Dublin conference on Traveller inclusion

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin launches the ‘Embracing Inclusion’ conference on the pastoral care of Travellers

At the end of September, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin launched the ‘Embracing Inclusion’ conference on the pastoral care of Travellers in the Dublin archdiocese in All Hallows College.

The conference heard powerful and moving testimonies by members of the Travelling community, who highlighted the difficulties and prejudices they encountered.

Kate O’Brien, a psychotherapist involved with the Travelling Towards Inclusion initiative highlighted the importance of getting to know people and making connections. Seán Ruth, an organisational psychologist, emphasised that it is difficult to grow up in Ireland without being prejudiced in one form or another. Donal Harrington, author of The Welcoming Parish, spoke of a need for the parish to transcend its parochial character and that diversity should be cherished and respected in the parish.

In his closing remarks, Fr Derek Farrell, Parish Priest of the Travelling People invited other parish priests and pastoral councils to continue discussion and discern the next steps forward.