Ireland's Minority - is anyone listening?
This exhibition is a unique collection of portraits of Traveller men, women and children by Mike Stone. It is part of the work of the Extern Travller Network raising awareness on Mental Health in the Travller Community.
The exhibition was launched on Friday 21 October by Missie Collins. Missie Collins has been an advocate for Traveller health for 30 years. She has campaigned on Traveller rights to education, accommodation, employment, health and is a highly respected voice of the traveller community all over the country.
Ita Madden, co-ordinator of the Extern Traveller Network works with the community. Ita speaking about the exhibition says " this is an important exhibition because the Traveller Community allowed Mike Stone to capture them in their homes, with their families and experience the reality of their lives. I am very grateful to the families who gave us that access. I am delighted that we had such a fantastic response from the Traveller Community but also from everyone who has viewed this work. It was great to see so many local people, politicians and Church leaders supporting the Travellers on promoting positive mental health for their community.
Sean Mc Mahon from the Anglo Celt attended and spoke at length to Missie Collins and she also provided an interview to Northern Sound speaking about the real problems that Travellers experience. Missie Collins and Derek Mc Cabe, Chair of Extern who gave an overview of their work spoke of the need for Travellers to have Minority Status in Ireland.
Danny Mc Quillan, Director of Services at Extern said after the exhibition that "I am impressed with the work that Extern Primary Health Care Team in Cavan has achieved and really delighted that this exhibition will tour. It is a great example of the work of the Traveller teams on the ground and their work with the local Agencies."
This exhibition of portraits by Mike Stone was an initiative of Cavan County Council arts office, Extern Primary Health Care and the Traveller Community. Queries to Cavan County Council arts office or Johnston Central Library 049 4378500 / 4378548.
Mike Stone, photographer
"All humanity has a story to tell. From the most vulnerable individual to the celebrity. My job as a photographer, is to try and capture that story. My camera has led me around the world and through many doors which might ordinarily be closed. Royal palaces, tour buses, the corridors of government, film sets, and the homes of many WWII veterans. The camera gives me a privileged position as invited guest, documenter and sometimes confident to some of the most remarkable individuals and moments in modern history."
photos from the Launch of Ireland's Minority - is anyone listening? by Céin O Brien