A new book, Once Upon a Time in Tallaght, Tinker Tales and Traveller Stories was launched at the County Library last night. The book is a collection of stories, poems and photographs about the life of the Travelling community in South Dublin County in the 1950s and 60s. Mervyn Ennis, a native of Ballymount and resident of Saggart, has had his poetry recognised in Irish and British awards and in Irish, British, Italian and Australian publications. This is his first venture into prose and is a tribute to the Travelling people, whose cause he championed in the High Court and Supreme Court in the 1980s and he was the first social worker to accompany a Traveller delegation to Strasbourg to articulate their case.
Mervyn says “During [the 1950s and early 60s] Travellers were the victims of much discrimination and poverty but despite this they have tremendous resilience and great can-do spirit – it is this humanity and spirituality that the book is trying to get in touch with”.
The book is illustrated by striking photographs by former Irish Times photographer Alen MacWeeney.
The book is published by South Dublin County Council and is available to buy from branches of South Dublin Libraries, priced €15 or by contacting Síle Coleman or Colette Carpenter at the County Library, Tallaght on 01 4620073 or firstname.lastname@example.org. It will also shortly be available to borrow from our libraries. Alen MacWeeney’s photographs of Travellers are available in our digital archive Source.