Dublin, Ireland, Aug 27, 2018 / 11:24 am
Despite generations of poverty and prejudice from both the government and ordinary Irish citizens, the faith of the itinerant Irish Traveller community today is strong, say local Catholic leaders.
On Saturday, a Traveller woman named Missy Collins offered her testimony at the Festival of Families at Croke Park, Dublin, during the World Meeting of Families. She told Pope Francis that Travellers are "a people who have experienced injustice and persecution and are forced often out onto the margins of society," who found their strength in God as well as their families.
"We are proud of our heritage and culture. And proud to be Travellers," she said.
There are about 40,000 Travellers in Ireland, about 0.7 percent of the population. In 2017, the Irish government recognized Traveller as an ethnic minority.