'Demonising discourse': the Traveller Community's struggle against the elite voice of RTE

Sharon Leahy*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    2 Downloads (Pure)


    As the Irish Government introduces a selection of changes to home defence law, through the Criminal Law (Defence and Dwelling) Act 2011, the Traveller Community, and the Ward-Nally case in particular, are regrettable reference points propelling public support for the use of force in home protection. The national broadcaster, Raidio Teilifis Eireann (RTE), has proved to be a central player in the constitution of difference; however, it is often an overlooked and under-researched arena. This article focuses on the use of the elite televisual forum of current affairs programming on RTE television to unveil the complex and multiple ways in which discourses of belonging are mobilised with respect to the Irish Traveller Community. It draws on one emotive event involving the Traveller and settled communities, the Ward-Nally case, and looks at the ways in which this forum interpellates the viewer, solidifying rituals of representation that remain within the viewers' consciousness long after a programme has been broadcast.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)165-202
    Number of pages37
    JournalRomani Studies
    Issue number2
    Early online date28 Oct 2014
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


    • Irish Traveller
    • Raidio Teilifis Eireann
    • Media power
    • Discourse
    • Framing
    • Irish travellers
    • Eastern-Europe
    • Racism
    • Media
    • Politics
    • Construction
    • Place
    • Roma
    • Television
    • Newspapers


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