Speechifying! A matter of confidence.

While being caught up in the spectacular opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics, not for the first time I found myself wanting to be an athlete rather than a writer. The incredible sight of the disabled aesthetic being so celebrated in a public – indeed, a worldwide – forum left me emotionally energised. Just for a moment I found myself amongst the group being lionised.

How mainstreaming becomes assimilation as Traveller-specific supports disappear

My school day, over eleven years, was filled with drawing, knitting and sewing. Various therapies, such as speech and language, occupational therapy and physical therapy were also part of that day. Travellers were automatically assumed to have a cognitive and cultural disability. The segregated syllabus didn’t include languages, maths, history or the Irish language – all mandatory subjects in mainstream education. By Rosaleen McDonagh.

Self-styled, settled saviour

It’s the silly season. During July and August, the standard of tripe churned out in TV-land becomes unbearable. You would imagine our friends in Channel 4, as an alternative to the Olympics, would be using this opportunity to develop a new audience. Is this their intent with “Thelma’s Gypsy Girls”? By Rosaleen McDonagh. 

A mocking kind of documentary

The realities of life for Travellers are too boring for tabloid TV. By Rosaleen McDonagh.

As an aunt of many nieces, some of whom are getting married this summer, watching Channel 4’s My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding has its own resonance. Sitting on the sofa with ten young beoirs (young women ) between the ages of 7 to 17, creates a sense of embarrassment, some anger and internalised shame.