Political discourse

11. May 2020.

Themes, resources and effects of political discourses about the Travelling and Roma communities: Country report Ireland

Report on discourse analysis results from Ireland prepared by our partners from the University of Limerick.

Executive Summary

This present report presents the results of an analysis of the political discourse presented in the written media regarding the Travelling community. The results can be summarized as follows:

  • Political discourse concerning the Travelling community was mainly centered around the 2018 presidential election and discriminatory comments made by one of the candidates, Peter Casey.
  • The discriminatory remarks made by Peter Casey lead to a huge rise in his popularity, indicating acceptance of Traveller prejudice and disenfranchisement.
  • Peter Casey, despite being a multi-millionaire, is presented as the voice of the abandoned Irish, working, middle class.
  • A clear bias is seen between the publication in the terms of how the information is presented.
  • Outside of the events surrounding the presidential election there is very little coverage about other issues which effect the Travelling community in Ireland, indicating that the Travelling community does not get much coverage despite experiencing many systematic disadvantages and prejudice.
  • Widespread condemnation of the discriminatory comments by politicians indicate support for the Travelling community but this not translated into policy and legislation protecting Travellers from discrimination and supporting their status as an ethnic minority.

Read the full report here.


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The project “Identifying evidence-based methods to effectively combat discrimination of the Roma in the changing political climate of Europe” (Grant. No. 808062 — PolRom — REC-AG-2017/REC-RDIS-DISC-AG-2017) is funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme (2014-2020) of the European Union.

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