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  • Northside West

The pride of Finglas

Tuesday, 11th June, 2019 7:59am
The pride of Finglas

Minister for State at Justice and Equality David Stanton makes the presentation to Kathleen Lawrence.

The pride of Finglas

Minister for State at Justice and Equality David Stanton makes the presentation to Kathleen Lawrence.

AN INSPIRATIONAL student from Finglas was among eight winners at the Traveller Pride Awards ceremony that took place recently in the Pillar Room at the Rotunda Hospital.

Kathleen Lawrence is a graduate of Maynooth University (National University of Ireland), holding a BCL (Bachelor of Civil Law) in Law and Sociology.

 She is also undertaking a Masters in Human Rights at University College Dublin and has a Higher Certificate in Community Work in a Changing Ireland from Maynooth University.

Kathleen received the university’s Inspirational Student and Alumni Award in recognition of her diligence and commitment to academia.

In 2017 she earned a place on the Washington Ireland Program, becoming the first Traveller to do so.

“Returning to education opened up a whole new world for me,” she said.

“I have managed to hold on to my Traveller roots while also learning new skills and I’m very grateful for the entire experience both good and bad.

“It meant a lot to me to just be nominated for a Traveller Pride Award in recognition of my small impact in the area of education and I’m grateful to win.”

Winners at the awards were recognised for their achievements and contributions in education, arts/culture, music, enterprise, youth, sport, intersectionality and community.

Among those presenting to winners were singer Mary Black, author and historian, Catherine Corless, Minister for State at Justice and Equality David Stanton, Producer of the film Float Like a Butterfly, Carmel Winters and Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil, Seán Ó Fearghaíl.

The Irish Traveller Movement (ITM) is coordinator of the event, which is jointly supported by eight Traveller organisations.

“Each year we examine the value of these awards to the community and beyond and return to the essential need of a dedicated space to showcase and single out Travellers individually who are not just excelling or trailblazing across a myriad of environments, but many doing so despite gender or intersectional inequalities, sometimes educational disadvantage and mostly against a back drop of racism based on their Traveller identity,” said Michael Power of the Event Committee.

“This makes their achievement more remarkable. 

“This event also emphasizes the need to ensure greater inclusion where Travellers can have a parity in Irish life in all its parts, social, cultural and political and fundamental protection in health, housing, employment and education.”

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