I support the highlighting of the place of Traveller and Roma culture and history in Irish society. The primary mechanism for this is Traveller and Roma Pride Week. I recently opened the Traveller Pride Awards, a wonderful event that celebrates Traveller and Roma culture. This event marked the beginning of Traveller Pride Week.
Action 1 of the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021 states "The Department of Justice and Equality will support, strengthen and expand Traveller Pride Week and increase national awareness of the event."
Funding is made available to a range of organisations, in grants of up to €2,000, through an open call for proposals to assist the Traveller and Roma communities to mark Traveller and Roma Pride Week. Applications for funding are granted for activities satisfying the following criteria: that they involve the active participation of members of the Traveller and-or Roma community at all stages of the project, planning, implementation, etc.; celebrate and promote Traveller and-or Roma culture; promote a positive image of Traveller and-or Roma Culture to the wider settled community; members of the settled community must be included and invited to the event; and that the event must be accessible to an open public audience where possible.
Funding has also been provided for a number of horse projects throughout the country. These projects are reflective of the Government’s acknowledgement of the importance of the horse culture for the health and wellbeing of the Traveller community and for the horses in their care.
In 2019, some 39 projects were approved to receive support from my Department as part of Traveller Pride Week. These include Galway Traveller Movement, Blanchardstown Traveller Development, Meath Travellers Workshops and Foróige Ballyhaunis Youth Service.
In July 2019, two elements of Traveller culture were inscribed on Ireland’s National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage, specifically the Cant-Gammon language and tinsmithing. This represents a Government commitment to protect, promote and celebrate these living cultural heritage practices, customs, crafts and traditions. The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is responsible for the delivery of funding to practices recognised on this list, through its cultural projects funding. However, the allocation of funding is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Deputy Madigan, and her Department.
The pride week is amazing. I am sure that the Deputy has attended pride week events and will join with me in acknowledging that.