“My parents left school early too. In their time things worked a different way. Travellers had to sit in the back of the class and were given colouring books while the settled kids studied. They didn’t get the opportunity to progress with their lives. I left school when I was thirteen-years-old, and my parents thought the education system hadn’t changed so they didn’t really care. Most of the friends I grew up with left school at the same age or even earlier and some of them can’t even read. This is the biggest drawback in their lives. Without education, there’s no way to get a job. Without jobs, the alcohol, drug use and suicide rates will keep growing. I now understand that education is very important. I had the opportunity to continue my studies with Pavee Point and now I do talks for kids about Traveller culture and the importance of education. We’re working hard to change false opinions and have made huge progress. We’re linked with schools, mental health services and other organisations, but our three-year funding is up. We made such progress we feel we can’t just stop here.”
‘Humans of the Election’ is a collaboration with Newstalk 106-108 fm highlighting the real people behind the issues we face in Ireland today (7/7).