Children in County Mayo launch a book, “This Giant Tent”, celebrating Traveller culture and identity.

Posted in Connect on April 16, 2019.

Friday April 12th, 2019 saw the launch of an exciting new book ‘This Giant Tent’ which was created by children from Scoil Íosa, Ballina and Involve Youth Project in partnership with the National Museum of Ireland (NMI) – Country Life and Kids Own Publishing. The launch, which took place at NMI Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, was the result of an eight-week creative process with Sligo-based writer, Mary Branley and Mayo-based artist, Cas McCarthy in which children explored their lives and identity.

The launch, which was officially opened by Minister David Stanton by video link, brought together various traveller networks, local TD’s, home school liaison officers, artists and the proud parents and teachers of the Ballina children as well as the children themselves. This wonderfully insightful and visually rich collection of the art work aims to reach children all over Ireland, encouraging them to explore their own identity and take pride in their own culture. The project surrounding ‘This Giant Tent’ was developed in response to Travellers’ Journey, a temporary exhibition – on display at the Museum of Country Life until May 6th.

Minister of State, David Stanton T.D, describing the children’s book said “This is a book about themselves, their experience, their thoughts, their feelings, their expressions; a book to enlighten, inform and guide all of us. A little book sharing big ideas and messages about ethnicity, culture and identity”

He continued, “If only adults could look and learn from children what life is all about, sharing ideas about culture ethnicity and identity is an example of how diversity can add colour and vibrancy to society – a bit like the colours used in the wonderful paintings you made”

Lynn Scarff, Director of the National Museum, said, “This wonderful book gives voice to underrepresented young people in our community. We are proud to have had the opportunity to work with these young people and see their own interpretation of our ‘Travellers’ Journey’ exhibition”.

 The book will be disseminated through the National Museum of Ireland, education networks, and is also available from the Kids’ Own website:

The project was generously funded by the Department of Justice and Equality, the National Museum of Ireland, the Community Foundation of Ireland and the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme.


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