Once Upon a Time in Tallaght…

Mervyn Ennis will read excerpts from his book

Once Upon a Time in Tallaght, Tinker Tales and Traveller Stories

and will invite comments, questions and stories from the audience next Thursday evening 22nd March 2012

at 7:00 p.m. at the County Library, Tallaght.

All Welcome!

The County Library is also currently hosting Altered Images, an exhibition of George Gmelch’s photographs of the Travelling community in Rathfarnham in the early 1970s.  George Gmelch is currently Professor of Anthropology at the University of San Francisco. The photographs on display were taken during 1971 and 1972 when he and his wife Sharon, both American college students, came to Ireland to study Traveller life. They purchased a wagon and lived among the Travelling community for a number of months in Holylands, Rathfarnham while they carried out their fieldwork.

This striking exhibition runs until the end of March 2012.

Mary Joyce, Kathleeen McAleer Joyce, and Mick Donoghue. From the George Gmelch Collection, South Dublin Libraries.

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Once Upon a Time in Tallaght

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 localstudies@sdublincoco.ie. It will also shortly be available to borrow from our libraries. Alen MacWeeney’s photographs of Travellers are available in our digital archive Source.