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Old 09-02-2017, 02:14 PM   #54 (permalink)
Trollheart
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: In Cognito
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Travellers is the "polite" term for itinerants, usually called knackers, cream crackers or gippos. They are technically gypsies, but the term "traveller" doesn't really describe them, as they do very little actual travelling, and once they set up in a place they more often than not stay there, until/unless they're moved on. There are some official "halting sites" where they're allowed stay (think the Indian Reservations and you're close enough) but they often don't like to remain there. With good reason: last year a major fire killed a whole family due to the poor almost non-existent safety measures at one site.

They live in caravans and trailers, fix pots, old cars, so forth. Their many dogs (dirty and often vicious though not always) run loose as do their children, who are also invariably dirty if not always vicious. They don't seem to believe in hygiene and their favourite pastime is to go door to door selling various useless items (unbranded perfume, knockoff DVDs, towels, knives etc) that nobody in their right mind would ever want. They use the tried and trusted trader method of barter - "Only a fiver sir! No? Four then! Four Euro! Ah, okay.. three." They do not go away easily, and the best way to deal with them, rude as it is, is to close the door in their faces.

Various attempts have been made to rehouse them, but they always wreck the houses they get and end up bringing down the tone of the neighbourhood. They are dirty and they don't care. They're also loud, and frequently drunk (though you would think such would not matter to Irish people, it does). They get into a lot of fights.

Prejudice against travellers was once described as "Ireland's apartheid", and while I would not disagree, I am, and probably always be, racist when it comes to knackers. I'm not proud of it, but neither am I ashamed of it. Almost every Irish person will tell you the same.
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