Aoife Bhreatnach is a graduate of University College Cork and De Montfort University. She has held the Irish Government Senior Scholarship at Hertford College, Oxford and an Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.
In this first comprehensive and accessible history of Travellers in twentieth-century Ireland, Aoife Bhreatnach describes the people who travelled Irish roads, showing how and why they were distinguishable from settled people. She demonstrates that the alienation and increasing unpopularity of this cultural minority were a consequence of developments in state and society from 1922. The widening social gulf was often precipitated by government intervention at local and national level which led to conflict over the distribution of resources, particularly of land and welfare. Becoming Conspicuous examines the circumstances that have shaped expressions of anti-Traveller prejudice, thus demonstrating some of the social implications of the evolution of urban and rural landscapes in twentieth-century Ireland. An epilogue describes developments in Traveller-settled relations since 1970, a period distinguished by settlement housing policies and the emergence of Traveller representative groups. The book also contains a useful appendix describing nineteenth- and twentieth-century legislation relevant to Travellers in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
'Gipsies' and 'tinkers'
- identifying nomadic groups in Ireland
- the people of the roads
Travellers in urban areas
- landscape and community
Welfare and entitlement
- assessing 'impatient and promiscuous charity'
Some practical suggestions
- the government response, 1949-63
Assimilation and absorption
- the settlement programme, 1963-70. Conclusion
- Resettlement and resistance since 1970
- Legal glossary
"a thorough-going academic study"
Books Ireland Oct 2006
"I would recommend Bhreatnach's Becoming Conspicuous without reservation to any Irish Studies class, for it is an excellent analysis of both the societal changes in the Republic since Independence and the situation of Travellers in this new climate."
Journal of British Studies 2007
"Serious historical study of Traveller/non-Traveller relations in Ireland is long overdue and this book is a welcome pioneer ... offers much to the close reader and will be a key resource and guide for future researchers."
Irish Studies Review 15 (4) 2007
"will be the indispensable starting point for any future historical work on Irish Ttravellers in the twentieth century."
Thomas Acton – University of Greenwich
Irish Economic and Social History