The Explainer x Noteworthy: Why are Travellers so overrepresented in prison?

Reporter Michelle Hennessy tells Susan Daly about Noteworthy’s latest project which examined the impact of the justice system on Travellers.

By Laura Byrne Assistant News Editor

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“I COULD HAVE done with a bit of help… which I never got.” 

Kathleen Wilde left prison “traumatised”, with “no support whatsoever”. The justice system as a whole has let her down throughout her life, with Wilde saying the gardaí treated her unfairly and like she “was an outcast”.  

This is far from a unique experience for Travellers who generally account for around 10% of the male prisoner population and as much as 22% of the female prison population, though those proportions fluctuate. 

Over the weekend, we published a major in-depth series with our investigative platform Noteworthy which examined the impact of the justice system on Travellers. 

In BLIND JUSTICE, Michelle Hennessy of The Journal reports on ethnic profiling of Travellers as well as how local authorities are refusing homeless accommodation using criteria “with no basis in law”.

Hennessy, Maria Delaney of Noteworthy and freelance journalist Martin Beanz Warde also investigated how prison is leaving Travellers isolated and traumatised.  

This week, as a bonus episode of The Explainer brought to you by Noteworthy, Susan Daly chats with Hennessy – who led the investigation – about the team’s findings.


This episode was put together by Susan Daly, Michelle Hennessy, Maria Delaney and producer Laura Byrne.

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