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Members of the Traveller community officially launched the first Traveller student society in Ireland at NUI Galway this week. The Minceir Whiden Society was co-founded this year by Traveller students and the Galway Traveller Movement. 'Minceir Whiden' means 'Travellers Talking' in the Cant language, this language is spoken by the Irish Travelling community.
‚ÄúThe Societies Office in NUI Galway are delighted to be the first to include a Traveller society among their list of societies. We look forward to many collaborations and to support inclusion in third level and look forward to a productive year for the society. Congratulations to all the students involved in the initiative‚ÄĚ stated Riona Hughes, Societies Officer, NUI Galway.
The society aims to work towards increasing Traveller participation in third level education, while providing a safe and welcoming space on campus. At present, just 1% of the Travelling community hold a third level qualification. With just 9% of Traveller children completing the Leaving certificate compared to 86% of the settled population.
Owen Ward said: ‚Äė‚ÄėOne of the main objectives of the society is to empower members of the Travelling community to enter third level education, while being encouraged and supported by NUI Galway. At present, there is a small number of Traveller Students studying at NUI Galway across numerous disciplines. Also, it is of paramount importance to build positive alliances and relationships between Traveller students and the student and staff body at NUI Galway as well as the wider community".
The Minceir Whiden Society would like to thank the Vice President for Equality and Diversity, Anne Scott, Director of Student Services, John Hannon, Imelda Byrne, Head of Access Programmes, Riona Hughes, Societies Officer, students, community members and all in attendance at the launch.
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