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Irish nomadic clan in the headlines

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  1. 1. Page 2A : Sunday. Oct. 6,2002 : The Sun SUN JOURNAL Indiana incident has Irish roots Group: The. videotape ni'.i v . i u j i i u i beating her daughter on a parking lot curried across the sea when it was revealed that sho Is purl of n numttJic clan tolled ihe TnivdUin*. By ANDREW RATNEH The videotape of a woman beating her daughter ir. a parking lot In Indiana did not reveal one large wound that the incident nopened It's hundreds of yean old and naif a world away. Madelyne Oorman Toogoofl's trouble with the law made front - page headlines In Ireland as well as (he United Slates because she belongs to a nomadic clan called the Irish Travellers - spelled with two Is It was the first time many In the United States had heard of the group. even though Its members set- tled in the United Slates In the IMQs to escape the potato fam- ine that ravaged Ireland. The news also surprised many Irish, who have wrestled with acceptance of the wandering In a photo from IMS, Irtth Traveller motben and their children tit OB t cart on a street In County Garway. Irlth Travellers have beei people for general tons but were traced to nomadic workers who predate ths Celt*' arrival In Ireland in 400 BC. Aa estimated 15,000 Traveller! are in the United State*. unaware the group had grown In the United States to 13,000. by some estimates says Caoimhe McCabe of Pavee Uonabty difficult, though: Only 5 for the Catholic priest who as- "The woman's photo was on Point, a Traveller advocacy listed the immigrants 20 years the front page of the Evening group In Dublin. lleved lo reach age 50. ago - Murphy Village. Traveller Herald" In Dublin, says Thomas Campaigns lo era&e discrimi- Immigrants who arrived In the McCann of the Irish Travdlen Travellers by placing barricades nation haven't succeeded. Last Movement, referring to a picture and boulders to block their summer, the Vintners' Federa- tended to assimilate into the of Toogood. "The general dis- campsites. Subsidized housing tion of Ireland sought a ban on mainstream more quickly, some cussion was the political climate was built to Induce the Travellers from pubs. A Catholic experts soy. Is not good toward Travellers Travellers to stay put, but rooU school in County Gatway faced "Even a lot of residents of now and this story will make It never held 'It's just the way closure when parents withdrew South Carolina don t realize even wor»e" In northern Indiana, Toogood beginning* McCabe says. "Why ment of Traveller pupils. Dall enclaves all over America," Liv- faces charges of felony battery of does a prosperous culture have Elreann. the Irish legislature, ingston says. her daughter. Martha, 4 The to rule out a nomadic culture? hu criminalized trespassing — "I was very surprised they ':-•;• .r.i., woman was Identi- They thought they could edu- a law aimed at the Travellers. were here." says Seamus Deane. fied from a grainy videotape cate them to Mop being what The measure Is belnK challenged an Irish studies professor at No- that showed a child repeatedly they were, but it was based on a In court. tre Dame University, not far being struck inside a vehicle. false Idea that Travellers were Intermarriage, prosperity, so- from where Toogood was ar- The graphic security camera Just settled people who had cietal pressures to conform, rested "It's astonishing the cov- footage fed media coverage and foiled at being settled people,' technology — factors that often erage this incident has received analysis like wind In a brushflre Their cause became a civil wither the distinct ways of vari- Some of them seem to make a Some felt the videotape illus- Uadeh/ne Gorman Too food tiu rights Issue In Ireland over the ous ethnic groups In the devel- tot of money, driving Mercedes trated parental abuse, others with her attorney, Steven post 20 years, spawning equality opet and BMWs. but most live miser- pointed :» the child'* apparent Rosen. Toofood li to have a laws and advocacy groups. erase wanderlust for Travellers able existences" physical well-being afterward preliminary hearing tomorrow. M c C a n n of the Irish Their ancient trades have Irish author Nuola O'Fanlain and contended lhat the tmpe Travellers Movement, an um- given way to newer door-to-doar was not describing the Toopiod sensationalized a common but brella of about 70 local and re- enterprises, including: home re- case when she wrote a column typically private breakdown- a gional Traveller groups, recalls a pair, carpet sales and gardening about the group's struggles In TTie Irish Time* several years child on « shopping trip. the Celts' arrival In 400 BC. group of Native Americans. the first In Ireland to adopt cel- ago. but she might as well htve: The They had been invited to Ireland lular phones — for a mobile peo- -Almost the whole of stranger Toogood was addition- Travellers reside In Ireland, less to help return a terribly lost ple, a technology well worth the Travellers' lives Is on view. A ally charged with giving false in- than 1 percent of the popula- bald eagle U> the United States 2.500-year wait. Horae carts and man beats his wife in the street formation to an officer after the tion. Another 10,000 live In Feeling that their culture also t«nts have been replaced by mo- and a hundred people .tee. Set- address she provided turned out Great Britain. The group Is of- had been assailed and ridiculed bile homes and sport utility ve- tled wife-beating happens be- to belong to a vacant dry- ten associated wtth other his- by their countrymen, the Native hicles, such as the one Madelyne hind closed doors. The cleaning store. Her husband. toric, itinerate cultures In Eu- Americans taw parallels with Toogood was using Travellers line up outside the John. 29. had given authorities rope — including English and the Travellers, he says. South Carolina police have employment exchange with bot- the some apparently false ad- Scottish Travellers and Romany •We lived in caravans without found It difficult to Identify tles of wine in their hands, or sit dre&s. It was also listed on one gypsies. But Irish Travellers basic faculties such as running about 3.000 Travellers who have In their vans swigging from (he of several driver's licenses the have their own ways and dialect, water and tolleu." McCann ra- settled In lhat state because bottles. Meanwhile, thousands couple held. an Engllsh-Quelic blend called and thousands of settled people Madelyne Toogood b to ap- 'cant' or •Gammon.' Traveller. There ore memories much of their income on trans- are drinking In pubs or In front pear tomorrow In an Indiana of good times, but you had the portation Is no longer so rare, of the telly or handing around Superior Court for a preliminary scorned, feared and Ignored in knowledge you did not have the "When I started this 18 years the sherries Many people neg- hearing on the felony charge, their homeland They initially same facilities everyone else ago. 1 was told to look out for lect their children, but hardly says her attorney, Steven R. made a life roaming from town took for granted." nice-looking pickups.* suite po- anyone knows Yet everyone Rosen. She U free on $5.000 to town by horse and cart, sell- Sharon Bohn Gmelch, an an- lice investigator Joe Livingston sees the Travelling children bond. Martha is m foster core. ing and shaping metal. Their Un thropology professor at Union says. 'It used (o be I would see sniffing glut*. Everyone sees the The Toogoods and their eth- work nic group were described in var- nickname — "tinkers." from the who has written books about was them Now It's like. aw. sitting all day in frunl of u card- ious accounts as "con men" and Irish word (Inceard, the culture, soys lhat unlike reli- that's just another yuppie." board box.... "grafters" who deal in 'Illusion English kings beginning with gious groups such as Ihe Amish Although census figures are "So the Travellers have no pri- and confusion" Henry V sought to outlaw their lacking for a people who refuse vacy from us. They are 'other.' The characterizations, broad- activity After Ireland gained In- out of faith, the Travellers' resis- to stay put. Traveller communi- Their otherness is more than cast across the Atlantic, were dependence In 1823. the new Re- tance to conformity to rooted In ties have been identified In disquieting: between us and m«t alternately with disgust and public sought to 'take the an ethic of Independence and Texas as well as South Carolina. them there Is an abyss of under- standing, and in that abyss the nightmares about their nature llfirhtiv In Harhnr'x swirl-