Wicklow Travellers’ Group was founded in 1992 to respond to the accommodation needs of Travellers on the roadside in Co. Wicklow. The group’s core activities related to supporting a group of 17 Traveller families in securing accommodation through the courts. Parallel with this work, a group of Traveller women began to meet regularly in Wicklow town with Sr. Catriona Geraghty (pictured left). This group identified the need for training and development opportunities for Traveller women in the area.
A part-time training programme was organised. This was further developed into a full-time two-year training programme under the EU Employment Integra Programme. Following the success of this programme, it was mainstreamed by Co. Wicklow VEC as a Senior Traveller Trainiing Programme.
As part of this arrangement, crèche facilities are provided for the programme participants.
The success of the Integra programme also led to the development of a stand-alone enterprise, Shuttle-Knit, involving Travellers and settled people as partners.
The enterprise consists of two divisions, a knitwear department and a weave department.
Since 2001 Shuttle-Knit has been housed in the Wicklow Traveller Group building at the top of Crinion Park in Wicklow Town. There are four people employed full-time in the enterprise and with the assistance of their manager and ongoing support, both financial and training, from the FAS “Social Economy” Programme it is taking on contract work for some of Ireland’s top designers.Since January 2006, Shuttle Knit have been funded through Pobal’s Community Services Programme.
Wicklow Travellers’ Group received some funding from Department of Social Community and Family Affairs to engage in Community Development Work. In 2001, core funding from the Department was secured to identify and promote community development responses.
Company Limited by Guarantee with Charitable Status (CHY. No. 11870). Registered in Ireland Number 248913
Charities Regulatory Authority number (CRA) 20033576
Directors: Isobel O’Duffy (Chairperson), Brendan Hyland (Assistant Chairperson), Máirín Kenny (Company Secretary), Aileen Cussen (Treasurer), Kathleen Snell (Assistant Treasurer), Kathleen Berry, Ian Daly, Mary O’Brien