Bullying of Travellers - A Film

February 14, 2020

Anti-Bullying Campaign Notice

A young Traveller boy or girl is six times more likely to die by suicide than their fellow citizens in the settled community." (Crosscare Parish Update Issue 2 September 2011).  While suicide is a very complex issue and the factors that lead to it are not fully understood we know that:

  • Some students seem to find it difficult to respect as equal-in-worth those they regard as "different." A contributory factor to this may be that they may not really know them or that they know but do not really understand them due to cultural differences. This can be exacerbated by stories they have heard that portray the "different" students in a bad light.
  • Among some students, travellers are seen as "different" and less than equal-in-worth to other students despite outstanding achievements in traditional handball, music (e.g. pipes), singing (e.g. The Furey Brothers) and boxing (potential for a student project?).
  • The behaviour of these students towards Traveller children is sometimes calculated to make them feel that they are not equal-in-worth.
  • Deliberately, repeatedly isolating and undermining others, including those who are seen as "different," is a form of bullying.
  • Bullying is so damaging to self-confidence and self-esteem that it can be a contributing factor in the shockingly high suicide rate among Travellers.
  • We need to be vigilant in schools to try to ensure that the real worth of each student, of whatever background, is seen to be as valuable as that of each other student. Failure in this regard can have catastrophic consequences.

"Hard Lessons" - is a Short Film from the Irish Children's Ombudsman's Office at



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