Although in my youth the traveller community was a familiar feature of the Irish landscape, I’ve not read any books that have focused attention on the community, its history, or the relationship – often a fraught – between it and the settled community. Nor do I have I read anything about the relationship between the state and Ireland’s oldest minority group.
The only major studies of any aspect of tinker life are those of are those of anthropologists Sharon & Geoge Gmelch. Their books (The Irish Tinkers;The Urbanization of an Itinerant-People & Tinkers and Travellers: Ireland’s Nomads), although I have seen them on the shelves, never got on to my required reading list.
A bad conscience about not having even dipped into the Gmelch’s books and about knowing so little about the travelling community, together with some little prompting from a person close to the author, has made me think I could do worse than cure my ignorance by dipping into maybe José Lanters tome The Tinkers in Irish Literature: Unsettled Subjects and the Construction of Difference might a book worth starting with.