Travelling People – Amharc Éireann: Eagrán 80
On 1st of December 1960, Gardaí visited every traveller caravan in the country on behalf of a commission set up by the Government to investigate the case of the Knights of the Road.
The camp which was full of barrel-topped caravans with exquisite wooden carvings and decorative painted exteriors, was located in Cherry Orchard just outside Dublin. The Mac Donald’s were the first family interviewed on the campsite. Seán Mac Donald, father to 12 children, owned a horse and beautifully ornate caravan and made his living buying old iron.
The guards also asked 16-year-old Roseanna some questions about their way of life and their living conditions. The general feedback from the residents of the camp was that most would love to have houses, running water, toilets and most importantly a chance for their children to go to school. This type of census was used to help the government’s decision-making and implementing policy concerning their specific needs.
Produced by Gael Linn, Amharc Éireann (A View of Ireland) is Ireland’s longest-running indigenous newsreel series. It was distributed to cinemas throughout the country to promote the Irish language. Between 1956 and 1964, 267 editions of the newsreel were produced for cinema exhibition.
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With kind permission of Gael Linn.