Cllr. Charlie O’Connor officially launched the Exhibition of Tallaght Travellers and Brookfield / Fettercairn’s Men’s Shed Intercultural Barrel Top Wagon Project in Fettercairn Community and Youth Centre today. Also in attendance, the men, staff and management of Fettercairn Youth and Community Centre, Tallaght Travellers Community Development Project and staff and management from South Dublin County Council, local residents, Traveller and local Organisations and management from Roadstone. Cllr. Brian Leech and Cllr. Emma Hendrick were also in attendance.
The exhibition, a photographic and documented journey showcasing the work and relationship developed by the men from the Travelling Community and men living in the Brookfield / Fettercairn areas, was very well presented with the finished pieces – Barrel Top Wagons on display. Patrick Reilly and John Byrne spoke passionately about their experiences with Shay LeStrange (Fettercairn Youth and Community Centre) and Patrick Nevin (Tallaght Travellers CDP) outlining the importance and positive impact that intercultural projects can have on our communities. Ten Barrel Top Wagons were produced during the course of the project but the relationships built throughout, outweighed the expectations of the group.
The main aim of this project was to promote intercultural activities recognising the similarity of experiences of men from the Travelling Community and men from the wider South Tallaght area. The relationships developed and the positive feedback and experience gained through this project highlights the importance of intercultural programmes. The extensive experience and passion of the staff of Tallaght Travellers CDP, Fettercairn Community and Youth Centre as well as the Community Services Department of SDCC working on the ground with Traveller men and men from the wider community was evident throughout the project.
The Men’s Shed has recently received funding from SDCC Community Grants Programme to further develop the project with a Tinsmithing 6 week project – which is due to start in the coming weeks, will give the men an opportunity to further develop their relationships, further creating a platform for best practice in a community development setting by promoting positive intercultural practice.