Travellers are a minority ethnic group, indigenous to the island of Ireland. Travellers have a shared history, language, religion, traditions and culture. Nomadism and Familyare integral parts of Traveller culture.The distinctive Traveller identity and culture, based on a nomadic tradition, sets Travellers apart from the sedentary population or ‘settled people. Travellers have their own language (called Shelta, Gammon, or Cant.) although now it is in decline. To be recognised as a Traveller you must be born into the Traveller community. Travellers live in varied types of accommodation:-houses, caravans, apartments, group halting sites and by the roadside. Irish Travellers also live in USA, Britain and Australia. There are approximately 40,000 Travellers living in Ireland.
Throughout Irish history, the Traveller community has been markedly separated from the general Irish population, resulting in widespread stereotyping and discrimination. The Government of Ireland, on 1st March 2017, formally recognised Travellers as a distinct ethnic group. This recognition of Traveller ethnicity is central to achieving equality for Travellers. It strengthens the relationship of respect and inclusion of Travellers in Ireland.