Irish Travellers at Horse Fairs in Ireland

Heather Cody

2017 - Ongoing

Irish Travellers are a nomadic group of people with a rich traditional Irish culture and heritage. In 2017 Irish Travellers were granted their own ethnicity. Up until the sixties, seventies and eighties these people were living on the roadsides and in halting sites in Ireland They often lived in horse drawn caravans and travelled the roads of Ireland. In 1963 they were given access to Social Welfare by the Irish Government. This enabled them to progress in Irish Society and to settle in houses and seek education and basic human rights for their children and families. They are very sentimental people with deep commitment to family. Many of the Travellers are gifted with horses. Many of them yearned for the freedom of the roads where they could keep their horses. Now many still keep horses and go to Horse Fairs to buy and sell their animals. For these short days they get away from the busy towns and feel the carefree joy of horse trading. These fairs are a social event for Travellers where families reunite and often matches are made. Children and young girls are dressed in their finest and a happy atmosphere prevails. My photography project documents these Horse Fairs and the beautiful people who frequent them.

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