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May 15

The post in which K8 slags the knackers

Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 in Family, Hackney Cabbing, Jobs, Philosophy, Rantings, Taboo

Once again, K8’s faith in humanity is given a massive whack across the face with an iron crowbar. 

I have defended the travelling community before (being that I live amongst them and kind of feel I should give it a shot)… I think I said something about them deserving the right to fight for respect within an unforgiving settled community?

What complete bollocks this is.

Here’s the scene:

-0-

I’m parked up at a garage in Bray, looking for a lady who wants to go to Arklow as per instructions from the taxi base.  I’m scanning the area which is deserted apart from a young lad aged eleven or twelve who sits by himself on a window-sill with his head resting on his knees.  Being that I am a girl who tends to think outside her box, I approach the kid.

“Hey kid… you looking for a taxi?”

The kid looks up and seems somewhat relieved.  “Yeah, I want to go home to Arklow” he says.

I convey my successful pick up over the CB and am informed that the fare would be €65.  I turn around to the kid.  “Do you think you can handle €65?”

The kid looks panicky and says; “Oh no I have no money with me, my mammy said she’d pay for me when I get home.  She’ll give you the money then.”

Fishy, but still highly likely. 

“What’s the address?” I ask.

“I dunno” the kid says apologetically; “we only just moved in.  It’s near the main street”.

Something smelled funny, and I don’t mean metaphorically.  The child was scruffy, and smelled very faintly of urine (as many children do) but also had an unmistakeable accent.  He looked nervous, and was hugging a bottle of orange soda.  He had intelligent eyes, and looked me directly in the pupils when he spoke to me.

My instinct roared.  It warned me that I was about to be swindled, but I wondered if I had the right to refuse a child safe passage to his parent?  What if he was speaking the truth?  I’m a mother, I can’t do that to a kid!  Besides (more truthfully), €65 is a lot to turn down.

I take off.  The kid asks me how far it was to Arklow, but apart from that one question he is silent for the entire journey.  When we arrive at the town, he directs me into a small housing estate on the outskirts. 

“It’s that house on the corner, I’ll be back in a second”

I let him out, scolding my instinct for being such a cynical bitch.  Then I watch as the kid passes the house in question at high speed, and dissappears around the corner on to the main road.  I fire the ignition and fly after him in first gear.  The main road is deserted.  I crawl up and down for a few minutes knowing well that the little fucker is hiding somewhere.

I drive back to the housing estate and call the taxi base to see if there is any protocol for this type of thing.  Apparently the union doesn’t have an insurance policy against runners, because there is no union.  I ring the accidental terrorist who tells me to come home (seeing as I happily live near Arklow anyway) and informs me that he regrettably has no secret ninja techniques for dealing with this situation.  The Police are dreadfully under-funded and would probably appreciate my not informing them of this misdemeanour. 

I couldn’t go home.  I wanted to find him and run him over.

I drive very quietly until I get back to the road the kid would be walking.  I shift into neutral and slink along with my eyes peeled.

About 200m ahead of me, I spot an old man.  There’s someone else too, who briefly flashes a face, then hops over the 6ft wall beside him.  I toy with the idea of scaling the wall to chase the kid, but thought better being that my trousers cost a few bob.  Anyway, what use would there be in catching him?  Sure, I could beat him up a bit to calm the anger, but I’d still be broke.

I stop to speak to the old man who does indeed identify a young boy holding a bottle of orange soda.  He also tells me that the field over the wall beside us could be used as a shortcut to get to the traveller’s quarters ‘over the way’ as he puts it.

End of pathetic sodding scene.

-0-

I knew that kid was a knacker.  I still drove him ‘home’ because it was the end of my shift and I was heading that way anyway.  I was aware of the kid’s movements the whole time, but he gave me no cause for concern whatsoever.  He just sat back with his arms crossed and gazed out the window silently which is refreshing for someone with my job. 

I’m not angry about the money, I’m angry that I was so fucking naive to think that it’s possible that there is such a thing as an honest traveller. 

They are a crafty race who have plenty of scruples and plenty of cash, so do not take your eyes off a traveller for one fucking second if you find yourself near one, for they would have the eyes sold out of your head soon as look at you, no matter what age they are.  Kudos to them, they had me fooled… but not anymore. 

They’re in a great position… they don’t pay taxes, and it’s well known that they enjoy the fruits of ill-gotten gains, yet the gardaí won’t go anywhere near them.  They demand respect from the community and free land from the council, then fleece them as soon as their backs are turned!

Where’s the honour in that, though?!  Why is it that the only events warranting shop and pub shut-down around here are Christmas day, and a knacker’s funeral?  They live by skimming money off tax paying citizens… so why are we respecting that again?

If they’re so great, then why aren’t we all travellers?  I’m already halfway there, sure.  We’re scrounging a house off the council, but at least we’re trying to get back on this bastard of a housing ladder… we were almost on it too, once, but slipped off again when Laughingboy was born.  Circumstance kicked us in the nuts and now here we are, still trying to crawl out of the dependancy pit seven years later.  It sucks!  Yet, there the knackers smugly sit in their dingy halting sites, knowing that their head-men and women of the family are worth literally millions of euros.

Here’s an insane question: If you had millions of euros would you squat in a dingy piss-stinking commune in the clogged pores of the Irish countryside, or would you bugger off to Thailand? 

Answers on a postcard to:

One pissed off taxi driver
28 Shithole View
Dunfoundusaplacetohousethescumbags
Co. Wicklow
Ireland

(What?!  What do you mean this post is too long?  It’s not!  My blog is too narrow!)

Bring on the comments

  1. Grandad says:

    Politically Incorrect, but bang on the nail! Next time you see one, run him [or her] over… You’ll feel better.

  2. Tanks for bringin de wee lad home. Jaysus but isn’t he a right little divil though? But you’d have to love him. Wouldn’t ya?

    Kind regards from da Moores in Arkla.

    P.S. Ya wouldn’t have a few bob ya could spare, missus?

  3. Hails says:

    Aww, K8. Feel for you! The wee divils stole my heating oil again the other week, and I couldn’t afford to replace it yet again so just took comfort in the fact that it was nowhere near as cold as it was when they nicked it in February.

    The nice thing about this post is that even though your fury is plain for all to see, I still have no doubt that you’d probably do the same thing again on seeing a stranded child in apparent need. While there may be a shortage of honest travellers, you are the proof that there’s no shortage of decent people in the world. We can bemoan the swindlers but rejoice in the K8s!

  4. Nick says:

    Blimey, I agree with Grandad! Yes, politically incorrect and all that, but I’ve heard such a lorryload of negative stories about travellers I have no respect for them any more. They park themselves anywhere they fancy, they commit crime on a huge scale, they leave masses of rubbish behind them, and they demand special privileges from the rest of us. I can’t see how they’re in any way benefitting society or other people. As a long-time socialist I’m sorry I have to come to that conclusion but there it is.

  5. K8 says:

    Dad; It’s ok, the rant did the job and today is a new day. Besides, I’ve sorted a guided missile to hit that Arklow at 12pm today.

    Mrs. Moore; Feck off, didn’t I buy three pairs of mouldy socks off you last week?

    Hails; Thanks :) I feel like a gullible eejit so it’s lovely that you phrased it like that! Thanks for commenting… I’m loving the stories on your blog!!!

    Nick; It all seems so surreal to me. How do they get away with it?!?

  6. […] I’m going out shortly to cull some knackers.  That is long overdue, as our K8 will testify. […]

  7. The slimy, pee-stinking little weasel. I used to work for a company that owned a filling station. There was a ‘traveller’ site nearby. Often, a great convoy of them would roll in, petrol and diesel would be crammed into several vehicles, very small children would steam through the shop helping themselves to stuff…a tiny amount of it would be paid for, and then they’d be off in a cloud of exhaust fumes and oh, how funny, in the general traveller-generated confusion there always seemed to be one or two pumps that hadn’t been paid for, plus a shit load of sweeties missing.

    Bless you for having a kind enough heart to help a child though. Be proud of yourself for that.

  8. emordino says:

    Here, less of the Arklow destruction. My dogs and most of my library are there and I need both of them.

    (Oh, and, uh, my family.)

  9. Grannymar says:

    It is hard to turn your back on a child. The scam is worse when they are taking the bread & butter from your child’s mouth.

    Keep your heart up, tomorrow’s customer may have a heart of Gold.

  10. I lost faith in knackerkind a long time ago.

  11. Caro says:

    How could the kid be any different, given how the parents must be?

    There used to be loads of travellers near our house when I was a kid (we lived near a monastery where traditionally they used to give them food, so they kept coming back every year) and my dad used to always let them use a tap down the back of our garden to get water because he said no human being should have to live without access to fresh water. One particular lot used to make several trips a day for an entire summer with a milk churn balanced on a pram frame (I’m not making this up) – and we used to wonder what they could be doing with so much water. It was only when autumn came that my dad noticed that the shed full of firewood was almost empty – they’d been nicking it bit by bit all summer. When confronted, they denied everything and were absolutely abusive to boot. If you feel bad, he felt worse being taken for an eejit, but even worse at having to tell them to piss off and get their water somewhere else. Not to mention the fear of retribution.

    There were several families that our dog absolutely HATED – he’d go for them as soon as look at them, we could only speculate that they’d been around taunting him some time we were away and he was tied up.

  12. King Bob says:

    Thanks K8 , if what you say is true you have just F***ed up my weekend. Was due to go to Arklow to pick up new specs. Don’t blame me if I career off the N11 and smash into your cab. However , I could career off at kilmac and take out the knacker camp there.
    There is a knacker camp where I work, and the level of filth is quite astounding. They command respect for their lifestyle but show no respect to others.

  13. Brianf says:

    Kudos to you for being a normal human being.
    There was a fairly large community of travellers here in the US about 20 years ago. They were caught running a scam, all up and down the east coast, that involved acting like they were a home improvement company. They got people to pay up front for work to be done then dissappeared. When the federal government finally caught up with them the government seized all their money and assets and shipped them all back to Ireland. As I remember the gov’t siezed millions of dollars and deported hundreds of these scumbags.

  14. warrior says:

    Am I the only one who see comparisons to how people are writing about Travellers here and how the the Irish were written about since the famine, and still are in some quarters, or how the Arabs and North Africans are written about now in France.
    I completely get you are angry with yourself. I really like you and what you write, but dissing the whole travelling community because you are angry with yourself….well it doesn’t sound right. Why didn’t you listen to your instincts? Why did you want to believe that a traveller boy was going to give you 65 euro? Last the word Knacker is a derogatory as Nigger…. I don’t think you would use the second I am surprised to see you use the first. I get you are letting off steam but I am not convinced if you read your piece again in about 6 months that you would be proud of it. So I run the risk of someone I like, namely K8 telling me to fuck off and mind my own business, it’s worth the risk, but I hope she wont. What was wrong before you allowed yourself to be swindled is wrong after it too.
    By the way in 1996 the average life expectancy for a Traveller Male was 46 years of age. If they have millions what the fuck are they doing living at the side of the road in wet and cold Ireland.
    Hope you will let me back in and continue commenting.

  15. Grandad says:

    Warrior: I’m jumping in here, because I can say things that I know K8 won’t.

    For a start, K8 is one of the most tolerant people I know of. She is no stranger to Itinerants, sharing a housing estate with a couple of families. When the other residents wanted to gang up on the Itinerants, K8 refused to join in.

    You say “Why didn’t you listen to your instincts?. Does that mean that you wouldn’t have taken the fare? Would you have left the child there? If so, then you are far less tolerant than K8. Do I detect a dose of double standards here? The majority of taxi companies will NOT take a fare from an Itinerant, yet despite her misgivings K8 took him.

    The Knacker/Nigger argument is as old as the hills, and is a load of crap. Negros number in the hundreds of millions worldwide, and presumably have the same crime ratios as Whites, or any other race. The vast majority are good decent people and there are the inevitable rotten apples. Travellers [or whatever you want to call them] are a tiny minority here in Ireland and their crime rate is way out of proportion to their numbers.

    I consider myself to be a very tolerant, non racist person. However I agree completely with K8. Itinerants live at the side of the road because they then have no address and are therefore able to avoid paying tax, car tax, or insurance. Yet many’s the time I have passed an encampment only to see a fleet of gleaming new vans [all untaxed and uninsured].

    Brianf wrote about the ‘Home Improvement’ scam in the States. That scam is still rampant in the UK, as was highlighted in several programs on UK TV recently. There is a large group of Itinerants both here and abroad who won’t hesitate to target the most vulnerable in society, simply because it is their way of life.

    Itinerants are treated with little respect, because they haven’t earned respect. They are barred from a lot of hotels and pubs, not from any racism, but because they often end up drunk and hacking at each other with machetes and pickaxe handles. It is a barring that is born of experience rather than intolerance.

    Your quoting their life expectancy figures is a complete red herring. It means absolutely nothing. For all you know, that figure could be low because of alcohol related deaths, or murders?

    My own personal experience of Itinerants is of a sub culture who grab what they can from society without heeding any of the normal standards that apply to the rest of us. When they get caught out, they go running behind the skirts of the ‘Do Gooders’ and complain that they are hard done by.

    If I caught that little fecker of K8s, I would wring his neck. Not only did he do her out of half a day’s wage [which she call ill afford] but he destroyed her trust.

  16. Where’s my comment gone? Ah, doesn’t matter – It was a Tweet of what Grandad just said.

  17. Caro’s right, if the parents have brought the boy up thinking that’s how a smart person gets by in the world he hasn’t a chance.

    The traveller’s contempt for people, shown by all the theft and swindling from their settled neighbours that people have outlined here – just even in this comment box – is quite astonishing. I mean it must be a mindset to live like that and somehow justify it to themselves. Question is do they live to cheat or do they cheat to live? From all I’ve heard it seems to be the former, a way of life and habit of being passed down through generations.

    I don’t know what the answer is to the problem but I do understand the frustration of watching bad rascals getting away with all sorts of theft, sneakiness and low cunning when you’re trying your best to provide for your family and live an honest decent life yourself.

    Sorry this happened to you, Kate. You are entitled to your anger – that was a lousy trick that counted on and then preyed on your good nature.

  18. Hope your weekend’s better, hun.

  19. Baino says:

    Kate, keep the faith you did the right thing to pick up the child. You’d have felt awful all weekend if you’d left the little shit sitting on that windowsill. As for travellers, we don’t have them. I can’t believe that they’re allowed to simply allowed to set up camp. I had a surfer friend visiting once and he used to park his camper van by the beach only to be moved on by police as a ‘vagrant’. He ended up parking in my driveway for 3 months to avoid detection.

    The worst we have here are ‘squatters’ who thanks to an ancient law can legally inhabit abandoned housing. As far as I can tell, they don’t scam . . .just live rent free!

    My mother used to warn me about ‘gypsies’ selling pegs at the front door whilst the kids helped themselves to coal around the back! I guess they’re so culturally entrenched in Ireland, it’s hard to get them on the straight and narrow.

  20. Tinkers couldn’t give one flying fuck about you or me. And Warrior, the rich tinkers who come around these parts every summer and live at the side of the road do so because they choose to, not because they have to. By the way, what the fuck kind of a word is “dissing”?

  21. K8 says:

    English Mum; Funny how nobody’s written a nice story about travellers… ever. I remember a policeman entering the Body Shop where I used to work, he emptied a large bag full of merchandise that had been confiscated from a young lady who had just left the shop. I was standing only a metre or two away from her and didn’t see her in the act at all. They are true masters of their craft.

    Emordino; I didn’t slag Arklow! It’s a lovely place in small doses. Besides, Jimmy the tattoo man lives there so it can’t be all bad…

    Grannymar; You’re dead right… most of the people (especially the ones who live in the ‘worst’ areas) in Bray are extremely generous with their advice and tips, I had the pleasure of driving plenty of sound people around today :)

    Primal Sneeze; How wise you are. Me, I allow for three strikes for all types out there. The knackers have overstepped their limit by far. Apparently there were two travellers injecting heroin in the cul-de-sac beside my house last night while I was writing this post (though I didn’t see a thing!) and the Gardai were called. They caught them red-handed with baggies of white powder in the boot of the knacker’s car, but they didn’t arrest them, they sent them on their way instead. That blows the fuck out of my mind, let me tell you.

    Caro; I have found that dogs are the best judge of character going. They don’t need to be provoked… they just know a bad egg when they see one.

    King Bob; There are two destroyed cars at the camp at Kilmacanogue, but will the council remove them? No bloody way. I have bets on how long they’ll remain there and if someone will eventually move into the wreck! Loving the specsavers in Arklow by the way. Good choice, matey. Call in for a cuppa on your way back, okay?

    Brianf; *sigh* Why send them back here? They should be sent to third world countries. That would teach them what real poverty is.

    Warrior; Dude, I would never tell you to fuck off. I love a good fight, and people don’t disagree with me much, maybe because they don’t want to hurt my feelings, but it’s quite the opposite. Thanks for having the balls to say what you feel. So, to argue back…
    Good point about foreign perceptions of a nation, but I really don’t think it applies to travellers. Irish/Arabs etc.. got themselves a bad name because of racism, whearas Travellers got their bad name because they’re… well.. bad. They seem to have no redeeming qualities at all, which can’t be said for the cultures you mentioned.
    Regarding my instincts, I knew that there was at least a 70% chance that the kid would leg it, but like I say, I didn’t have much to lose. I was using the same Diesel to get home, anyway, and I didn’t fancy letting the kid walk home, given that it’s a distance of 38km in hot weather. If he was hitching a lift on the main road, I would’ve picked him up for free. The pretence of him being willing to pay was what annoyed me.
    Regarding the word ‘Knacker’… as far as I’m aware, it’s more of a descriptive term than a derogatory one. To be a knacker is someone who professionally turns dead horses into glue, which is what the traveller’s profession generally used to be! Nigger, however, is the ‘white man’s’ term which was made up, or at least modified to deliberately de-base their black counterparts. I don’t use the word knacker to hurt anyone, I only use it because it’s more familiar and ironically, more traditional.

    Why do travellers live in the cold and have a low life expectancy? I’ll have most fun answering this one.
    From what I’ve gathered, the heads of the families keep all the incoming cash and turn them into assets, and this is what gives them their power. If they were to distribute the money, it would dissipate and their power would be lost, therefore their minions happily live in squalor and serve as slaves to the money pit by continuing to steal. For example, a local traveller here died last summer, leaving behind €16 million in cash. (The local businesses were forced to close for three days because of threats from his family) This information comes from the wisest and most reliable of sources, so I don’t doubt it, nor am I surprised in the least.
    Travellers have a low life expectancy because they live in filthy, shitty conditions with no fresh water. They are a violent breed and have absolutely no respect for civilisation. They don’t die young, they simply destroy themselves and their young through neglect. I mean seriously… what sort of mother would let her eleven-year-old kid be alone in a town miles away from her own?
    To sum up, you’re right, I was angry, but I rarely print anything in this blog that I don’t mean. I don’t think I’ll regret saying these words, I think they’re deserved. Someone needs to speak the truth, because Travellers are a protected species and everyone else seems to be too afraid to slag them. I used to have respect for them, but like I say… not anymore.

    Dad; Thanks for the defense, I love it when scraps break out in blogs :) That’s a good point about car tax and insurance- if a law abiding driver is involved in a crash with a traveller, they’re screwed, regardless of who is to blame. It doesn’t seem fair.

    Sam, Problemchildbride; This is what gets me! They teach their kids how to be shrewd and dishonest, because that’s exactly how to survive in this world. It’s us law-abiding people who are the suckers for being honest and paying taxes we don’t want to part with. I say Kudos to their cunning. I just think it’s drastically UNFAIR that they get away with it.
    May you have a sunny and prosperous weekend yourself, kiddo :)

    Baino; I remember I once had an argument with a boyfriend some years back and drove to a beach where I curled up in my car and slept the annoyance off. The police woke me at 6am and threatened to arrest me if I didn’t shift!!! Why do travellers get the royal treatment and I don’t?!?!?!
    I wouldn’t be half as annoyed if Travellers did adhere to their ancient traditions by providing fortune-telling or craft services, for there’s honour in that. They don’t though. They just squat, steal, burn car tyres and leave an almighty mess.
    The injustice overwhelms me.

  22. K8 says:

    Bock; How did you sneak past me you crafty fecker? Welcome to me gaff. Pull up a beer and break open a chair, your presence is always welcome. Oh wait, you’re just here for the fight, aren’t you? Ok, help yourself to some broken glass. Where is it? Why, I’m walking on it right now….

  23. you know, I dunno what to say.

    depending on my form on any given day I’d say you were right or wrong or stupid or optimistic.

    out of curiosity, how far it is from the pick up to arklow?

    €65 wouldn’t get me the 25km to the airport here…

    so, maybe it’s taxi driver karma evening out across the continent.

  24. Next time take the fair but demand to be met by the parents at the Garda station. Oh and flick on the kiddy locks.

  25. K8: I heard someone was talking straight about the tinkers so I came along to find out if it was true. I might stay.

  26. Maxi Cane says:

    I’m a bit late into this one.

    When I got my first proper senior position in management I was a young naive little feck who would give every body the benefit of the doubt. My job was in a local pub in Lucan and I would serve every body until they gave me reason not to.

    You can see what’s coming….

    I served a knacker and then the mobile phone came out. 7 minutes later four more turned up with their good lady friends in tow. More phones and another 15 minutes later the whole bar was bulging with them. When they began spitting at the locals I (quite bravely in hindsight) refused the whole stinking lot of them. There were at least 30 of them by this stage and more on the way.

    Though I stood my ground and had legal reasons to refuse them they proceeded to completely destroy the place and terrorize the locals and myself. When I called the Gardai they turned up with four vans, 7 squad cars and two bikes – but not one of them would set foot inside after telling me that I should not have served them in the first place.

    The damage to the pub was expensive and although I kept my job, I lost my trust just like you did, K8.

    My former boss had to shell out for refurb and the knackers got away scot free having not only gutted an already new bar but driven themselves home pissed in the presence of half of Dublin Wests’ finest in untaxed and uninsured brand new Transit vans, without so much as a name taken.

    To rub salt in the wounds two weeks later a solicitors letter arrived in the post on behalf of one Connor family to defend against unwarranted discrimination.

    The case never got to court, but if it did, we would have lost. The settled, the Gardai and the whole fucking country are afraid and tired of this lot and quite rightly too.

    They’d rob the eyes out of your grannies head and come back to piss in the sockets.

    Fuck them.

    Ah, that’s better.

  27. K8 says:

    Xbox4nappyrash; So do you think 65 is too much or too little? I thought it was pretty extortionate at first myself until I added diesel costs and the amount of time it detracts from one’s working day, thanks to that SODDING TOLL BRIDGE.

    Thriftcriminal; I’m the queen of hindsight these days. I know what to do in the future and exactly how to phrase it. This job is good for me, it’s toughening me up no end.

    Bock; Fair ’nuff. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out…

    Maxi; Bitchin’ story. I read it out to TAT who’s only answer to the tinker issue is to lock ’em all up, including the kids. He’s not a great man for thinking sideways, but I’m at a loss for any other solution, bar some sort of class-action.

  28. That was my question lol, I haven’t a clue of the distance from Bray to Arklow.

    All I know is hop in a cab at the train station here and head for the airport 25km off and it’ll cost 70 notes.

  29. K8 says:

    Ouch!! Sorry, meant to say the distance is 38km. The road between Bray and Arklow’s pretty decent apart from the bottleneck bends in the middle, so it only takes 40 minutes to get there. It’s pretty much the same distance as Bray to Dublin Airport which also costs €65. The Airport run takes much longer though thanks to the SODDING TOLL BRIDGE.

  30. Yeah definitely costlier here then, it’s about 20 minutes straight out the motorway. More than 3 quid a minute….

  31. K8 says:

    Live feed to the nappy rash!!! Sweet. I’m just about to wrap TAT’s birthday presents in magazine pages because I’m a skinflint. What you doin’? ;)

  32. Looking for the head of my electric toothbrush….

  33. K8 says:

    No… silly, you don’t need that part!! Unless… ah sure whatever tickles your fancy, as they say…

  34. Well it certainly tickled her fancy….anyone know the Dutch for ‘cavity’ or ‘foreign object’ ?

  35. Was he a gypsy? :) I may be needing a taxi in two days in the Newtownmountkennedy area, but I’m not a runner! You’d catch up with me, I’m sure. :)

  36. warrior says:

    Well this is fun :-) Thanks everyone for letting me in on it. I get it now. Finna Fail and Leinster house is full of tinkers so. and Bock? What kind of word is dissing? What kind of name is Bock? Sorry couldn’t resist it.
    Honestly I have to wade in again, I have not condoned any behaviour that would have our K8 done by anyone. I completely understand the anger. The question remains, given the views expressed here, how did you not think you were going to get done. I know you were going that way, but I figured from the story that rather than being incensed, the reaction might be like the reaction many had to Charlie Haughey, name “fair dues to him for ripping us all of for years…” where as mine was much more akin to K8’s.
    While in principal I understand a lot of the anger on the page, I see a huge amount of utter shite. Tarring any group with ‘They all this’ or ‘They all that’ is just utter bollocks and my friends and foes, is a perfect example of racism. Justifying judgment on hearsea is akin to a lynching. Yeah hanging a poor fucker cause you don’t like something about yourself you see in him. Pipe and smoke it folks. No, I am not some liberal leftie who has been smoking too much anything, I had a traveller in my family house quite a few times he didn’t steal anything. I met one in college she seemed a nice girl. I hitched a lift from Nass to Tullow one time, only the travellers stopped and then they charged me money for the lift….. What they seem to be getting accused of is living an opportunistic life, that most ‘normal’ people either haven’t the balls to do or haven’t the balls to admit that they do all the time. Last point to Grandad, the crime rates for blacks and whites in the states is way skewed. As are the ratio of blacks to whites in prision as are the rates of blacks to whites in the army. I hear exactly the same arguments here in France and Monaco about Alergians as people have put down here about Travellers, Numbers of children, one guy gets all the money, many wives, thieves, dishonesty, drug peddlars the lot.
    However I am amazed how many Irish people are willing to believe that a Traaveller could have 16 million anything unless he won the lotto. Com’on if it was that profitable you would all be at it. Apologies for the long post…. I seem to have a habit of jumping onto the other side for a good debate, so long let it continue.

  37. Brianf says:

    Just a quick note to warrior,
    Please make sure of what you speak before you do so.
    Were you to look up the racial breakdown of the US Army you would find that is is heavily skewed to Hispanics and Whites. You might also find that in heavily black areas here the jails are filled with black people and in the sounthwest they are filled with people of Mexican heritage and in Maine mostly you’ll find white folks incarcerated. Of course I would bet that the only part you’ll remember is that black people are in jail. It fits your arguement. the rest of the facts don’t.

  38. Medbh says:

    Poor K8!
    Sorry you were conned. That just stinks.

  39. K8 says:

    Bock; Don’t mind us… just throwing around some foreplay ideas, as one does.

    Shane? I never would’ve pegged you as a Shane! You seem more Martin or James-ish to me, for some reason. Can I just call you ‘The Dude?’ ;) Love the flag, by the way. It suits you. I wish I had one.

    Warrior; Nice bit of arguing, but I noticed something…

    You wrote:
    “how did you not think you were going to get done”
    But you also wrote:
    “Tarring any group with ‘They all this’ or ‘They all that’ is just utter bollocks and my friends and foes, is a perfect example of racism.”

    Gotcha! I was hoping I wouldn’t get done, because I don’t tar groups with ‘They all this…” as you put it. Not in general.
    You just admitted that it is quite ludicrous to expect a traveller to pay, so wouldn’t that make you a racist? I liked this kid at first, he seemed clever and was very polite. I put my last shred of hope in him and he ran away with it. That pissed me off.

    I also want to assure you that this isn’t an opinion based on heresay.

    -My car was broken into by travellers when I worked in Sandyford many years ago.

    -When I was a kid, my mother always handed out food and clothes to any traveller who knocked on our door in need. I used to watch them walk away from the upstairs window and 9 times out of 10, the stuff my mum so kindly offered was fucked into a bush further down the road. That hurt me a lot.

    -I’m hounded by travellers selling socks/fireplaces/furniture/etc.. almost every week at my front door. They ring the bell incessantly until I answer, and won’t take no for an answer. They are extremely intimidating with their sales techniques sometimes.

    -They burn car tyres and matresses and God knows what else whenever they like, stinking the area out and polluting the air with toxins, but they aren’t told to extinguish the fire. My dad tries to burn leaves in his garden and he’s lambasted out of it!

    -They stole my toddler’s tricycle from our front garden once (though TAT got it back!). What sort of asshole steals children’s tricycles?

    Dude, I can’t go on… I’d be here all night. This is just my personal experience. Now add the others above and tell me these people are still an important part of today’s society!

    On your last point about Traveller life being profitable… you have no idea how rich these people are. They really do just choose to live like that. They pay no rent or taxes or insurance, no bin charges, no travelling fees… nothing. In the meantime they have armies going from door to door all over Ireland hawking stolen goods. Where does all this money go?

    You’ve hit the nail bang on the head. Why don’t we all do it? Because we have morals, and a conscience, and we are aware that what goes around, comes around (eventually). We have pride in our civilization even if we disagree with its function.

    Travellers have no pride. They don’t care what we think of them. They are a law unto themselves and take advantage of the fact that they’re untouchable. Somewhat like the Mafia?!?

    I read a story recently about a young girl breaking out of the norm of traveller ways and getting herself a degree. Fair play to her (seriously), but if they all did that they’d be dangerous.

    Medbh; Ah cheers, but I couldn’t give a shite now, all this ranting’s filtered the anger out nicely :)
    I’m also learning how to be tough which is something I seriously need, so each one of these crappy happenings makes me stronger.

  40. I haven’t met an honest traveller yet. Every one of them wants something off you. First job I had was managing shops and they were, to a woman, shoplifters. Tried to get refunds on stuff without receipts, rip stolen clothing knowing we had to refund on defective goods, receipt or not.

    I’d have locked the wee bastard in until his mammy showed with the cash. Bet he had a mobile phone, her too.
    The problem is, as you can see, they’re brought up to be dishonest, thieving, lying scum from no age. It’s their honour system.

    Apparently contributing nothing positive, stealing from our homes and businesses, leeching off the rest of us and demanding rights the rest of us haven’t is a culture. Oh, and we shouldn’t call them gypsies or tinkers because that offends them. If they want a name that reflects what they do then they should have no argument with Thieving dishonest in-breds.

    Sorry for being on the fence.

  41. warrior says:

    Nice one K8 thanks for the opportunity to discuss. We could bang on about it for weeks I am sure, and we will all get more entrenched…. just a wee note to BrianF, go here… ” http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2007/10/07/military_sees_big_decline_in_black_enlistees/” If you read far enough you will see that pre the Iraq war there was much higher levels of black people joining the army but there has been a decline since the war started….
    “Despite the sharp decline in enlistments, the percentage of blacks in the military still slightly exceeds that of the general population: 14.5 percent in the military, as of 2005, versus 12.8 percent in the US population. ” That in any mans language means a skew… and that is after a huge drop…so er…. please make sure you… .well you get the point.
    K8, the point I was making that if all these people are so bad, why did you expect to get paid. And why did it piss you off if you would have taken the kid anyway? I get the point now, I think I got it early on, my experience is different than yours and on that I think we just agree to differ…. I have to add I am kinda shocked I am the only one taking this side of the argument.

  42. tom says:

    I am always amazed when this type of so called debate’s start up about Travellers except having read the vitriol on here it is not much of a debate more like a group rant (warrior excepted).

    K8 my heart bleeds for you. Give us the situation again you spot a 11-12 year old sitting on wall, you approach the child and tout for business, if you were truly concerned about the child’s welfare why did you not seek to ascertain was he lost or a runaway and contact the Garda, no thinking you have easy job you proposition him. Oh the heart ache, you are on your way home anyway and want him to pay your costs.

    If you were being truly charitable and you thought the child was in distress you would have taken different steps. No you see a business opportunity and given your own distance from the Bray to Arklow of 38km you then break the law by charging an 11/12 year above the regulated standard fare. If you were charging the standard fare then the trip should have costed no then €50 and even at the premium rate the charge should have been no more then €58.

    I think your annoyance with the child was what the shrinks call transferred anger, were you having a such bad week, that you then think it was appropriate to rant on about entire community because you were suckered one undentified individaul. Taxi drivers don’t you just hate them always out to screw the customer no matter what age they are.

  43. Your first runner, we’ve all been there and it’s never on a short fare and you’ll get all sorts and “classes doing it.
    You’ll harden eventually and let no-one out without sufficient collateral…… well I did

  44. Tom says:

    I see you are selective in the comments you allow to go through to your blog this explains why no debate occurs you just put comments from like minded bigots,

  45. Grandad says:

    Tom – I don’t know if you are familiar with the mechanics of blogging, but your post would have been held for moderation and approval. I know K8 didn’t access her blog yesterday because she was with me all day. I see she has since accessed the blog and passed both your comments. To the best of my knowledge, K8 has never ever stopped a comment.

    With regard to touting for business, it would be illegal for her to do so. She is a hackney driver, not a taxi driver. Hackney drivers respond only to calls from their office. In this instance, she was directed by her office to pick up the child and bring him to Arklow. The fare is set by the office, and is out of her hands.
    Incidentally, her company is, as far as I know, the only company to accept fares from Itinerants, in the entire area.

    Maybe in the light of what I have just said, you may like to re-read your comment?

  46. Tom: I didn’t think Kate was being charitable. Kate has to earn a living. She picked up a child who did a runner.

    While I’m here, can I just mention this talk of racism? Tinkers are Irish people just like me, who choose a different way of life. They aren’t a different race from the rest of us. They’re the same race as me. What’s this racism talk about? We can’t be racist against ourselves.

  47. K8 says:

    Bendersbetterbrother; Thanks for commenting! Apparently in the U.K., travellers are called a ‘cultural group’ whearas here they are a ‘social’ group. How ironic.

    Warrior; Thanks for taking the time to argue, you’re a worthy adversary! I was going to say that perhaps the only reason you’re alone in your point of view is that you don’t live in Ireland so aren’t immediately affected, but it turns out you’re not alone after all :)

    Tom; Apologies for the filterage… Dad’s my alibi, I truly didn’t get a chance to check this here blog over the last few days and my dial-up connection is giving me Jip to boot! I always welcome a different point of view, for a conversation isn’t a real conversation if it’s all one-sided after all.
    I’ve noticed a lot of bitterness held by the general public with regard to taxi-drivers but I haven’t quite figured out the cause yet. I’m a rookie, I’ve only been at this job for just over a month now so I’m vague on protocol. I informed the taxi base that it was indeed a child I was carrying, but they told me to go ahead. I’m not aware of price differences with regards to minors, but I will research this as it’s a damn good point.
    Yes, this post could be transferred anger. It’s a diary entry, a cathartic outlet for my frustrations. BUT, it’s not based on the occurances of that one particular day. It’s a culmination of all the hypocrisy I’ve noticed during my entire lifetime living amongst these people, and I found it strange that nobody else seems to have the nerve to criticize their actions.
    I would never try to deliberately screw a customer as I’m a firm believer in Karma… in fact, I’d consider myself way to soft for this job, and I’ve been punished before for this by passengers who take advantage of my softness. I’m learning how to be tougher, but it’s difficult to have faith in people’s good nature when they all seem to want a piece of me. This post is the birth of my cynisysm perhaps.

    Roy; I had considered collateral, but all he had was a bottle of orange soda, and I wasn’t thirsty :) This stuff is just part of a big learning curve, isn’t it? The ying balances the yang eventually I’m sure…

    Grandad & Bock; Hey thanks for standing in for me… I was fretting last night because I didn’t get a chance to reply to these comments and was pretty damn happy to see you’d already pipped me to it :)

  48. Tom says:

    Firstly I will withdraw my censoring comment and accept your explanation, yes I may not be aware of the mechanics of blogs.

    I am not an expert on taxis just a customer constantly pissed off by some of “their” rank abuse of fares. The fare I quote are not specifically for children but from the km rate from the taxi regulator website. As to touting you said you went to collect a ‘lady’, but found no one on the street so approached the kid, it is to my knowledge illegal for Hackneys do street pickups, as you were on a callout to pick up a woman passenger why did you approach 11/12 year old.

    You then identify the child as ‘Knacker’ firstly Knacker as term for a member of the Traveller community is highly abusive insulting and derogatory and is in my opinion akin to the term ‘Nigger’. You explain your use of the term as having a traditional use toward the Traveller community, absolute bullshit, the practice of knackering or rendering of dead animals was never performed by Travellers and they never had an association with that occupation. In fact Knackersyards were a common feature of many towns in Ireland and was a regulated practice carried out by the settled population in some such places they also operated as the town slaughterhouse or abattoir until EU regulations abolished such practice and required a much higher standard in the rendering and slaughtering of animals. The Practice of describing Travellers as knackers developed in an insulting manner in the Dublin area in the 1960’s because of the nature of the Knacker trade which was seen as dirty and smelly, those who had a dislike for the Traveller population began to use it as a term of abuse.

    Your explanation for the term would be more appropriate to use of the term “Tinker” which was a occupation carried out by Travellers and not nearly as derogative.

    As to my amazement as to what is provoked when the issue of Travellers is raised.

    Let start by putting your experience in context, you had a 12 year runner from your taxi. Whom you identify as a ‘Knacker’ you then go on to list a number of alleged wrongs committed against you by some unidentified Travellers. i.e. they knock on your door trying to sell you socks or other merchandise, they stole your bicycle, they broke into your car. Even if such things were committed by Travellers these are not all necessary crimes worthy of advocating their destruction as a community. You, yourself wanted to run the lad over, and it is advocated by your dad that the next you see one of ‘them’ you should run them over, Follow contributors have also declared a desire to go and cull some “Knackers”.

    Warrior is quiet right when points that things said on this blog are identical to things said about other ostracised and discriminated communities in other countries. “They don’t pay taxes” “they have two many children” “they drive without insurance” Please people go down to your local courts any day of the week and see who are driving without insurance or check the reports in your local papers, they are usually your own friend and neighbours or the “foreigners” as for not paying taxes, this would seem to be the National Sport of Ireland and I would say that if there were league tables for performance at it, the Travellers who don’t pay taxes would probably not even be an old fourth division or even a non league team. Check the next edition of Stubbs or the Revenues defaulters list you would be amazed to see who is listed.

    I am sure you have some gripes about individual Travellers you have encountered in your life and you rightly entitled to have your opinion about those people, there are probably some Traveller’s who you would not want to piss against for shelter, but your experience of some does not give you or others the right to promote or seek the destruction of a entire community.

    As for Bock, what is your point about racism, there is only one human race but racism still exists, so yes a society can be racist against other members of that same society. The cause of that racism may not be based on colour but founded on a number of spurious reasons. Are the Dalits of India not Indian, are they not the victim of the worse form of caste based racism. Something akin I would say to the Traveller population. Your argument that Traveller are all Irish like yourself so can not be the victims of racism by other Irish is rubbish. Correct Traveller are all Irish, but as a minority they can and have experienced the classic manifestation of racist practice in this society.

    As for telling Warrior that he does not live here so does not really know the situation, I think Warriors experience is very useful as an Irish person living abroad I think his eyes have been open to some realities by which he can draw proper comparisons.

    K8 as a karma believer I am sure you know about the dalits

    As you have started a precedent where you abuse the entire Traveller Community when some individual does you a wrong will also you also recite positive experiences will we read here the same abuse about the poles the africans,,etc. etc.

    I withdraw my comment about selective posting, the rest still stands

  49. Tom: The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination defines racial discrimination as follows:

    the term “racial discrimination” shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.

    Since the tinkers are of the same race, colour, descent, national origin and ethnic origin as the majority of their fellow Irish people, there can be no basis for accusing anyone of racism here.

    Now, get back to the point, please.

  50. Tom says:

    Bock I am delighted to see you are human rights expert

    The UN Definition, and the Grounds,

    Race [check] Given what I said earlier they would have to be wouldn’t they. my motto ‘one race one people’,

    Colour [check]; generally fair to mousey, sometimes spotty and or red haired, yes very much the same as the general population but sometimes given, perhaps conditions can be of a darker complexion then the somewhat pasty general population. But it does beg the question how did K8 identify this child as a Traveller or how does anyone who claims to have been done by them.

    Descent [disputed]; Descent from where and whom?, this is not agreed. While the Convention states that descent is ground for discrimination it does’ not define what descent means. It has generally been held to apply to groups that are self perpetuating and distinct from the majority population and against whom the majority population hold certain social or religious* propagated inferiority/superiority beliefs. As mentioned earlier the Dalits who share race, colour, religion, nationality, and ethnic origin with other Indians are the probably a classic group who suffer from descent based racism but are not the only ones, I would suggest that the form of discrimination experienced by Travellers hold many of the characteristics of descent based racism, such as discrimination due to various factors including; inability or restricted ability to alter inherited status; socially enforced restrictions on marriage outside or into the community; private and public segregation including in housing and education, access to public spaces and places of worship and public sources of food and water, and the limitation of freedom to renounce inherited occupations or degrading or hazardous work;

    Ethnicity [disputed]: Again no agreement, it would seem that Travellers campaigners themselves advocate the recognition of the community as an indigenous ethnic group within Irish society, given the anthropological and sociological definitions of such groups I don’t see why not, Travellers fit into these definitions completely. What gives Bock the right to make declarations that are infallible on ethnicity?

    To follow your logic Bock, that no one on this site could be racist because Travellers are Irish and the Irish cannot be racist against themselves, it would seem that ‘Baino’ and ‘English Mum’ are the only two racist on this blog as they are not Irish and have been making racist comments about Irish Travellers.

    What is your point Bock? why deny the obvious? Is it because you don’t want to face up to your own actions and wish to be able to continue to hurl insult and vitriol at the Traveller community with impunity?. Get therapy man. My name is Bock I am Racist

    * K8 before you keep banging on about Karma I would suggest you do some research as to the notion of Karma within the Hindu religion which in effect institutionalises the Caste system in Indian Society. Your Caste and your place in society is based on the notion of punishment for past life sins so in effect the Dalits are the victims of bad Karma, be careful you might come back as a Traveller

  51. Grandad says:

    Tom: I notice you have apologised for the censorship bit, but there are still outstanding accusations that she a) touted a fare and b) broke the law by overcharging.

  52. Tom says:

    (a) If the callout was to pick a women why a 12 year was picked up off the street has not been explained.

    (b) I accept that the fare was charged on the instruction of K8’s employer.

  53. K8 says:

    “(a) If the callout was to pick a women why a 12 year was picked up off the street has not been explained.”

    I was sent to a garage in Bray to pick up a passenger. The person at the taxi base’s words were; ‘It was booked by a woman’. When I arrived, I saw the kid, but continued searching for this woman… I called the base to get a contact number for her, and got the number for a near-by phonebox which was useless. It occured to me that a pre-pubescent boy’s voice can sound very like that of a young woman, which is what made me consider the possibility that my passenger could be the kid, and I was right… it was.

    Tom, please… you CAN’T take the written word in blogs too literally! I wouldn’t actually run the kid down, nobody really wants any blood on their hands, we’re just using tongue-in-cheek humour and I hate having to explain that, it seems so obvious. Good Lord man, lighten up!

    As far as I see it, there is no racism here, none of it is theory or conjecture, it’s all statment of fact. When I say ‘there’s no such thing as an honest traveller’, I’m not likening the statement to… say… ‘All French people eat escargot’, because that would be based on stereotype. Instead, I’m likening it to ‘All French people speak French.’ Not all French people speak French however, (babies and emmigrants don’t need to!) but for the most part it’s true. I recognise that not all travellers are dishonest, but for the most part they seem to be from where I’m standing.

    Regarding Karma, I’ve always used the term in its loosest sense. I haven’t studied the concept much, but I have a feeling that if I am to return as something or someone in the next life in the Buddhist sense, irony would have it that I would be an earwig or a wasp, not a traveller. If I WAS to be re-incarnated as a traveller, I would use the opportunity to try to spread some humanity within my community and give the group a better name!

    Regarding my use of the word ‘Knacker’, I refer you to the latter part of Bendersbetterbrother’s comment, for it was put extremely well. What respect is there to be returned?!

    Thanks for taking the time to argue your points on this post, Tom, I really appreciate comments of all shapes and sizes and am delighted to see people return again and again to continue the argument. You’re taking the stance that I myself would have taken recently, but I’ve been burned so many times it’s made me bitter. Kudos for speaking your mind so well.

  54. warrior says:

    Thanks Tom for the support, and Thanks K8 for the opportunity. One of the things important for me in my life, is to knock the opinion but not the person.
    I am only out of Ireland a bit less than 5 years folks……. I would reckon I have a fairly good handle on what is going on nonetheless.

  55. Tom says:

    There is no need to thank me at all K8, I think that stating or allowing persons to state publicly that they want to cull members of any minority or run them over or as suggested destroy there homes should not be either said lightly or taken humoursly. As I said there may well be some Travellers who are dishonest and untrustworthy, indeed I have met some, my point which seems to have be reinforced with your French Person analogy is that this dishonesty is not somehow an inherent characteristic of there being. To take the view that it is I do argue is inherently racist and based on stereotype. And yes many of the things said on this blog and on others about Travellers are blantly racist and shows extreme bigotry.

    You will note from my first post that I did not mention racism merely sought to show that someone who thought it was appropriate to make outrageous comments as a form of therapy about someone else’s ‘illegal’ action and take such a sanctimonious high ground when their own actions made them as equally culpable for acts of illegality was in itself hypocritical. Granted you acted on the orders of your employer to charge €65 it still has not been answered if this was a legal rate to charge, it would certainly appear not to be from the Taxi regulators website but perhaps hackneys are a law onto themselves.

    Don’t take my words as in any way condoning the actions of someone doing a runner from your cab, I appreciate you drive people around to make a living (as has been my experience so do many members of the Travelling community who are taxi operators), but those who live in glasshouse’s should not throw stones.

    The fact that you don’t except that your use of the term ‘Knacker’ is insulting and indeed show further contempt by suggesting that an even more pejorative description should be used does suggest to me an inherent racism.

    For your ‘Karma’ I have no particularly like for any religion I think someone one described them correctly as a form of opiate for the people, if that be so I would have to add that much of the so called eastern religions as practiced on an á la carte manner by western followers is complete Poppycock. A notion of Karma which as I have said institutionalises a particularly voracious form of caste discrimination is a particular affront to sufferers of that racism.

    Not having wanted to enter a discussion on racism as such, merely a discussion on ‘moral culpability’ and the balance between the wrongful act of a twelve year old and the equally wrongful act of an adult. I am now struck that most of the vocal abusers have gone silent it is that they are afraid to have their doubtful views put to the test.

    Bock who apparently has his own blog and one of the basic rules he imposes on contributors is that racist comments will not be tolerated, feels happy to abuse Travellers It would seem that he can explain his duplicity given his delusory belief that Travellers are socially and culturally the same as other Irish so they cannot be the victims of racist abuse. If Traveller’s are the same as all other Irish the question must be asked that if they are the same why are they so easily identified for derision when someone wants to get something off their chest.

    I was struck by something in one of your last posts which said you had ‘been punished before by passengers who take advantage of my softness’. If you have been conned, tricked, abused, or mistreated, by other passages why has there not been a post outlining those passengers social, economic, cultural or racial background and invite your web fiends around to hurl abuse at them.

    That is my last word it would seem that contributors on this blog are unable to debate merely act as sheep.

    K8 keep your kudos.

  56. K8 says:

    Warrior; Sorry dude, I wasn’t being glib about your not being around to experience it, it was just a theory. I’m in no position to guess the extent of your experiences o’ course.

    Tom; See you in the funny papers!

  57. Mary Witzl says:

    Yay — suddenly I am able to comment on WordPress blogs again, and I’m having a field day of it!

    I sympathize with you here. This would have pissed me off no end.

    Ages ago, I knew a woman who was mainly gypsy (which I’m assuming is the same as a traveler — but I may be wrong). She told me that telling a good lie and stealing without getting caught were two of the skills gypsies held in high regard. If that really is the case, clearly there is going to be a culture clash when gypsies encounter people who do not admire this behavior. It’s not like non-gypsies don’t lie and steal too, but we do at least pay lip service to the notion that these aren’t morally acceptable. The sad thing is that when something like this happens, it reinforces the idea that travelers aren’t to be trusted. Surely there are travelers who don’t do this sort of thing; I’m guessing that they have a rough time of it.

    Ironically, some of my ancestors were tinkers from Ireland. When I first told my husband that, he warned me never to tell his family that. Sadly, I can’t lie worth beans and stealing gives me heart palpitations. I’m glad that someone in my ancestral chain didn’t pass down that little bit of culture.

  58. K8 says:

    I suppose this post was written as a result of misplaced fear, it reflects how I felt then, but not now so much. I know there are decent traveller folk out there, I just haven’t met any yet.

    We’ve had a few unsavoury events happen around here, most of which involving travellers, and I’m worried that if something does happen to our family, there’s nobody official I can call for help!

  59. Mary Witzl says:

    Cool, I’m the 60th comment!

    I used to feel this way about the French. I had nothing but the worst experiences with French people; the ones I met were haughty, superior, mean-spirited and petty — every single one of them. Then I went to France, and while not all my experiences with people there were good, I met so many kind, genuinely good French people that I blushed to remember my earlier prejudice. I’m hoping you’ll meet those good travelers!

  60. nutgrove shopping centre says:

    beside nutgrove shopping centre, rathfarnham, new detached houses built for travellers, for free, (over the wall theyl see your child at weekends to repay the bank for a semi d, )they smashed one of these new houses to pieces for fun, view it today, it is time for massive change with travellers, no more hand outs, no more being swindled, straight talk like yours…the minority of decent travellers is not enough any more..

  61. There’s nothing either delusory or duplicitous about my view that tinklers are ethnically the same as the rest of us. It’s simply a fact.

    If I followed your logic, it wouldn’t even be possible to identify a delinquent family without being accused of racism.

    Get a grip, man.

  62. Oops. Sorry Tom. I missed your earlier reply to my comment. Sorry, but I was out of the country.

    I notice you failed to deal with any of the points I made. Well done.

    By the way, I notice from your sentence structure that you’re possibly not Irish yourself. Would I be correct in that, or not? Just a guess.

  63. Tom says:

    Bock, firstly can I take your absence from the Country and your Limerick connections meant that you joined the temporary displacement of Munster persons to Cardiff, well done to the Team and the fans a great victory indeed.

    Yes I am of Irish origin, my sentence structure is down to a number of reasons (a) English is not my first language (b) a complete disregard for rules of grammar and punctuation of said language and (c) shite typing skills.

    Bock as you may have noticed in my last posting this blog I said it was my last word as I would not engage with persons who insist on the use of a derogatory term of abuse against any minority. However to your credit you have not used the ‘K’ term in any of your posts, though as pointed out the term Tinker is considered by Travellers I believe to be insulting I personally think it is not nearly as abusive as the other term being used on this blog.

    While reviewing your posts I am still at a loss to discern what exactly are the points that I have not responded to you don’t seem to be making any point just throwing your tuppence ha’penny into the pot. The only real issue you raise is that Travellers are ethnically the same as other Irish, I think this comes down to an understanding of the meaning of the term ‘ethnicity’ or indeed ‘descent’. I think I have responded to your point in this regard by pointing out that these very terms are in dispute when it comes to Travellers.

    I don’t understand how you can boldly state that the Travellers are not an ethnic group as a ‘Fact’ it must be taken from the Great Book of Facts according to Bock I sure a widely read publication down on Shannonside.

    But I am prepared to debate the matter further with you if you can put forward your understanding of the term. Otherwise it is difficult to reply to the declarations of the infallible Bock.

  64. Tom: Why do you use terms like the infallible Bock? I don’t remember claiming to be infallible. Did you notice me saying that somewhere?

  65. K8 says:

    Their legal status is as a ‘social group’ as opposed to an ‘ethnic group’. Funnily enough, they’re the least social folk to be found in all of Ireland.

    Knacker. It’s just a word. They couldn’t give a rats ass about what we think of them, sure the kids around here use the word frequently to their faces and they don’t give a shit. I abused the word with gusto to upset the PC people out there because the world is too full of PC as it is. Some things need to be flaunted. I abuse the word like they abused my trust.

    Go ahead and trawl this blog for any other sign of cultural abuse… you won’t find much. I tend to reserve it for only the worthiest of causes.

  66. Tom says:

    Bock I notice you state your opinions and make declarations as ‘Fact’ hence infallibility,

  67. Tom, with the greatest respect, that’s bollocks. It’s also a transparent attempt to put your words in my mouth and I’m far too old to let you get away with such a deeply dishonest trick. It casts you in a very poor light. You do your argument no favours by stooping to that sort of bar-room point-scoring and it leads me to think that perhaps all you want to do is quarrel with people here.

    Over on my site, we’d call that trolling.

  68. Tom says:

    Bock to be honest not sure who is looking for the quarrel as I said I am perfectly prepared to debate the issue of Traveller ethnicity with yourself. Your quotation of the UN definition of racism was a good starting point, with the grounds of descend and ethnicity open to discussion in respect of Travellers. However all I have got from you so far are criticism of my grammar and emphatic statements of fact from your goodself.

    On second thoughts Bock I will not engage in such discussion with you on this blog as the owner still insists on using derogatory and abusive terminology as it appears to be her belief that to use less abusive or insulting terminology would be conceding to the PC brigade, there is nothing PC about having manners. However I had forgotten the owner is a taxi driver my last conversation with an unPC taxi driver consisted of listening to a 3 mile whinge about the cost of running his cab, the cost of a licence, and fuel, and the ‘fucking foreigners’ when I suggested that a disabled taxi plate was cheaper his response was there was not enough ‘cripples’ in Dublin to pay for the cost of investing in the accessible vehicle.

  69. Grandad says:

    Tom – In one of your previous comments you say “you abuse the entire Traveller Community when some individual does you a wrong“, and then proceed to assume that all taxi drivers are like the bloke you quote in your last comment. Do I detect just a twinge of hypocrisy here?

    You also accuse k8 of using derogatory and insulting terminology? Apart from calling ’em Knackers, she has been remarkably restrained, considering she was the victim in all of this.

    Political Correctness has gone too far in this world. We are afraid to call a spade a spade for fear of insulting the shovel. We tip-toe through a minefield of politically incorrect words, so if K8 feels like using her own terminology then I’m behind her. It is this Political Correctness that the Tinkers/Knackers/Travelers/Whatever are hiding behind in defense of their appalling behaviour and lifestyle.

  70. Tom: I didn’t criticise your grammar. I thought you were Russian — not an unreasonable deduction, based on your unusual use of language.

    I don’t use the term knacker in this discussion because where I grew up it was used to describe people of uncouth manner, and not tinkers. Indeed, we dealt with many tinkers when I was growing up, and all were decent honest people. However, the way the Pavees have gone these days, they seem to have total contempt for settled people, and therefore it’s no surprise that settled people feel so angry towards them.

    The Pavees would need to take a long hard look at themselves instead of constantly portraying themselves as victims, but I doubt if they will.

  71. Tom says:

    No, not hypocrisy just making a point, when I challanged above mentioned taxi driver and told him to stop the cab as I did not want travel with him he said he would say what he liked because he was not giving in to the PCers! so I can only assume that all taxidrivers who don’t like the so called ‘PC brigade’ are all the same. There are a few good taxi drivers,

  72. Tom says:

    BTW a spade is a spade; a shovel on the other hand is a completely different implement and therefore might be insulted, as I think Bock has indirectly pointed out in his last post.

    My trouble with the spade callers is they continue to do so even when they are talking about shovels

  73. K8 says:

    Tom, arguing with you is like arguing with a mother-in-law with Mad Cow’s Disease.

  74. warrior says:

    I can’t believe I am doing this.
    I have never read such horseshit in my life. There are a group of people setting themselves up as authorities on the UN, Social cultural politics of Ireland, Lingusitics and socio cultural linguistics in the of the old East West European divide and a lot of people throwing around a bucket full of hearsay. Not one person has come up with one fact except that a kid smelling of piss did a runner on a driver who was willing to take him home anyway. Said driver was pissed off and took it out on a community of people with a bad life expectancy and terrible reputation but how come none of you, and I mean none of you know any travellers and therefore you know diddly squat about what you are talking about. I have lived with people from this community on more than one occasion in my life and I can tell you the crap written here, weither you think it’s right or discriminatory, is just plain crap. Maybe however, some roses might grow from it.

  75. Yes indeed, Warrior. We couldn’t have people setting themselves up as authorities. (Except you, of course).

  76. Grandad says:

    Not one person has come up with one fact

    K8 came up with several examples. Maxi Cane came up with an example. English Mum cited examples. Open any local newspaper and look at the court reports – the same names, the same addresses [‘The Halting Site’] week after week.

    how come none of you, and I mean none of you know any travelers

    You are on dangerous ground here. K8 is far more familiar with the subject than she lets on.

    Warrior – You are trying to defend the indefensible.

  77. Swords Driver says:

    As a taxi driver I can assure you that the travelling communiy pose more problems to us then any other grouping in Irish society, when you dare to take a fare from a traveller being ripped off is the least of your worries, I know several drivers who have been beaten up, had their cars damaged and even being robbed. Respect must be earned by these people before we see any change in how they are perceived. They are their own worst enemy.

  78. […] picked up some garbled words, and picked out that what I had here, was your genuine bonifide tinker. The fact was disguised by the scarring and the accent which had a Belfast sort of frosting to it. […]

  79. kellee says:

    Well K8 I am a business woman and think business, I would have called the garda and let them know about a little lost boy that needs to get home…I don’t run my business on that kind of tactics because if I did I would be out of business

    There is good and bad in all walks of life which i know because when i pick a newspaper up every day of my life it is filled with violence, theft, murders etc and it’s not the travellers that fill them. you would be also surprised to know that thousands of travellers are well educated and do pay their taxes etc, but instead of an isolated incidents being treated as such some people just decide to be the law of the land by painting the whole community with the same brush which is unfair and a great injustice due to stereotyping due to ignorance.
    They are victims of oppression especially by ignorant people whom hate them for what they are and inciting racial hatred is a criminal offence in the United Kingdom.

    “The single most discriminated against ethnic group is the ‘Travelling People'”. (European Parliament Committee of Inquiry on Racism and Xenophobia 1991)
    Ireland is the only European country not to ratify the UN Convention on all forms of racial discrimination. The United Nations has recommended that Ireland do so as soon as possible.

  80. Kellee — The travellers are a social grouping, and they’re Irish like me, except they seldom feel the need to respect their obligations to society at large like the rest of us have to.

    Leaving aside the fact that United Kingdom criminal law has no relevance in this country, the travellers can’t be victims of racial discrimination.

    Why? Simple: they’re not a race.

  81. kellee says:

    BOR – Thats true, the United Kingdom law has no relevance in Ireland…. “The single most discriminated against ethnic group is the ‘Travelling People’”. (European Parliament Committee of Inquiry on Racism and Xenophobia 1991)
    Ireland is the only European country not to ratify the UN Convention on all forms of racial discrimination. The United Nations has recommended that Ireland do so as soon as possible.
    ….not just a United Kingdom law i see.

    And is plain for all to see that they are victims of racial hatred,
    and racial discrimination.

    They have been in Ireland just like you probably for generations including all through the famine etc

    They are very much a race of human being who are a mix of good and bad but instead due to a minority of isolated cases, is an injustice to paint them all with the same brush and constantly making derogatory terms which incites racial hatred.

    Well where i live the was a woman robbed and murdered not far away and the man that committed the crime lives on the same road as me……does that mean we are all commit murder on this road where i live? and hit over the head for it.

    Their is much injustice in the world but we are supposed to be a civilized society, and if travelers do wrong then there is a judge and jury to defend a fair law on all sides instead of people sitting around gossiping and stirring up racial hatred because they don’t like them or understand.

    sounds like a linching party to me and any excuse will do.

  82. Hold on a second. What exactly do you mean “they’ve been in Ireland just like you probably for generations”?

    They are not arrivals from abroad in the long-distant past, as you seem to think. They are exactly the same race as me, and they’ve been here as long as my ancestors because we are one and the same.

    Are you perhaps confusing them with Romanies?

  83. K8 says:

    Hi Kellee, thanks for commenting.

    You know it honestly didn’t occur to me at the time that I was citing racial hatred… I’m not a huge fan of labels such as these, I believe that such labels are pinned to some, like myself, who have an honest grievance and want to talk about it. Too many tend to guild the lily for fear that they are stepping on toes.

    I don’t mind stepping on the Traveller’s toes. They step on mine.

    “The single most discriminated against ethnic group is the ‘Travelling People’”.

    Of course it is! These are the only group who happily flaunt their law-breaking habits in public without fear of penalty and I personally can’t figure out how that’s fair!

    -Since I wrote this post, my friend’s Labrador was stolen by travellers, the family was gutted, faced with violence when they found the dog and asked for it back. The police were no use.

    -I find it strangely comforting to my point, that the only person to attack me so far in my taxi driving career, was a traveller.

    As odd as it may seem, I still have respect for Travellers for the very reason you state… there are many exceptions to the rule, many honest, tax paying traveller citizens out there. For this reason I always give the benefit of the doubt but am always, ALWAYS dissapointed.

    I would suggest that in order for the Travelling community to gain respect from the rest of the country, they should try bloody earning it for a change.

    To that end, I don’t believe that the term ‘racial discrimination’ applies to this post. Travellers are Irish people who have decided to branch off into their own sector, governed by their own rules, untouchable because of their weight in numbers. I don’t think that makes them special in any way.

    “sounds like a linching party to me and any excuse will do.”

    Not a linching party, it’s an outcry for justice. It’s a public statement of shame that any of my fellow Irishmen should be responsible for such wanton destruction and get away with it.

  84. kellee says:

    As far as theft is concerned, I had a giant schnauzer bitch with 9 pups stolen from our kennel last year and after 24hrs of hell the police returned them after arresting the thief, my father had his car stolen and my brother in law had thousands of pounds of equipment stolen. And not travellers who done that committed the crimes.
    In the last 20yrs the UK has been invaded with Irish travellers and there are very bad families but for every bad family there are 100 good families that have done very well, educated their kids from what we have noticed over here. They are decent clean, law abiding people that seem to mind their own business…I wish every body was like that but unfortunately are not.
    “I find it strangely comforting to my point, that the only person to attack me so far in my taxi driving career, was a traveller” what, a little boy!!!!
    Well if you want justice then instead of taking a little boy for a drive then you should have called the garda to take him for a ride. If that had been me I would have been alarmed and suspicious and called the garda.
    Knackers is a derogatory term but as you call them that so be it…they know some hate them but after years of oppression they have developed a thick skin and don’t care what you think or me for that matter.
    They are just like us…they have good and bad but I don’t hate them…I just understand them.
    If they are having a family feud then the police should just let them kill each other and not get involved. That way everyone is happy.
    Well from this I get the impression that only the travelers are criminals, rapist, fraudsters, thieves, murderers, pedophiles, druggies act guess that makes all the rest of the Irish population angels. Well so be it

  85. Ask the residents of Cottenham what they think of Irish travellers.

  86. kellee says:

    BTR, I know all about Cottenham and wouldn’t be interested in their comments. Why don’t you talk to them, and while your at it ask them about 800 years of their oppression of the whole of Ireland….
    because Oliver Cromwell is their hero.

  87. K8 says:

    It wasn’t the kid that attacked me, it was an adult male. I knew he was a traveller because he was trying to be my best sodding friend the whole time, kissing my ass and telling me how great I was. They all seem to do that, then they stab you in the back. Or in my case, try to shaft you.

    I think you know that I’m not saying the rest of us are angels!!! I didn’t say that anywhere because it’s blatantly far from the truth.

    Please don’t take the words on this blog too literally by the way, I would never run anyone over! I’m not as evil as I sound.

    I don’t hate the knackers. I’m wary of them, but I don’t hate them. I don’t hate anyone. I’m just another annoyed settled person venting a frustration is all.

  88. […] heard me slag the travelling community before… that was when I was angry and dismayed.  I did not give myself a chance to add those […]

  89. Mike C says:

    Knackers are a culture in the same way that Muslims who follow Osama Bin Laden are a culture. They live amongst us, adapt to the parts of our system that profit them and give two fingers to the rest. They don’t give a shit about our society, culture or values. We are nothing to them.

    I don’t want to compare Muslims to knackers. The majority of Muslims in this country are decent people. On the other hand, the majority of knackers in this country are worthless scum.

    Who funds Pavee Point and the Equality Authority? Not the bloody knackers! They’re too busy flogging stolen power tools and pirate DVDs at Puck Fair, while the guards check out cloud formations in the sky above.

    I’m a liberal. I’m so fucking liberal, there isn’t a political party in this country I would vote for. I’m also a great believer in equal rights. So, if it’s okay with the powers that be, I will from now on drink and drive a 09 Transit at high speeds over traffic bumps without tax or insurance, live in a mansion whilst drawing the dole, strut around in a tight fitting vest, marry my first cousin and have a Hummer and horse drawn carriage parade through town for the ultimate display of my authority.

    Don’t tell me I can’t do it! My solicitor is following behind in the Roller.

    Next time you see a knacker child looking sad and lost, think before you act. Then, if there’s nobody looking ……… Well, consider the greater good. That’s all I’ll say.

  90. K8 says:

    It seems to me that 80% of them give the rest a bad name. I see that some (settled) people defend that remaining 20% and I understand why.

    It’s trying to guess if the bad eggs are actually good eggs without getting robbed blind in the process. That’s what gets me.

    I think this kid here was a good egg, but he just did what he was trained to do. I blame his (inbred) parents. I hope he survives the statistics, I really do.

    In the meantime I judge them all and remain open to pleasant surprises, but unfortunately that doesn’t seem to happen much.

  91. tom says:

    Hi lads,
    just to add my personal experience. Ive recently moved to Ballina, the knacker capital of the North-West. Not a day goes by when I don’t see travellers spitting on people, harrassing them and starting up fights. A family of 15 ppl or so lives two houses down the road and there’s never a dull moment. Yesterday I saw a young pikey dragging her little sister out of the house by the hair! And what about the big scenes in Tesco: big pikey head at the till with a full trolley and 12 euros in her pocket throwing stuff everywhere “I don’t want that, take tha’ back! What ya looking a’?”

    I still don’t understand how people put up with them and gladly get up in the morning to go to work paying half of our salary in taxes while the scumbags spend their days making babies and beating up their own wives. I call for a revolution. Any politicians out there listening? You may get a lot of votes out of this.

  92. K8 says:

    Two and a half years later…

    I’ve discovered a few things.

    I still live in a council estate, I still live with travellers. I now realise that this is the most secure environment a family can live in, given that deviants don’t shit on their own doorstep.

    The travellers around here are sound, while on some basis I still don’t trust them… the bigger problem is not the knackers but the others… scumbag unmentionables that can’t control their kids.

    I was distracted for a while, but I was wrong.

    It’s not the travellers that are a problem, it’s the ones below the radar, the settled, the ones who need parenting courses.

    I take back at least 60% of what I said in this post, I made a mistake.

  93. Nuvari says:

    You know K8, as an individual who was born into the Travelling community I appreciate your above post, however Knacker as was explained by another poster is a highly derogatory and harmful word.

    I do not expect that this post will do much to combat the underlining threads of discrimination and misinterpretation offered up by other posters in relation to both the community and the individuals within in, but after reading some of the comments I feel drawn to add my own.

    A community can be defined by a common experience of the world, in both a synchronistic and diachronically sense, bound by vocabulary peculiarity’s and group alliances, most often lineage and family ties are of great importance and the Irish Travelling Pavee culture is of no difference but to reinforce the thoughforms of “They” etc while having it cross associated with a unsupported communal understanding, people are in fact painting all with the same brush.

    I am genuinely sorry to hear of many of the above experiences but they are not unique to the community, nor is the underlining prejudices of refusing to see a person as an individual, regardless of how others may of treated you. Humanity and the communities that compose have always had and I suspect will always have; undesirables. To allow such people to destroy the opportunities of others and ourselves is a sorrowful act of self mutilation – as one of our greatest acts of depravity is when we assume we do not belong to one another.

    As an individual who was born from this tradition I take it as a personal affront that anyone would define me as a label above the person I am. While indeed markers of identity are helpful in this ever changing sea of “community” I feel that many, if not most, do not know the living issues and difficulties such lines of thinking bring.

    Many are seen in open display while others whisper in the shadows of mundane life, of course such remaining issues like that of the insidious internalised prejudices of the community, apathy, fear, lack of recourse for all involved and so forth need to be engaged with and overcome, but I like many other things suspect that this will only be achieved together.

    I hope some of the readers take time to review the above posts and comments from the view of being a law abiding, tax paying Traveller. Many of the comments are nothing less then venom and poison to those that have nothing to do with such social and moral errors and yet cast among the same old issues.

    I am a Traveller/Pavee but that is not all I am and I hope next when any of you encounter the label, that you will be more willing to look beyond it to the person beneath, as I promise to endeavour to do the same.

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