Machetes, car rammings, and armed Gardaí dispatched to patrol the streets of a rural town, the all too predictable goings on in Rathkeale have led to us all rolling our eyes as yet again traveller violence bleeds out into the open.

The only accepted prejudice partially allowed in polite society, because it is the most blatant, shenanigans erupted between rival gangs which have found themselves increasingly at each other’s throats the past month. Forewarned by a weapons seizure, slash hook attacks and shots fired at a rival’s car, Monday night saw confrontations across the town involving the ramming of cars and brandishing of weapons resulting in the town being partially sealed off and the arrival of Garda armed units.

Quelle surprise….

Transpiring in a town roughly 50% traveller per unreliable census results, the flareup begs certain questions at a time the country at large is experiencing rapid demographic change and is flirting with the idea of an United Ireland through reunification with the North and embrace of Ulster loyalists.

What place do Travellers hold in an increasingly diverse and in many cases post-Irish Ireland?

Something of a token minority before the arrival of large scale non-European migration, travellers (or at least their handlers) have carved themselves a partial niche in the diversity stakes through a series of NGOs, partial use of the race card when it comes to media omerta on  traveller criminality and additional leeway having been declared an ethnic minority in 2017.

With mincéirs consisting of just 0.7% of the Republic’s population, this did little to stop the brief but meteoric rise of Peter Casey so great an animus exists against them in the Irish mainstream. 

While they have rates of criminality comparable to Somalian pirates on a looting spree, the Rathkeale travellers are so cash rich they have engaged in a two decades long acquisition spree of the town gradually tightening the screws of the diminishing settled community. In short, travellers have all the appearances of being a well oiled ethnic mafia muscling in on a naive progressive society.

While pavees reap some of the dividends from the racial grievance game, this has not stopped such figures like John Connors being thrown under the bus when they crossed the line and bite the hand that fed them.

Ridden by clannishness, intense religiosity, homophobia and inordinate amounts of criminality, one suspects this fleeting golden age of traveller institutional power could very well be ending.

Minus the existence of racial grievance groups, travellers from the 90s onward could tap into their minority status and accrue enough institutional brownie points in the public square. With the new arrival of non-European groupings they simply become eclectic Irish people with a variety of reactionary hangups making them unfavourable in the eyes of progressives.

Diversity calculus is a cruel game and it is not impossible that progressive opinion may relegate Irish travellers to our equivalent of American white trash once they invariably begin to clash with liberal orthodoxy or even other grievance groups.

Bluntly speaking, there are no traveller sympathetic demographics within the spectrum of public opinion with even anti-racists quietly holding their nose to champion the tinker cause. In the field of ethnic politics, travellers are more sinning than sinner against actively tormenting those of especially lower incomes and the rural elderly and more often than not being ostentatiously wealthy through ill gotten gains.

All things aside, even with this potential schism on the cards, travellers may very well have a bright future ahead of them in an era of atomisation and general decline of the Irish state.

The ability to form and maintain ethnic mafias, underground criminal networks and to exist outside of an increasingly sterile and regimented society may be the saving grace of pavees as is their handicap.

By the current demographic trajectory the Ireland of 2040 and beyond will be a far sight different than that of the Celtic Tiger which heralded mass migration, complete with minority majority towns and counties, the probable institutional collapse of the 26 county state and the realpolitik of a botched United Ireland.

By their sheer criminality and inability to conform to settled society travellers will exist as an outlier to the meatgrinder of the modern world. The bluster of WEF technocrats may matter very little in the halting sites of Ireland, always outside the state. Without doubt crippled by their own demons and poor physical health, their villainous mindset may very well enable them to prosper in a rather perverse way.

Rathkeale exists almost as a little slice of Bosnia in East Limerick, complete with ethnic cleansing, a patchwork of warring tribes and near constant street level savagery, in essence a warning from the mid 21st century as to what happens when homogenous societies are undermined and shattered.

When Rome fell it was otherwise irrelevant tribes that were able to navigate the post-imperial landscape best and who went on to form the genetic future of European civilisation. As it stands travellers with their semi-nomadic ways look set to at least survive the coming century while us deracinated Irish seek to replicate the path of lead pipe using patricians of the second century on the way towards ethnic oblivion.

Whatever has happened or will happen in Rathkeale is testament to the macabre reality of ignoring the living reality of group difference and a lesson in how organised ethnic communities will always outmuscle weakened ones. Travellers may not be cracking the atom any time soon but differ from Irish society in at least showing a willingness to survive and even prosper in a changing world.

Posted by Ciaran Brennan


  1. If I remember correctly, the official recognition of travellers as an ethnic group came off the back of genetic research showing that they’ve been a separate population from the settled Irish for around a millennia, with a level of genetic difference similar to that between Icelanders and Norwegians. So what we basically had was the state which otherwise identifies Irishness solely with paperwork, recognise by virtue of racial distinction (and a fairly minute one at that) the existence of a people native to this country who deserve group rights on that basis. And, if only implicitly, a racially appreciable Irish majority which they can be compared against.

    The modern liberal orthodoxy we’ve imported from the US assumes that the majority identity is invariably a fungible, nonspecific universal one. Hence being a minority group is bound up with having traits that are specific. Majority status is seen as a lack of group identity rather than one in itself. It cannot be threatened because it doesn’t really exist. Its essentially the worldview of a cultural imperialist so complacent in his dominance that he’s abstracted his whole identity into being the universal default. Hence why the Anglosphere is the source of so much of this thinking and why its prevailing narratives about “whiteness” are the way they are.

    While opposing mass immigration as it happens is important, I feel that the single most salient issue in Irish politics should be to demand constitutional recognition, protections and rights for the Irish as a native ethnic group who form the fundamental basis of the state’s identity. It could be wishful thinking on my part, but it may even go some way towards solving the Ulster question. A modified version of the Eire Nua proposal with ethnic clauses may go at least some way towards alleviating the Protestant’s fear of being homogenised out of existence, and could leave room for an Ulster Scots identity that doesn’t feel as though it needs to cling to England for dear life to exist.


  2. Travellers used to regularly beg ( door to door ) across Dublin . That has stopped for the past 20 yrs . Most have settled down ( longish term ) . They are the least of our worries , one thousand people a week arriving without any i d scares the life out of many of us . Try emigrating to North America or Oz without being scrutinised within an inch of you life . The Brits are trying to shut their doors , clueless Paddy doesn’t have the cop on / willpower / to follow suit .


  3. Ivaus@thetricolour 23/12/2022 at 1:57 am

    At least the travellers,despite their small numbers were given recognition
    and a lot of tax funded resources despite being low contributors,the cash
    trade a surplus to tinker income…all being their preferred choice.
    What we have now in 2022 is the Ethnic Irish,a small majority being
    quickly replaced by the globalized masses.Homeless and dying on our own streets,the Settled Generations of Irish Taxpayers being forced out
    of Housing,Health,Homes,Work,Schools and Govt. choices.

    It is possibly PC or politeness that we do not say Gypsies,they still exist.
    Get use to the term Nomads,the future of an Irish Race that is and will
    lose it’s only true Homeland because of Govt,UN,EU policies.It is being
    led by a first generation irish Indian and an Irish Foreign Minister that
    both reject outright Sovereignty of Gaelic Culture and Heritage.
    As regards the Ulster Scots,they have a home connection in the UK,they
    can equally choose Scotland and if any Ulster man is smart enough he
    would identify with THE NATIVE IRISH OF IRELAND…going,going..


  4. In the US, someone with the smallest quantum of minority blood (Indigenous, Hispanic, African American) will claim minority status for the affirmative action benefits.

    It is not an honest trick, but if someone Irish asked me what would be the smart thing to do, I would say claim great grandma Brigid definitely looked tinker.

    Such a scam worked for Liz Warren.


  5. EireBrotherhood 16/01/2023 at 6:29 pm

    The real question is, where do travellers fit in a locked in digital economy, Boss?


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