Ten Traveller men graduate from Pavee Point prison programme stop feuds

Ten Traveller men graduate from Pavee Point prison programme stop feuds

On Wednesday 2nd November ten young Traveller men on the fringes of, or currently involved, in Traveller feuds received certificates from Michael Donnellan, Head of the Irish Prison in a unique ceremony at Pavee Point.

The ten young men from North Dublin completed a 12 week programme held in Mountjoy Prison and co- facilitated by a Traveller man in prison for serious offences arising from a Traveller feud.

The prisoner approached Pavee Point for support during his imprisonment and worked with the organisation to develop this programme aimed at educating young Traveller men about the consequences of feuding.

The programme used the Pavee Point resource ‘We Can Sort it Out’ - a Traveller specific hand book for trainers that aims to stop feuds escalating, manage conflict situations when they arise and look at the implications of feuding.

Richie O’Leary (19) from Blanchardstown one of the graduates said: “It was a real reality check for me as I was never in a jail before and didn’t know what it was like.

“I learned that in one minute your life can change from one outburst of rage and you can spend the rest of your life behind bars or dead. It made me cop myself on really.”

“This is as very important initiative,” said John Paul Collins, of Pavee Point who helped set up the programme, “It highlights the real implications for young people engaging in feuds. We’re delighted to be working with Mountjoy Prison on this initiative and we’re planning a second phase early next year.”

The graduates were presented with their certificates by Michael Donnellan, Director General of the Irish Prison Service and Mountjoy Prison Governor Brian Murphy

Speaking at the event Campus Governor Brian Murphy, stated that this was a very innovative and challenging programme that could not have been undertaken without the support and commitment of the staff in Mountjoy Prison who fully recognised the benefits, value and importance of this programme.