“I Think She Was Sorry She Got Caught”


Dr Sindy Joyce

Kitty Holland, in The Irish Times, reports:

Traveller activists have criticised Martin Collins, co-director of Pavee Point for accepting an apology from Senator Lorraine Clifford Lee over derogatory tweets she sent eight years ago.

…“I do wonder if she had used the ‘n’ word would she be allowed to continue on in her position. I could accept the apology if it was one or two comments and she was very young but I don’t feel the apology is sincere. I think she’s sorry she got caught.”

Clifford Lee Traveller comments ‘painful’ and apology not sincere, activists say (Kitty Holland, The Irish Times)

Earlier: ‘I Am Truly, Truly Sorry’

Previously: A Day Of Mixed Emotions

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74 thoughts on ““I Think She Was Sorry She Got Caught”

  1. Dr.Fart

    i hate when people compare anti-traveller sentiments to using the n-word. Travellers weren’t persecuted on any way the same level and scale as black people.

    1. Amy.

      They weren’t persecuted as badly as black people, but Travellers are treated very badly in general, and prejudice against them is widespread.

      1. Dr.Fart

        not to a smidge the same extent as black people. i think it’s hugely disrepectful of them to compare.

        1. Amy.

          Of course there are degrees of suffering, but it’s not a competition. Imagine trying to live your life as a Traveller in Ireland. It can’t be easy facing constant and unremitting hostility.

          1. Dr.Fart

            i’d say it’s more fear they face rather than hostility. everyone’s scared of them. im not saying its a competition, quite the opposite, because the thing im saying is i hate when they say calling them ‘k*****s’ is like saying the n-word to a black person. ive herd the phrase used enough that its like theyre being prepped by a fine gael PR person, repeating the same lines. And i hate when they use that one to explain their plight.

          2. Johnny Keenan

            Dr. Fart it is evident that not alone are you you talking out of a hole, but you are living in one aswell

          3. Amy.

            I’m smallish, and I’ve never been afraid of them. Had conversations with many of them when I was a kid (we’d an encampment up the road), told others to fupp off because they were drunk and in my face, and worked with one for a short time. They’re many things, but they’re not scary.

          4. jason

            Yes it’s terrible you can’t rob steal and con with impunity. Bloody guards and citizens trying to stop their oil, gates, livestock and anything else not nailed down, from being stolen.

      2. Spaghetti Hoop

        Some travellers are despised because they’re known to carry a slash hook to a wedding and inflict horrendous violence with it. There were generations of innocent African, African-American and African-Carribean people sold into slavery and tortured. I can’t see any parallels between these two facts.

        1. f_lawless

          A minority within African-American communities commit extreme acts of violence too. It’s a bi-product of both African-American and Traveller communities being disadvantaged and marginialised from society going back generations?

    1. Lilly

      I heard her on Morning Ireland and either she deserves an Oscar or that apology was sincere. People can change, I suppose. Being exposed to new people in her work as a public representative may have opened her eyes and reshaped her views.

      1. V


        Well that’s what I’d say if t’was me

        And a good few on reflection etc etc in the sober light of day

        1. martco

          esp. if there’s a sniff of €100kpa + lavish expenses + undocumented expenses + maybe 15 mins of fame on the horizon, wha

          sorry, I’ve lost all faith in politics…90% of them are in it for personal career gain not vocation

          this wan gets elected…what’s she going to do, what’s she ever going to contribute or change? just another professional cog in the Dail trough machinery innit?

          what’s the point anymore, seriously?

          tell ya, if I was under 30 I’d be off to another jurisdiction

          1. Lilly

            ‘tell ya, if I was under 30 I’d be off to another jurisdiction’

            I often think that too but maybe it’s the same everywhere. Where would you go? I wouldn’t fancy America, ditto Oz or Canada. Somewhere sunny in Europe maybe. South of France or Spain?

          2. martco

            if you accept that there’s no-marks like her on the make everywhere in public life no matter where you go across the board of the places I’ve spent extended time in I’d choose:

          3. Lilly

            Nice list! I’m leaning towards Berlin though I haven’t a word of German. It gets a bit grey and cold this time of year.

          4. Janet, I ate my avatar

            right now I’d go “home” Paris, but long-term I’d give Marseille a lash, got pals there, really enjoy everytime I go, plus les calanques are heaven

          5. V

            I tell you wha’ Bisto

            As soon as she’s done for I’m off
            I’ll keep the gaff here and a few nixers on the go alright

            But I’m off on the gallivant

          6. Lilly

            If you’re feeling homesick J, check out the French Film Fest at the IFI. Be warned though, lorra lorra berets.

          7. martco

            Lilly & Janet…

            Berlin – apart from the whole vorsprung durch technik everything works aspect & that you have a shot at living a fair life (unlike our Leo’s kiphole) I’ve experienced fab social life there, clubbing is second to none & I’d nearly do it just to eat at those street currywurst wagons in the depths of winter alone

            Lyon – ok there’s a fair shedload of us living down there already (something to do with the university I suspect) the locals can be a bit stiff but it’s the food capital of the world for me & the riveria or alps are in easy reach

            Strasbourg – postcard pretty but apart from the obvious I feel at the heart of Europe…Alsace Lorraine is a fab area to explore..a weird pocket for a weirdo like me

            Bilbao – a fab crossbreed mongrel…France crossed with Spain crossed with Switzerland crossed with Ireland…history, culture, fresh bitta EU money & the locals are probably the best skins I’ve met anywhere in my wanderings…oh & Rioja just over the pass which if you like a fast drive is one of the best

            Copenhagen – I’m a design nerd & I admire the life/system…what we could have had if we weren’t so self centered

            Portland – there’s not many places in the States I’d want to raise a family, in my book it’s one of them, great social life & people really sound, great grub scene, didn’t meet many Irish, a very European vibe

            Vancouver – just up the road & in some ways similar to Portland, had a shot at setting up there 20 years ago, it’s a large regret shaped hole, ah!

            what about youse?

          8. Janet, I ate my avatar


            Paris _ well personally 18 years of bopping street so a real sense of feeling at home, amazing food from everywhere, open food markets, specialist shops ran by families, great transport but you can walk anywhere too and your dogs are welcome everywhere great medical, anonymous when you want to be bold or just be….just leave your arrondissement, or feel like a member of a village if you stay local, the casual flirting and banter, the style, heated terraces and people watching, always an opening or great theater to check out, the music scene, a non stop beautiful backdrop to runs, no one asking what you do for a living and judging how much respect you get based on that…I could go on and there is bad stuff too ;)

            Marseille_ the weather, the food, the beaches, the locals are nutjobs with big hearts, the hidden coves, and you can jump on a train to Paris ;)

          9. Janet, I ate my avatar

            plus just as a female you can go for a drink or meal on your todd without people assuming you have been stood up, or are waiting for someone,
            it’s something a little harder to do in Dublin, and I love to mosey on my own, here you can get judged,
            ” ah love he wasnt worth it “…no bloke gets that

          10. Janet, I ate my avatar

            I also really loved Auckland, just proved too far from home, fab people, stunning country, great food too,
            Lived in Nepal teaching English and I met an Irish girl brave enough to stay there, I think the chaos would have worn me down but a younger me was hell bent on going back, the people have such a great attitude, you swear you’ll never take anything for granted again.

          11. Lilly

            Impressive wanderings Martco. I’m not that well travelled, I’ve been to a few of those places but just for short hops. I lived in London for a while and loved it. The air pollution got to me in the end though. I also lived in NY – liked the village in the early 90s but found the extreme materialism tedious. They are literally obsessed with the dollah.

          12. Janet, I ate my avatar

            well bad bits, transport strikes or the rammed no.13..nerves fray,
            you must be able to “pass them off nicely” or know when to be a cold b**ch to a certain kind of male harassment, it takes a while to judge that correctly,
            you really do need the language or people/ taxi drivers will take the weewee ( too many tourists)
            dog poo but that has gotten better,
            endless paperwork for everything,
            having to be either aggressive or charming depending on what’s called for to get simple things done from anything from a state body, post office, to electrical work etc,
            it’s all a game you see..that can be exhausting/frustrating unless you play the game too

          13. Janet, I ate my avatar

            oh and loads of etiquette in social circles, dinners etc…manners count a lot, how to cut your cheese, there’s some real don’t do’s.. from down to entering a shop, standing on an escalator, getting kids from school, ironically I miss that a lot
            miss the formality and the joys/complicity of when you agree to break them, like a naughty kid…that’s how friends are made there

          14. Janet, I ate my avatar

            refreshing isn’t it, I like London, usually up around Crystal Palace or Norwood If be about, long term living, everyone is trying to live a bit bling,

          15. martco

            Janet, I’ve only ever visited Paris as a tourist & not had any work/living stretches but what you’ve described there is very much what I’ve seen anytime I got to visit. well described! I always reckoned Paris got a bad rap. I’m inevitably thinking about food & what you said there about specialist shops run by families & the markets is very true, not just Paris but in nearly every major European city I’ve managed to hit…as an example I’m in & out of Frankfurt a bit, quiet enough place but the main food market there, a very ordinary place manages to make the likes of Borough Market look mickey mouse with none of the high falloutin notions…affordable, accessible, plumbers in overalls eating their lunch or at the coffee bar alongside wker bankers in thousand euro suits, in a way like you said Lilly the Germans don’t give a fiddlers what you do for a living…a master baker over there is as respected as the surgeon….I have mentioned this before & it sounds terrible but I’m actively encouraging my own children to experience Europe (so far) with a view to them emigrating & setting up elsewhere….the plain reality is there’s nothing for them here nor will there ever be. the antics of the past 20 years has seen to that, completely burned them. if they’re never going to own a home here they can pay rent & enjoy decent life in a better jurisdiction & contribute with reasonable aspiration of making a difference. fundamentals. frankly, fupp Dublin & fupp Ireland, screwed up kip!

          16. Janet, I ate my avatar

            I think you are dead right Martco, of it wasn’t for family obligations I wouldn’t be here, it’s hard, the standard of living isn’t all that and if you like nice things exactly…notions. Best of luck to your nippers !

          17. Lilly

            That doesn’t sound terrible at all Martco; it shows foresight and maturity. I know several people who have left and although I miss them, they did the right thing. I look at 20-somethings chained to their jobs to pay the rent and wonder what they’re thinking. People who’d like to start a family but say they can’t afford it… yet. Toxic employers such as Goldman Sachs offering to pay for egg freezing. Good on you for encouraging your kids to make decisions that work for them, instead of standing by as they are led blindly up the garden path, passively hoping for the best.

          18. Janet, I ate my avatar

            haha no, they do drink though, just totally different style and food is always involved…big into their weed in their own homes

          19. bertie blenkinsop

            That was a fascinating read –
            you’re all so well travelled.
            I get homesick crossing the Ha’penny Bridge.

          20. Janet, I ate my avatar

            you sweetie,
            I was always off at the first opportunity, couldn’t wait to leave,
            circumstances obliging (and if I won the lotto) I reckon I’d be off like a pin ball,
            I feel it should be said Dublin and Ireland has so much to offer all the more heartbreaking to watch how badly it’s being managed,
            a young nation with some kind of stockholm syndrome for abusive parenting,
            we deserve better as a nation, pity most folks don’t seem to believe it

  2. Spaghetti Hoop

    That’s quite childish. One can’t simply ‘refuse’ to accept a public apology as it shows lack of character.

      1. Janet, I ate my avatar

        my hoop, sorry I knew I read that somewhere, actually that’s the Roma, Friday night confusion

          1. Janet, I ate my avatar

            all of Ireland is inbreed, until recently we were the test study nation for diseases relating to this

  3. GiggidyGoo

    One accepts the apology
    One doesn’t. And that one mentioned that Pavee doesn’t exactly represent all travellers views.

  4. axelf

    ugh, the righteous indignation of kitty holland.

    its not for her to be outraged about this, in circumstances where the apology was accepted by the travelling community

  5. some old queen

    How many huddled like beaten dogs on the streets and how many in hotels and correct speak is what we are debating?

    It reminds me of when I was a commuter into plush tech City Centre Dublin offices- one morning there was some serious political poo going down and what was the topic of conversation? That wraps may have as much calories as bread- also a news trend but dear God- educated into stupidity comes to mind.

  6. GiggidyGoo

    In something of a similar vein as regards apologising for putting ones foot in it, the KBC Chief apologized (we are told) for his comments regarding tracker mortgages. Here’s how that apology was reported……..

    ‘However, this evening, the bank issued an apology on Mr Thijs’s behalf .

    “I would like to personally and sincerely apologise to our customers and to the Irish public for the offence caused by my words yesterday in relation to the tracker mortgage examination and investigation.“

    So the Bank issues the apology, not him, and he has done it “personally”. Like FF apologizing for Clifford Lee.

  7. Tea And Brexits

    The time to criticize the lady was in 2011 when she made the comments. The mentality of some saddo trawling through 8 years of tweets to find these remarks now is what needs an apology – for not having something better to do for society. #Stasi

  8. Stephen

    What was the actual tweet she made?
    I’ve seen reference to it everywhere but no details of the actual tweet

  9. Ben Redmond

    When going to Pavee Point to apologise and ask for forgiveness remember:
    Examine your conscience.
    Have sorrow for having sinned.
    Resolve to avoid sin and the near occasion of sin in the future.
    Confess your sins to a priest, openly and honestly.
    Receive absolution and do the penance the priest gives you.
    + Tell the media what you’ve done & fob off awkward questions.

  10. Lilly

    For real Frilly? Good for you. Where to. I like to fantasise but not sure I’d have the moxie. Nothing like moving country for a new lease of life.

  11. Kingfisher

    Paris would be nice except for the air. Terrible car fumes, you can see the haze when you’re high up and you can feel it gritting your throat when you’re low down. The mayor and others are trying to lessen the traffic burden, but the air pollution is still seriously horrible.
    As for travellers – they’re people. Like most communities, they have decent and nasty. But the people who suffer most from the few creepos are mostly the travelling people themselves.
    Until we grow out of our prejudices, and throw education, housing and social help for jobs, etc at travellers, there’s going to be a social divide. But we can only start from where we are.

          1. V


            Just because David Ginola comes from there doesn’t mean I’d live in France

            They’re all a bit too Judgie tbh

            I bi-locate between Wicklow and Crumlin anyway

            And when the time comes I’ll be more inclined to settle partly in the Country of the best Rosé in the World
            And where I already pay taxes

            Paris is more of a weekend / tourist destination
            To me anyway

  12. Kingfisher

    The little girl who saved her baby nephew from a machete attack may soften a lot of racists’ feelings towards Travellers.

    1. Cian

      Unfortunately I wouldn’t bet on it… especially if it transpires that the machete wielding person was also a Traveller.

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