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If you have already heard of gypsy (vanner) horses you may have also heard about the people who have been breeding those horses for many decades and that they happen to be known under many different names as well (which can be a little confusing).
Romany Gypsies (under which term they are internationally known) are a nomadic or itinerant people. An estimated 10,000,000 Romany Gypsies live in Europe; of which the biggest population can be found in East Europe and former Yugoslavia. Ca. 100,000 live in Germany, 23,000 live in Ireland, 15,000 in Great Britain, and 7,000 in the United States.
Article out of Wikepedia in reference to Gypsies in Ireland:
In Ireland Travellers are often referred to (offensively) as tinker or knacker, although this is largely a misconception as both of these terms refer to services that were traditionally provided by the Travellers: tinkering being the mending of tin ware such as pots and pans, and knackering being the acquisition of dead or old horses for slaughter. Labels such as gypsy and pikey are commonly applied to Traveller communities in Great Britain. The derogatory terms gyppo and gypolata, derived from gypsy, are also heard in Great Britain. In turn, Travellers refer to anyone who does not share their nomadic lifestyle as a Gorgio or, more derogatorily, gadjes.
Irish Travellers are recognised in English law as an ethnic group though Irish law does not, their legal status being defined as a "social group".
The Traveller lifestyle has often produced friction with local communities, especially in urban areas. In 1530, Henry VIII ordered their departure within forty days unless they chose to abandon their 'naughty, idle and ungodly life'. Friction between Traveller and local community are typically attributed to allegations of increased crime following Traveller arrival in an area.
Traveller advocates counter that Travellers are a distinct ethnic group with an ancient history, and there is no statistical evidence that Traveller presence raises the local crime rate. The struggle for equal rights for these transient people led to the passing of the Caravan Sites Act 1968 that safeguarded their rights, lifestyle and culture in the UK.
Irish Travellers distinguish themselves from the settled communities of the countries in which they live by their own language and customs. Shelta (also known as Cant) is the traditional language of Travellers but they also speak English with a distinct accent and mannerisms. The historical origins of Travellers as a group has been a subject of dispute. Some argue that the Irish Travellers are descended from another nomadic people called the Tarish. It was once widely believed that Travellers were descended from landowners who were made homeless in Oliver Cromwell's military campaign in Ireland, but evidence shows that they have dwelt in Ireland since at least the Middle Ages.
Irish Travellers in movies:
* "Into the West" tells the story of two Traveller boys running away from home.
* The film "Snatch" features Brad Pitt as a stereotypical Traveller who is an undefeatable bareknuckle boxing champion. His clan also defrauds the protagonists of the film by selling them a camper that falls apart the minute they try to tow it from the premises.
* In "Chocolat", a clan of nomadic travellers are depicted as gypsies, however, it is noted that they are said to be of Irish origin.
* "Traveller" is another film, starring Bill Paxton, Mark Wahlberg, and Julianna Margulies.
* A man described as a Tinker was also featured in the 1971 film "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory".
* A travelling tinker family is depicted in the movie "The Field" and the daughter is frowned upon as a potential bride.
* The documentary, "SOUTHPAW": The Francis Barrett Story, won the Audience Prize at the 1999 New York Irish Film Festival. It followed Galway boxer Francis (Francie) Barrett for three years and showed Francie overcoming discrimination as he progressed up the amateur boxing ranks to eventually carry the Irish flag and box for Ireland at the age of 19 during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Francie turned professional in August 2000 and now fights at light welterweight, out of Wembley, London. [6]
* A documentary-style drama release in 2005, Pavee Lackeen (Traveller Girl), depicted the life of a young Traveller girl, and featured non-actors in the lead roles. Its director and co-writer, Perry Ogden, won an IFTA Award in the category of Breakthrough Talent.
* During 2004's "Live at Vicar Street" Recorded by newly reformed Irish Folk act Planxty, Christy Moore mentions hearing Traveller John Reilly sing for the first time and acknowledging it as a "Life Changing" experience going on to dedicate the song "As I Roved Out" to the memory of John Reilly
Article credit - Wikipedia

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