Worth The Licence Fee

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From top:  John Connors (above) and Ryan Tubridy on the Late Late Show last Friday

You may have seen actor John Connors speak to Ryan Tubridy on RTÉ’s the Late Late Show last Friday.

Mr Connors’ appearance came ahead of his documentary, called I Am Traveller, to be  broadcast on RTÉ Two on Thursday night.

Grab a tay.

Ryan Tubridy: “I’ve heard you saying that you felt that the Travelling community were well represented in Love/Hate in a way that you hadn’t before. Is that the case?”

John Connors: “Yeah.”

Turbridy: “Did you enjoy playing that role?”

Connors: “Yeah, I did yeah. Though I think, because what it dis was for the first time it portrayed a culture realistically – we talked in our language and we had our music involved. I know that I was a pipebomb dealer making pipebombs and, you know, killing people…”

Tubridy: “So you were delighted with the representation?”

Connors: “Yeah, 100%.”

Laughter

Connors: “But you see the way I justified it in my own mind…”

Tubridy: “Go on, why?”

Connors: “Every other settled person there was killing people..”

Tubridy: “Yeah.”

Connors: “So once there’s one Traveller killing people, it wasn’t too, we had to balance it up a little bit.”

Tubridy: “So we’re all ok then?”

Connors: “Yeah.”

Tubridy: “Ok. Well you’ve made this programme, the documentary called I Am Traveller and I watched it and it packs a punch, let’s face it. And it’s, I guess, well why don’t you tell me: what is it? Or why is it called, even, I Am Traveller?”

Connors: “Well it’s called I Am Traveller because RTE called it I Am Traveller.”

Tubridy: “You didn’t decide it?”

Connors: “No, no, the original name was actually The K Word, knacker basically. And I thought that was a powerful title but..”

Tubridy: “Did you want to call it The Knacker?”

Connors: “No, The K Word. Just to show, just The K Word, to show the power behind the word.”

Tubridy: “Yeah.”

Connors: “You know what I mean? And to show that. But RTE changed that, probably shouldn’t go down that road.”

Tubridy: “Tell us, it’s a pity in some ways because it would have said, it would have packed a bigger punch, for you, cause you wanted to say it and highlight that.”

Connors: “Yeah, yeah, 100%.”

Tubridy: “And why, why The K Word?”

Connors: “Why The K Word? Because, well because knacker is a word that’s used day in, day out in Irish society, and it’s used towards Travellers and it’s a very hateful word.”

Tubridy: “Yeah.”

Connors: “You know, literally, it’s the same as called a black person, nigger. That’s how we feel.”

Tubridy: “You think, when you hear…”

Connors:Not think, I know, that’s how we feel…

Tubridy: “So when you hear that word you feel, that’s…”

Connors:When somebody calls me a knacker, I jump immediately and I feel fear. That’s, I attach fear to that word.”

Tubridy: “Fear?”

Connors: “Yeah, fear. Absolutely. Fear.”

Tubridy: “Fear coming from?”

Connors: “Fear and shame as well because, straight away, you’re made to feel different. Straight away, you’re marginalised. Straight away. So that word has a lot of power to Travellers. So that’s why we wanted to call it that.”

Tubridy: “When you say ‘fear’, you’re fearful?”

Connors: “100% yeah.”

Tubridy: “Of?”

Connors: “Well fearful of the person calling me that, that pointed that out and make little of me like that. That’s… it is a fearful thing.”

Tubridy: “I want to quote something you said, that you said, you felt ‘the rage that’s in me since I was a child, a rage that came from the feeling that I’d never be accepted’, that no matter what you do, as an individual, you’re all seen as the same: drunken, thieving, smelly knackers.”

Connors: “Yeah.”

Tubridy: “It’s a big thing to say.”

Connors: “It’s the truth.”

Tubridy: “Why’d you say it?”

Connors: “Because that’s the attitude in Irish society…”

Tubridy: “Do you think so?”

Connors: “Of course it is. 100%, you can’t deny it.”

Tubridy: “100% of Irish people, or..”

Connors: “No, 100% that’s the attitude generally. And the only time I ever generalise is when I’m generalising about settled people really, to be honest. Because I do believe the vast majority of settled people, on this island, do have negative views towards Travellers. And it’s because they’re brainwashed. They’re brainwashed by the Irish media. The media are just, can run riot. The likes of Paul Williams and Brenda Power and Eamon Dillon, whom we tried to get involved in the documentary but the only one who would was Paul Williams. Like they recognise something. They recognise, number one, that you can say what you want about Travellers...”

Tubridy: “Well, before you list off the thing that could get us all into a heap of trouble. Let me just say that they’re not here to defend themselves. So let’s not individualise…”

Connors: “They were given the chance but they wouldn’t come on the documentary..”

Tubridy: “Yeah but they’re not here tonight. Now Paul, Paul Williams..”

Connors: “Well the writing is up there for anybody to see…”

Tubridy: “I appreciate that but then we can all go and read the articles and talk about them another time.”

Connors: “Of course.”

Tubridy: “But, I want to talk about you and we’ll talk about Paul in a sec because, as you say, he did take part, we’ll get there in just…”

Connors: “He did yeah.”

Tubridy: “But you’ve just made the assertion that you reckon a lot of people in Ireland reckon that you are all those, you, as a person, and you as a people, are all those things.”

Connors: “Yeah. Well there’s actually focus group studies done where they ask questions like, how many of you, would you allow a Traveller into your house or invite them over for dinner? It was like 70/80% of them saying, no I wouldn’t. 70/80% of them wouldn’t. Like I didn’t even believe them figures because I think it’s even higher than that.”

Tubridy: “Yeah.”

Connors: “So that’s the statistics behind it.”

Tubridy: “Now, let’s, that begs the question. How did the number get so high? What’s going on?

Connors: “Well, there’s two answers. Right? So there’s one that I believe is the truth and then there’s the really popular answer.”

Tubridy: “Well why don’t we deal with your one first.”

Connors: “Well what I believe is, well, if you look at say, if you look at another example, say the aborigine people in Australia, right?”

Tubridy: “Yeah.”

Connors: “So you have a people who, who where their culture was just taken apart from them and they were forced, they were forced into certain situations, places like reservations and you have, as a result, you have a high number of them, a disproportionate amount of them in the prison system, a disproportionate amount of them not in jobs, not in employment and you look at the Traveller situation and it’s the same – a disproportionate amount of them in the prison system, in the exact same. So there’s that State structure, that racist attitude. If you go to 1963, the Itinerants Commission Report. In that they were looking for the assimilation of Travellers and the absorption into the community, into the settled community and they were looking for the final solution to the itinerant problem. Now that sounds like Nazi stuff.”

Tubridy: “Yeah.”

Connors: “Like there’s no denying that. That’s not hearsay.”

Tubridy: “That’s 1963.”

Connors: “Yeah.”

Tubridy: “Now, 2016, talk to me.”

Connors: “Well it hasn’t changed.”

Tubridy: “No?”

Connors: “Hasn’t changed whatsoever. All them policies are, they’re still the policies. Like even, like, we get the, I don’t want to jump the gun too quick but even what happened in Carrickmines to me, that was a direct, that was direct from those policies, that happened. That, to me, that was murder. That was murder by negligence. That was murder by negligence, fuelled by racism.”

Tubridy:We’ll go there in a moment. But let’s go back to this general thing and there’s a sense that you can generalise settled people and say that, oh most settled people think that…”

Connors: “I can because that’s my experience.”

Tubridy: “That’s your experience.”

Connors: “Yeah, yeah. That is my experience. That’s every Traveller’s experience. My experience is not unique.”

Tubridy: “So what about the settled person who then generalises back at you and says that their experience is theft, ugly fighting, funerals gone mad, pitchforks, that stuff – you know what I’m talking about. They can generalise it back at you.”

Connors: “No there’s a difference really because well, there’s 6.5million people on this island and there’s 40,000 Travellers. The majority of settled people haven’t had a personal experience with Travellers. The number one source of information on Travellers is the media who are allowed do what they want and say what they want without any consequence.”

Tubridy:Do you think all the media is anti-Traveller? Is that the point?”

Connors:I’d say the vast majority, bar two or three writers maybe, yeah.”

Tubridy: “Are anti-Travellers?”

Connors: “100% yeah.”

Tubridy: “I think that’s nonsense.”

Connors: “Well they’ve recognised something…”

Tubridy:I think that’s absolute nonsense.”

Connors: “Well I disagree strongly.”

Tubridy: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s, it’s just anytime I would hear or see stuff, certainly around where I know, which is here, it would be very fair..”

Connors: “You think so?”

Tubridy: “I think you get, that you, as a person, get..”

Connors: “I think you’re living in a bubble, Ryan, or you’re just reading certain stuff.”

Tubridy: “No, I’m not talking about reading anything, I’m talking about listening and watching.”

Connors: “Listening and watching?”

Tubridy: “Yeah, on the radio and maybe on the television, I just think that it’s a fair crack of the whip a lot of the time.”

Connors: “We get a fair crack of the whip?”

Tubridy: “I would have thought so.”

Connors: “Ok.”

Tubridy: “So, Pavee Point would be regular contributors to radio programmes and television programmes, would they not?”

Connors: “Oh so you just think, I come on here today and it’s a fair crack of the whip, that I get to talk about this..?”

Tubridy:Do you not want to be here?

Connors: “As a Traveller, no, as a Traveller…”

Tubridy:Do you not want to be here?

Connors: “No, but Travellers as a whole get a fair crack of the whip?”

Tubridy: “But you’re sounding, do you not think that you sound a little bit like a, the victim, sort of defensive victims?

Connors: “But you know what? We are the victims, that’s the…”

Tubridy: “Are you?”

Connors: “Travellers are the victims.”

Tubridy: “Are you a victim?”

Connors: “Of course I am. I am a victim because I’m not allowed to live the culture that I was born into. I’m not allowed to live the way we wanted to live.”

Tubridy: “Tell me, on a typical day, what are you, personally John, deprived of in society?”

Connors: “Well, my whole life, I’ve had discriminative experiences that have stopped me from doing things that I’ve wanted to do in life. Like I wanted to be a security guard one time and I did interview after interview and, one day, I put on a Dublin accent, and I was getting a job on the spot and I was told, by the employer, to not leave Travellers in and then I put on my own accent. So that sort of attitude I’ve experienced all my life and it’s stopped me from doing a lot of things.”

Tubridy: “Are you still getting it?”

Connors: “Yeah, I still get it, I still get ignorance stuff. Like I went and did a judging competition, I judged some Strictly Come Dancing thing for charity. And a woman came over to me and said, ‘are you the itinerant from Love/Hate?’ I said, ‘no, I’m the actor who plays the Traveller Patrick Ward in Love/Hate. And she said, ‘oh but like you’re really an actor, an itinerant as an actor?’ And I get that sort of attitude day in, day out. And me and a bunch of cousins of mine just a few months ago got refused from a pub in town just because there was a group of us. Someone came out and said, ‘oh Patrick from Love/Hate and he went and got a selfie with me and your man went red, the bouncer at the door, and invited us to go back up there. So I still get that day in, day out.”

Tubridy: “Why do you think some pubs don’t let Travellers in?”

Connors: “Well there’s still that attitude that’s projected in out there, again I’ve to go back…”

Tubridy: “Is it all made up?”

Connors: “Well I mean the other answer, that I was talking about, the popular answer, if you just let me go into that, the other answer which is the anti-Traveller answer is that we’re an inferior race of people, we’re just inferior. We’re dumber, we’re thieves, we’re just smelly. That’s the answer. There’s that answer or there’s my answer and my answer is that it’s been systematic oppression by the State that has forced us off the road. Like if you look at any Traveller site in Ireland, no matter where it is, it’s on the edge of a town, on the edge of a city, on the edge of a suburb. Never in the middle of a city. Like where do you live?”

Tubridy: “I live in Dun Laoghaire.”

Connors: “So you don’t get Travellers in the middle of Dun Laoghaire do you?”

Tubridy: “There are Travellers around, of course.”

Connors: “But you don’t get them in the middle of Dun Laoghaire, you won’t get them there. They’ll be on the edge of town or off the motorway.”

Tubridy: “Do you want to be there?”

Connors: “They were forced there, on the edge of town. We wanted to travel, we weren’t allowed to do that, policies were brought in to stop that. We wanted to live our way of life but we were forced into your world, we’ve to deal with your world and now suddenly we’re not flourishing in your society and it’s all our fault when we were forced in there, off the road.”

Tubridy: “A lot of people want to live where they want to live, near their families and their friends and everything else in between but they can’t because they can’t afford to or whatever it might be.”

Connors: “So what are you saying? We’re just not being considered and our culture is not considered?”

Tubridy: “Well that’s what you’re telling me.”

Connors: “Yeah.”

Tubridy: “Obviously.”

Connors: “It’s not, yeah. The Government is not considering us.”

Tubridy: “I get the sense that you feel aggrieved. That your…”

Connors: “100%, 100%. I’m looking at 11 people who were burned to death in Carrickmines and I know that was the State’s fault and I’m very angry about that. And we’ve forgotten about it. It’s been completely forgotten about now and no-one wants to ask any questions. When I was on the site with little John Connors and I’d seen what happened and I’d seen the council were at fault because the council went against their own fire regulations. They put the Portakabins this close to each other, they wired all the wiring on the outside, up on the fences, up on the trees. The fire hydrant they cut off, because of the water charges, and on the night, the fire brigade came there to go to the fire hydrant and it was off and they had to go down the road, the Glenamuck Park, the racists, to go down there to get the thing so that could have saved a few people. So that’s three or four times over and over. Those people were murdered.”

Tubridy: “There’s…”

Connors: “So I am angry, yeah.”

Tubridy: “There’s no question that the Carrickmines situ-, eh, tragedy, was among the worst that this country has seen in recent times.”

Connors: “Well look at the treatment of the family afterwards.”

Tubridy: “Well let’s talk…”

Connors: “That’s a perfect example..”

Tubridy: “Let’s, first of all, pass on our condolences to the families involved if that’s…”

Connors: “Oh I did that, Ryan. I was there.”

Tubridy: “Listen John, I know it. Right, I’m just trying to level it out here a second because I  think we need to be thoughtful about them as well from my point of view. And in the documentary, it’s very sensitively handled by you.”

Connors: “Yeah.”

Tubridy: “And I was very taken by young John, who you just mentioned.”

Connors: “Yeah, so was I, I was affected by it myself to be honest.”

Tubridy: “Yeah.”

Connors: “I was very upset.”

Tubridy: “You can see why. We’re going to take a little look at him and people at home will understand what we’re talking about. We’ll come back and reflect on that in a sec.”

Connors: “All right.”

Plays clip from I Am Traveller

Tubridy: “His heart’s broken, the poor fella. What was that like, up there, for you?”

Connors: “That was hard-hitting, to be honest with you. It just made me realise, you know, when I’d seen what happened in Glenamuck afterwards and the protesters there, they wouldn’t allow the Travellers to move into a piece of field that wasn’t theirs, I looked online and the Journal.ie and various different things and you had people there saying, that’s 10 less knackers dead, that’s what you have people saying. And it made me realise that the State’s policies, backed by the media, have completely dehumanised Travellers. Travellers are dehumanised because when you can say things like that about 11 people who were burned to death like that, there’s something wrong. And you’re telling me there’s nothing wrong? That’s the gas thing.”

Tubridy: “Yeah there are desperate people at the end of the…”

Connors: “There were hundreds of comments, they had to lock down, they had to lock all the comments section, there was hundreds and hundreds. It was like way more negative than positive. We have the screenshots to prove it. It’s horrible.”

Tubridy: “Well, do you know something, that’s indefensible.”

Connors: “Yeah, it’s indefensible, exactly.”

Tubridy: “That’s not even a conversation worth having because you don’t want to justify their…”

Connors: “But there are people out there right now who are shouting knacker at the telly. I did an article there in the Irish Times and it was targeted and like on the Facebook post it was, ‘knackers, knackers this, pikeys this, they deserve everything they get, who the fuck does he think he is?’ All this. You know? That’s…”

Tubridy: “How, how is it in 2016, here we all are, the proclamation, Irish men and Irish women, you know, this is a great country, we should be all things to all people, all men and all women. Why are we talking with you here and you’re bloody angry, let’s face it, I can sense it off you…”

Connors: “Well my great grandfather fought in the 1916 Rising.”

Tubridy: “Did he really?”

Connors: “Patrick Ward. He did yeah. And Patrick Ward, in 1942, was accused of snaring rabbits by a landowner. All right. And he was shot dead, murdered. And your man who murdered him done six months in prison. So he never got his justice and he fought for this country and he fought for that proclamation and he’s looking at his people now who are being burned to death and being murdered by the State.”

Tubridy: “This business of, you know, within, within the Travelling community, you have extremely high suicide rates.”

Connors: “Yeah.”

Tubridy: “Your father? Can I mention your dad? What happened to him?”

Connors: “Yeah, yeah. He was a mentally ill man, he was schizophrenic and he killed himself.”

Tubridy: “And how old were you?”

Connors: “I was eight.”

Tubridy: “Eight years old.”

Connors: “Yeah.”

Tubridy: “And you talk about your own battle, is the word people use, with what depression and…”

Connors: “Yeah, when I was, when I’d say I got to about 19 or 20, I kind of put all my eggs in one basket, I thought I was going to be a professional boxer, I stopped that, got away from that and I ended up, kinda, gaining some, about eight stone I’d say in about two years and I just got in this depressive state, I tried to get a job, tried to get employed, every door was getting shut and I realised that, that actually I had no options in life. That was the thing, I had no options whatsoever. And I thought, what am I going to do? I always thought I was going to do something. I thought the boxing was going to bring me somewhere. And, again, in the educational system, I had, like I did well in school but I had, I did have a lot of run in with students and a teacher calling me a knacker and grabbing me as a child, that left an imprint on me, to be honest with you, it shaped me in a way. And, when I was 20 then, I kind of, thought what am I going to do with my life and I was at rock bottom and my brother Joe, who’s in the audience here, recognised it and he said, why don’t you try the acting. And, at that particular point, because he knew I was obsessed with films since I was a child. And at that particular point, it was like a lightbulb, and I said, you know what, I will try acting. Because I wasn’t afraid about being judged by other Travellers for doing something different at that point. So acting kind of brought me out of like, a cathartic sort of therapy you know?”

Tubridy: “What are we going to do thought? To bridge that gap? If your numbers, as you see them, are to be believed, 80% of the people watching tonight are giving out about you, calling you names and saying that they don’t believe that, what you, what your community, Travellers, do or say is right, that the, that you’re all a bunch of X, Y and Z.”

Connors: “Yeah.”

Tubridy: “Right and then you’ve got you, on the other  side of the fence, shouting over at the settled community saying, ‘well you guys, your media, your murdering, your racist and everything else, right, all of these things. Where’s the middle ground?”

Connors: “Well you see that’s the thing Ryan. The way we look at this situation, right? The lens we’re looking at it, is the wrong lens. We’re looking at a real close-up of..”

Tubridy: “So you tell me what you think anyway?”

Connors: “We’re viewing the whole situation wrong. The situation is, at best, Travellers, as a people, we have to hope for 50/50 – 50 per cent our fault, 50 per cent your fault. At best, that’s what we have to hope for, right? That’s at best.”

Tubridy: “Yeah.”

Connors: “Right? But it isn’t that, it isn’t that. It’s clear to see that it isn’t that because the way we’ve been treated by the State, and by the wider settled community, we’re not allowed do what we want to do in this society. We’re not allowed to live the way we want to live, we’ve been forced off the road…”

Tubridy: “Is this ethnic recognition you’re talking about?”

Connors: “Yeah but listen there’s been cultural genocide and like that 1963 commission report asked for the ethnocide of Travellers – that’s what it was. It was, they were calling for the ethnocide of Travellers, so ethnicity recognition is very important. It’s more of a kind of symbolic thing for young Travellers but there needs to be serious things, there needs to be an all-Ireland accommodation board that Travellers run themselves because like, I mean, 85% of the funding was given back, like you’re trying to say that that didn’t contribute to Carrickmines and what happened in Carrickmines? Also, just one little thing that’s really important, Ryan. In Carrickmines, straight away the council afterwards, on RTE news were very quick to express that there seven or eight different fire items there and there wasn’t. There was two fire extinguishers that were used two years previous in another fire and the family called the council up a number of times, asked them to replace them and they never replaced them. So that’s all accommodation…”

Turbidy: “Ok I appreciate… and they’re not hear to defend themselves so..”

Connors: “So there’s a number of situations but the number one thing for me, really, the number one thing for me is there needs to be education about Traveller culture and in schools. Get the children, while they’re young, before they’re filled with bias and their parents rear them bad, to be honest with you because…”

Tubridy: “You strike me, John, as an accidental activist and I say that because I think you’re an actor first, this is in terms of, I know that you’re a family man and all..”

Connors: “Of course I am yeah.”

Tubridy: “You’re an actor first but, even watching the programme, I get the impression that you kind of didn’t even want to be a spokesman or spokes, or an activist. But, listening to you now, whether you like it or not, you sound like an activist.”

Connors: “Well I didn’t aim to be but I got a little bit of z-list fame say from Love/Hate but I was always a bit outspoken anyway and my grandmother was a great activist, and one of the first…”

Tubridy: “She’s in the programme…”

Connors: “Yeah and my whole family were involved in it so I was heavily influenced by them and I always talked about these things but Love/Hate just gave me a little bit of a spotlight so I continued talking about it and I never shut me mouth.”

Tubridy: “Are you going to do both?”

Connors: “Yeah, 100%, well like a lot of things need to be done Ryan. This..”

Tubridy: “I understand.”

Connors: “A bit of equality, like, the gay community, the LGBT community got it and that was great, that’s amazing.

Tubridy: “It’s your turn?”

Connors: “It’s our turn, 100% but it’s not going to be put down in a referendum, I mean, we’re going to get ethnicity recognition because we are, not because of why, they why is not important, we are, we fit the criteria.”

Tubridy: “All right. I’ve a heap of more questions I’d love to ask but time is against us. Thanks and maybe we’ll talk about it again.”

Connors: “Yeah.”

Tubridy: “All right, thanks for coming in to talk to us, John.”

Watch back in full here

Previously: ‘It’s Your Fault As An Ethnic Grouping’

85 thoughts on “Worth The Licence Fee

  1. DeSelby

    What is it with RTE? I can never view the RTE Player. It gives out about ad blocker software. I have tried over 2 different PCs (Windows and Linux) using 5 different browsers, 3 of which have no ad blocking software…. I know I am not missing much, but it’s the only site that this ever happens. Gobpoo

  2. DubLoony

    He has a good point, I think it would be a good idea for Travellers to run an accommodation board. Would be interesting to see what solutions would be devised.

  3. munkifisht

    It’s pretty vile how the Travelling community is considered, not only in Ireland but around Europe. People have no problem using the most disgusting and bigoted terms to refer to them. Of course, there are problem with crime but the way Irish people consider all travellers to be criminals is on a par with how the worst elements of American society think about black people, and it’s likely you wouldn’t tolerate someone making such sweeping statements or using such bigoted comments against someone who wasn’t white.

    1. Anomanomanom

      Jesus get a grip. Your a moron if think out and out segregation/racism in America is the same as the “problem” travellers have.

      1. LW

        Yeah there’s no segregation here. There’s no towns where businesses shut up shop when travellers roll in. There’s no policies of keeping travellers out of pubs, shops etc. You’re dead right

          1. LW

            In my home town, in June 11 or 12 years ago, a group of travellers arrived to the outskirts of the town. Every pub in the village closed doors, video shops and everything were shut up. It was like xmas day, it was so quiet. The manager of one pub was standing across the road from the pub, and when locals would come down, he’d cross and leave them in. It was incredible

    2. Spaghetti Hoop

      Because of lost trust.
      My family, a mannerly, helpful type, used to have great craic and some seriously great dealings ‘wid de pikies’ and helped somewhat with their birth control education in the late 1970s.
      When they started trashing hotels and injuring people with slash-hooks I moved away swiftly and have wondered why Travellers that commit such crimes are not under the same law enforcement as all of us.

  4. Lordblessusandsaveus

    When I use the term ‘Knacker’ I’m referring to law-breaking little scumbags from the settled community whose mothers go to the shops in their pajamas with a Johnny Blue handing out of their mouth.

    I actually never refer to Travellers as ‘Knackers’.

    1. dylad

      Yeah, that’s a Dublin thing. I never would have used that word in Dublin to describe what I would have called a Tinker. In the West of Ireland it is used only to describe Travellers, in my experience.

        1. Nigel

          Yeah when a particular insult for a particular group has turned into a generic casual insult for the lower classes then perhaps it’s time to stop pleading ignorance and just stop using it?

          1. Same old same old

            Question for Nigel
            If Tubbers is so great and all why didn’t he seine the opportunity given to him by Mr Connors here to decry abusive online comment on travellers?

            Answer
            Because that wouldn’t be good for brand Tubridy

          2. Harry Molloy

            its not a nice thing to call someone surely but can’t say I wouldn’t refer to someone as a knacker if they stole my bike for example. wouldn’t be implying they were a traveller and wouldn’t call a traveller a knacker unless they behaved like a knacker which is, to most minds I think, a lawless dirtbag

          3. Nigel

            You do get the problem isn’t that you, personally, do not direct the word at travellers, it’s that you use an insulting word for travellers as a general insult for lawless dirtbags? This isn’t like the n-word, which can only really be deployed at black people, but more like ‘fag,’ an insult to homosexuals which became a more general insult, and people insisted that because they weren’t using it against gay people it couldn’t be homophobic? It’s special pleading, and very much missing the point.

          4. Harry Molloy

            completely understand what you’re saying. I don’t think that people believe the word to be synonymous with travellers though, travellers do. so there’s just a disconnect there that needs to be called out

          5. Same old same old

            Lol @ Nigel playing the fool

            Anyway because Harry doesn’t think knacker is a derogatory term then ignore anyone who thinks otherwise or experiences prejudice

            That defence worked out well for Luis Suarez

          6. Anne

            “I’m glad you had the answer handy because I couldn’t parse the question.”

            He’s very edjamacated, don’t cha know.

    2. edalicious

      +1

      I’ve only found out that it has anything to do with Travellers within the last couple of years.

    3. Starina

      ditto. I live in Dublin. I’d never refer to a Traveller as a Knacker. It’s for those little scrotes in with their hands down their trackie bottoms, kicking bike wheels in.

      1. mildred st. meadowlark

        I’m a Dub as well, and knacker means the little shitebags who utterly destroyed the local secondary school mere weeks after a renovation that the area had waited over 10 for. There are settled travellers in our local area too, and they generally keep to themselves, and when we say knacker it most certainly does not refer to them.

      2. Same old same old

        Many of these folks are settled traveller families
        How do you think they originally derived this nomenclature?

    4. rotide

      +1

      I only found out that it was used for travellers well into my twenties.

      I call my sandwiches Sambos regardless of the connotation of the word and ill continue to use the word knacker to refer to scrotes.

      1. Anne

        I’ve never used the term knacker for travellers.
        John needs to get over himself..

        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=knacker

        ” Incestuous, boxing, sovereign ring wearing, tracksuited shaven headed scumbags. Girls wear bellytops (Even if they’re 15 stone), guys are small, jewelry and violence are rampant. Enjoy having children with sisters, looking at you with squinty eyes and scaring people. In many places refers to SCUMBAGS in general, and good travellers are not covered by the word – depending where you’re from.
        “C’mear yow, give oos a fooking Yaro boss or I’ll fooking box ya” said the knacker. “

        1. Anne

          If you said you were ready for the knacker’s yard, or you were knackered.. are you 100% racist?

          1. Same old same old

            When you resort to those forms of expression you’re 100% devoid of education or class
            But we knew that already

          2. Vote Rep #1

            If you said you were smoking a fag are you being homophobic? Clearly not. But then if you used fag as an insult you are. It is hardly a difficult thing to comprehend.

        2. Nigel

          It’s really really great that when YOU say it everyone knows you’re not referring to GOOD travellers. That’s fine, so.

          1. Anne

            I think most people have explained that they don’t use the term to describe any sort of traveller.

          2. Nigel

            They use a word that has become synonymous with traveller as an insult to denote the worst dregs of our society. No problem there.

          3. Anomanomanom

            In my experience most travellers are knackers, it’s unfortunate that it’s a minority that are decent people. Oh before all the pretend outrage iv much much more experience the most. I live it what was an old knackers camp, yes KNACKERS, any group that wrecked and left the area in the state they did are knackers. I also drank frequently with traveller men, for years, they turned out to be knackers not decent people. Things they got up to would be unspeakable on here, I stopped drinking with them quickly enough once I found out.

          4. Geoffraffe

            I wonder would people have the same attitude if people used the word ‘nigger’ in such a nonchalant way.

            ‘I didn’t know it was offending an entire race of people or had any of the connotations that it has. I was oblivious to all that so its fine in the context I use it.’

            It’s funny how the part of society who is at fault for offending generally finds a way to become offended themselves at the thought of this accusation. See what John Waters said when confronted by the gay community if you need proof of this.

      2. Same old same old

        What a surprise
        The nocturnal know nothings mantra is
        ” no one likes us – we don’t care”

  5. Chromium

    Damn! Why didn’t Tubridy ask him about his grandfather, where he fought in 1916, where he lived, how he came to be involved…!

    I’d love to see travelling people forming co-ops to give each other work and circumvent the undoubted prejudice.

  6. Nilbert

    Connors spoke very well. He was articulate and determined, despite his obvious frustration, Tubridy, as ever was appallingly incompetent. He barely contained his anti-traveller distaste.

  7. Clampers Outside!

    Em… what’s wrong with the edge of town for a halting site? Reading that above, and I saw it live too, and I read his later FB post, and from that I get the feeling that he wants halting sites in the town and city centres…. seriously? He needs to cop on if he expects that.
    Towns and small cities don’t have the space. larger cities, Dublin anyway, already has some city centre halting sites. There’s one only about 60 to 70 yards from my front door in D8 beside the Guinness brewery. Can’t get more city centre than that in fairness. But small towns or city centres are not the place for halting sites, in all fairness.

    There needs to be an education alright. Not just on Traveller culture, but education to tackle the bias. That means an education on the economic contribution of the Traveller community to society. Rather than hearing anecdotal, so and so does work and pay taxes, or so and so can’t get a job because they are a traveller. There’s plenty of info on the latter, very little to nothing on the former. That would go a long way to addressing the bias people have. In my growing up, and still today I hear it, and read it, the issue with Travellers is for the vast majority who as John says, have no experience of travellers, is financial view of cash for work jobs and no tax paid, etc.
    It only takes a single 2016 reg shiny new Range Rover to pass through a village to ’cause raised eyebrows and the question, ‘where’s the money for that coming from?’.

    I like John Connors, good luck to him.

    Before I get shouted at, I’ll finish with this… that written above is all based on experience. It is anecdotal, I know, but it is also what a lot of people base their attitude on. And addressing those issues, economic ones, would be a huge step in the right direction in addressing that attitude. My tuppence.

    1. Anne

      “Em… what’s wrong with the edge of town for a halting site?”

      Coz it’s racist. Even though they’re the same race.

      He wants to live where Ryan Turbridy lives. 100%

      People put in objections with the council, they don’t want them living next to them, it’s racism. Nothing to do with their behaviour, or the mess or the lifestyle. 100% racism. 100%

  8. kingo

    why doesnt he talk about the Travellers who Are involved in roofing scams….distraction theft…rural crime…etc etc

  9. Bingo

    “The majority of settled people haven’t had a personal experience with Travellers.”
    Really?
    There were traveller kids in my classroom all the way through primary school.
    Playing football in the yard at lunchtime, etc….
    Most left school early but everyone in my school had plenty of experiences with these kids.
    I’ve drank pints in the pub with the lads in my school several time since.
    I’m from a larger town in the West of Ireland.
    Maybe the traveller kids didn’t attend the more rural schools?
    i guess that’s just a numbers thing though…

  10. Anne

    He’s very fond of saying one hundred percent.. It’s never ninety nine percent or seventy five percent. It’s always one hundred percent. Strange..

    Connors: “100% yeah.”

    Connors: “Yeah, 100%, well like a lot of things need to be done Ryan. This..”

    Connors: “Yeah, yeah, 100%.”

    Connors: “Of course it is. 100%, you can’t deny it.”

    Connors: “No, 100% that’s the attitude generally. ”

    Why can’t it ever be 75%? 99.9%? 99.99999?

          1. Anne

            I like you too Hank. x lol

            His type don’t bother me at all really.
            He’s a bit of a scrote with poor communication skills is all. Inferior complex about women too I’d say. He was on about his prowess in the bedroom there on one thread.. funny stuff. He’s a bit of moron really, god bless.
            A few lowbrow types are entertaining in their own way I suppose.

          2. Same old same old

            Lol

            As nice Jung man wrote we don’t care for re-reading your biography Anne- we already have the measure of you

          3. Anne

            Do you feel more supported when you say ‘we’?

            We sense the insecurity and inferiority complex, and we think you should chill the fupp out and try and be civil.. or continue, whichever, but we find it very boring Sybil.

          4. Same old same old

            That’s right

            We clearly do sense the inferiority complex and insecurity – particularly when some random idiot coos ” ooh I like you Anne” and then erstwhile dragon woman starts to simper and twitch like my nephew’s old English bulldog when it’s belly is rubbed. The other similarities are the constant dribble, snorting and scratching about

          5. Anne

            “erstwhile” lol
            Didn’t we try that kinda talk above and Nigel nor anyone else couldn’t follow you.

            Hopefully your girlfriend will oblige you soon and you’ll get some female attention in RL. You pest.

          6. Nice Jung Man

            She came four times the other night there, seeing as you asked.

            Anyway I can see you’re getting playful – you secretly crave the attention obviously

          7. Same old same old

            Nah he got me good there
            Probably because I quoted him above and he didn’t like it

  11. B-Unit

    I am not proud of this but I am definitely in the bracket of people who hold such prejudice against travellers. Pretty much everyone else I know is in this bracket too. Personally, this has come from a few crime-related incidents over my life such as my dog being stolen by travellers of all things and other minor incidents.

    I have had many good experiences with travellers too but bad experiences will always trump those.

    The emotion of John Connors in the interview struck me and put me in his shoes. It is shame travellers are treated unfairly in so many aspects. It was heartbreaking to hear how few options he had in life and of his experiences of discrimination.

  12. Anne

    “Fear and shame as well because, straight away, you’re made to feel different. Straight away, you’re marginalised. Straight away.

    You’re not made to feel anything you don’t want to feel. Straight away.

    1. LW

      “You’re not made to feel anything you don’t want to feel”
      This is an earth shattering development in psychology.

  13. Mike Baldwin

    Travellers are, on average, 3,cm taller than most Caucasian hominids and between 7 and 12 Kgs heavier. Normalised IQ measurements display equal if not greater average intellect versus the general population. They are quickwitted fighting machines, built for a world long since faded. We must be tolerant whilst they slowly adapt to changed social climes and sensitive urban mores. If you don’t believe this then you are in the wrong. This is a fact.

  14. Ivor Biggun

    In a hilarious new sitcom, a traveller family are given a house in Dun Laoghaire next door to Ryan and all manner of awkward and comic situations ensue

  15. Karen

    Bit late to the game but- What’s wrong with the edge of towns for halting sites? As already mentioned travellers have much worse health outcomes, in general die much earlier. This is a result of “living on the edge of towns”, which really means beside dual carriageways, with terrible air from passing fumes, contaminated water supplies (if any), lack of hot water, lack of waste disposal services etc. Etc.

      1. Same old same old

        The horses prefer the countryside air and the edges
        Of town does give them terrible trouble with their hooves so it does boss

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