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Children and Childcare “One thing I learned from my many conversations with young married women was…
there was very strong value placed on having children, having large families.
When Helen married her husband John they lived for three years with his brother in a caravan.
Recently they moved into a day house in Hazel Hill.
This put you in somewhat of an outsider position as a woman.
Traveller women might try to encourage future marriages between their husband’s families and their own which would bring their people into closer proximity…
As times change in Ireland, and the notions of private and public space change and contract, the culture no longer accepts the Travellers on public and private lands and has begun to create “halts” where they can settle. “When I got married I got to design my own wedding dress – my dream dress.
Then I did a child care course I passed all my exams. Now they are.” In The Hidden World of Traveller Girls we go to Hazel Hill to talk with Helen Connors and Shirley Martin.
Some women who moved into houses could find themselves isolated, having a much less collective life and unable to access the assistance of other women and children in their activities.
“I was married while I was doing this research and I would always be asked ‘Are you married? ’ I would say ‘Two years.’ They’d say ‘Any children?
They are the breeders and traders of some of Ireland’s best horses. I had one teacher that said to me, “Well a Traveller won’t do nothing with their life. You’re going to go off and marry young and have loads of children.” Helen showed us her wedding album.
Produced by The Kitchen Sisters & Mixed by Jim Mc Kee In collaboration with Nuala Macklin in Dublin, Nathan Dalton and Laura Folger Aired on April 29, 2010 on NPR’s Morning Edition Travellers. Nomads, moving in caravans, living in encampments on the side of the road.
So young women were anxious if they didn’t conceive early in their marriage and celebrated tremendously when people did become pregnant and delivered their children and offered tremendous amounts of support.