Minister David Stanton visits OTM

Minister of State for Equality, Immigration & Integration, David Stanton visited OTM on Wednesday 21st of November 2018.  The Minister was invited to Offaly by our Traveller-led Intergenerational Horse Project.  The Minister met Frank Kavanagh the Men’s health worker and a small group of Traveller men from the Horse Project.  The men were keen to show Minister Stanton the positive aspects of Traveller horse culture and took the opportunity to discuss the issue of legislation and the negative impact that this can have on their culture.  They talked about the success of the recently organised OTM chipping clinics which demonstrated a high level of positive action and Traveller compliance with the legislation. The Minister, accompanied by two OTM staff members then went out on site to visit 2 horse men and their horses and Minister Stanton got the opportunity to see the Offaly Horse Project in action. The Traveller horse men told the Minister how important horses are to them and how difficult it has become to keep this tradition strong and to pass it on to the next generation. The Minister then returned to Offaly Traveller Movement where he met other staff and local councillors.  Minister Stanton ended his visit to Offaly Traveller Movement by addressing the audience, saying how happy he was to meet the Traveller men and to see the project first hand.  He spoke about the importance of preserving Traveller culture and traditions and complimented OTM, staff and particularly the men who are involved in the horse project. 

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