Pavee Lackeen (The Traveller Girl)

Ten-year-old Winnie lives in shanty-town conditions without water, electricity or a toilet, on a messy Dublin industrial estate. Her mother struggles with officials to get a council house, and to get her children educated, but she gets nowhere. Winnie (played by Winnie Maughan) fetches water, wanders the streets, nicks cheap trinkets, fights kids who call her names and is excluded from school. She’d like to be something, but hasn’t a chance.

Acted by non-professionals from the Traveller community, Pavee Lackeen is gritty, painful, absorbing and utterly convincing.

mag cover This article is from the March 2006 issue of New Internationalist. You can access the entire archive of over 500 issues with a digital subscription. Get a free trial now »

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