Listen to me tell my story:

Hello, my name is Bernadette McDonagh and I was born in Mullingar, County Westmeath. I have five sisters and two brothers, and we were more or less travelling from the time I was a baby, between Dublin, Cork, Limerick. I suppose any camp the Travellers was moving to, we’d kinda go from one camp to another we’d have the Clondalkin area, the Tallaght area. But we’d always make our way back to Dublin, for us to go back to school, when the summertime would be over.

We were more or less reared with my grandmother and my grandfather, he was a tinsmith. Even though my own mother was doing the cooking, my memories would go back to my grandmother. She’d do the pancakes, the rabbit soup, the goose, frying in a skillet when we’d be out camping, the campfire and the skillet on the campfire, baking the bread.

So, even though I remember all the recipes and all the cooking and all the ways of Travellers living. As a young girl growing up, getting married myself, I’d do homemade soups myself and I bake a few scones or a bit of currant bread. But my children, I have four children myself, I’m married myself 33 years, and I have four children and my children wouldn’t be into cooking.

Now they can bake, they do their own little bit of baking, but I think a lot of Travellers the younger generation now, it’s kind of chip food and delis and takeaways and it’s very, very, very little homemade cooking with the younger generation.

I was happy with this group that, I was, with doing this cooking. Mixing with all age groups of the older generation, kind of relearning all over again and bringing back your memories and it was lovely, it was just all lovely.