Article Category: Education

Irish Travellers and Prison: Discrimination, Education, and Lateral Violence

Travellers are loose threads in the fabric of Irish society. They exist at the edges rather than being interwoven into the whole. This is often excused by settled people as being their choice, and even their fault. We have all heard about, and read about in the media, Travellers’ propensity to crime and disruption. But what we don’t hear about is Travellers’ struggles to exist and find their place in a society that was designed for a settled lifestyle.

Where Is My Mind: Traveller Accommodation and Mental Health

Many Travellers continue to live on sites such as the ones described above, motivated by a deep cultural yearning for proximity to kin, and for some it is preferable than to be placed in a house, in a hostile housing estate, many miles from anyone who knows them, cares for them or will support them. The family, including respect for the older generations and the celebration of marriage and children, is at the heart of Traveller culture. The importance of these values cannot be overstated, and in a context where Travellers find themselves excluded from mainstream services that the settled community take for granted, the safety of the family unit becomes ever more important.

Reaping the Rewards of an Inner-City Garden

Over the last twenty years, there has been a remarkable and well-documented collapse of children’s engagement with nature – nearly as fast as the collapse of habitats and environmental resources in the natural world itself.

Working with Families from Direct Provision Centres in Cork

Several of the women I speak to tell me they were in Direct Provision for more than five years. They have had children in that time, children who still do not know anything other than sharing just one room with their family in an overcrowded centre full of people. When you have lived in an institution for a long period of time, the constraints can start to feel like safety. One woman tells me that she has had her papers for a couple of months and is preparing for the move out of the centre, but her relief at leaving is tinged with trepidation. At least in the centre, she says, there are always others to turn to, but “nobody looks out for you outside.”

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Young Adults in Search of Mental Health

Dr. Tony Bates Introduction When ‘Deirdre’ arrived to see me with her mother, my first impression was of a young woman with a warm smile and not a problem in the world. She was twenty-three years old, already the mother of two. As she checked out my office, I wondered if she was happy to… Read more »

Education    

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A Very Unlevel Playing Field: A Reflection on Young Adults in Higher Education

Kevin O’Higgins SJ Introduction A lifetime of working with young adults has left me in no doubt that inequalities associated with the circumstances of our birth are more than likely to lead to successive waves of inequality that may accompany us throughout the remainder of our lives. This is true whether we are born into… Read more »

Education    

Educational Disadvantage

If you are a child or young person attending school in a disadvantaged area of Dublin, there is a 30 per cent chance that you will leave primary school with a serious literacy problem;1 only a 50:50 chance that you will sit your Leaving Certificate,2 and a 90 per cent probability that you will not go to college.3 In contrast, if you are a child or young person whose parents are from a professional background and you live in a prosperous part of Dublin, you have only a 10 per cent chance of leaving primary school with a serious literacy problem, you will almost certainly complete your Leaving Certificate and be part of the 86 per cent of young people in your area who go to college.

Education