irish Travellers why they think it is important we have an International Irish Traveller Day ?

“While Travellers have their own language, culture and traditions that have been passed down through generations it is becoming increasingly difficult  to travel together in extended family groups. 

Many of the traditional stopping places that Travellers have used for decades have now disappeared due to legislation and the criminalisation of ‘travelling’. 

The barriers and obstacles that have been put in our way have added to a feeling of disconnect affecting our self-perception and emotional health. 

Wherever we are in the world we have many shared characteristics in common.

 Yes we experience disadvantage and discrimination but through all of it we still hold dear the importance of family and community networks.

It's important now more than ever to come together with a collective voice, to ensure that solutions are driven by people closest to the issues faced.

Our unique identity, heritage and culture is something to be proud of and celebrated and having an International Irish Traveller day would give us the opportunity to showcase the uniqueness and beauty of our people. “

Josie O Driscoll, UK

We the Irish Travellers have been hiding in the background for far too long. It's about time we come together and stand unity as one and be recognise as an ethnic minority voicing our cultural and tradition unity we stand unity we form”

Philomena Mongan, London, UK

"I believe us Irish Travellers should have an International Irish Travellers Day as a day of recognition and celebration, it is important for us as the younger generation to keep and protect our culture, beliefs and way of life, Alive!  For years it has been difficult to unite as a community as our way of life has slowly fading away. Laws and legislations has had a huge impact on us, we are finding it a lot harder to live our nomadic lives and to keep the culture going, some of us have also had to leave our close-nit circles and groups as traditional stopping places are becoming harder and harder to find to the point where it seems like they are now non-existent, its time to come together in unity, be seen and be proud of our culture and History.  

Joseph Mcinerney, UK  

I think we should have an International Irish Traveller Day because I think it would help calm the stigma people hold towards us. It would be great to show others the real us, who we are, what our culture is. All Travellers are different some live in trailers some live in houses but we are all still Travellers. Travellers are human like everyone we just have a different culture and its important to celebrate that. “

Ronan Maguire, Dundalk, Ireland

"I believe that our community deserves an International celebration day because I think we have the right like any other community to celebrate our traditions and our heritage and it is a way for other people in different communities to learn about us."

Emma Ward, Ireland

“Irish Travellers have been pushed aside and neglected throughout our long history, with very little reason to celebrate. The creation of an International Irish Traveller Day is something we need in order to show how proud we are to be who we are.

We deserve a day to celebrate where we come from, a day to be proud of our heritage and culture. A day of stories and songs. A day for family to gather together and be happy knowing we are here to celebrate us. Having an IITD gives every Pavee worldwide the chance to celebrate together. There are 365 days in a year so why can't one be for us?”

Chris McDonagh Cardiff  UK

“To me as an Irish Traveller Woman having an international  Irish Traveller day to celebrate our ethnicity, language, traditions and history is a must. After generations of ethnic cleansing we are still standing proud as a people true to our culture and who we are as a people. Non-Travellers over the decades tried to and still are trying to assimilate us but have failed.  That not only shows how resilient we are but also how proud we are to be Irish Travellers.

Having an International Irish Traveller Day where we can collectively come together regardless of what country we now live in and celebrate who we are as a people not only will instill pride in our youth, honour our dead  but also will help to educate the world who we are as Irish Travellers thus building relationships, trust and harmony between other cultures and communities.

It is vital as a community we have ownership of our international Irish Traveller Day which is why we are consulting with our community. Please have your say on when and how you want to celebrate our international Irish Traveller Day. As Traveller Organisations working with our community we are urging you to consult with your local community ensuring they have their say. “

Rose Marie Maughan, Ireland

Your voice matters too.

Do not forget to have your say and fill out the online survey or attend your local Traveller Organisation’s consultation session! This is your day, your voice matters in shaping it.

Press release

(Lead picture: Family in their decorated caravan en route to the Cahirmee Horse Fair at Buttevant, Co. Cork, 1954 © By National Library of Ireland on The Commons - No restrictions,