"And that's the truth." 
A Portrait of Irish Travellers





























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I arrived at this house on a Friday to meet the family of a bride-to-be whose wedding I would be photographing that Sunday. The bride’s grandmother- an unwaveringly strong, matriarchal figure of the family, asked if I would photograph her in front of her caravan. A bit suspicious of me at first, she warmed up a bit when I told her how much I loved her butterfly coat. She even let me try it on. About 30 minutes after I took this photograph, the son of the woman in the butterfly coat, the father of the bride, committed suicide. On Sunday, I found myself not at a wedding, but a wake. 


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Marie, 17, hugging her niece Shirley. The first time I met Marie, she taught me just enough words in the Traveller language (Cant) to know when the others were talking about me. At the age of 15, Marie dropped out of school because she had still not been taught how to read or write. Last August, Marie and her sister, Anna, invited me to their cousin’s hen party. Anna dressed me and did my make-up for the event. When she had completed my look she told me, “Now, you’ve been Pavee-pimped!”


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Father and son, Patrick and Paddy, at their site in Monasterevin. Historically, Irish Travellers have depended on horses as a staple of their livelihood. Their strong affection for horses carries on today, although modern laws limit Travellers’ rights to keep horses. Hiding the horses in various spots around their site, Patrick and Paddy kept two horses- one for each of them to take care of. The horse seen here belongs to the father, Patrick, whose struggle with schizophrenia is put to ease in working with the horse. About two weeks later this horse was taken away. 


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A group of lads playing a coin betting game at the site in Maynooth that I would visit every Friday before Zumba class with some of the girls living there. They asked if I wanted to play, but one of them wouldn’t let me because he didn’t want to take money from a girl. That day, me and the girls stayed in to chat and eat mint chocolate-chip ice cream instead of going to Zumba. 


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Micky Berry at his home in Labre Park- the first halting site built in Ireland. Generations of Mickey’s family have been living on the site since it first opened in the late 1960’s. Later that afternoon, Mickey was off to help his son move into a new private house. 


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