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Dublin: 19 °C Monday 1 June, 2020

"Of course I'm a victim - I'm not allowed to live according to the culture that I want"

Traveller actor John Connors gave an impassioned interview regarding the discrimination he experiences on the Late Late Show last night.

image (1) John Connors Source: RTÉ

ACTOR JOHN CONNORS gave an impassioned interview last night on the subject of what it means to be a Traveller in Ireland at present.

Speaking to Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Show, the actor, best known for playing Patrick Ward, the man who finally brought crime lord Nidge down, in Love / Hate, spoke of the issues he experiences daily due to his ethnicity.

The interview came at the end of a week which saw Connors interviewed by Kitty Holland in Wednesday’s Irish Times – a piece that was headlined: “I am a Traveller, not a ‘knacker’”.

Source: The Late Late Show/YouTube

“I’ve come on today to be given a fair crack of the whip,” Connors told Tubridy.

We are the victims, Travellers are the victims, that’s the unfortunate fact.

When asked how he felt he was a victim Connors replied: “Of course I’m a victim, because I’m not allowed to live according to the culture and the way I want to live.”

“My whole life I’ve had discriminative experiences stopping me from doing what I would want to do,” he said.

Like once I wanted to be a security guard, and I went to interview after interview, and one day I put on a Dublin accent, and I was told I was getting the job on the spot, and then I was told by the employer to not let Travellers in.
So then I put on my own accent and that’s the sort of attitude I’ve experienced my whole life and I’m still getting it.

Connors went on to describe a charity Strictly Come Dancing competition that he was asked to judge, at which a woman approached him and asked if he was “the itinerant from Love / Hate”.

‘No,’ I replied,’I'm the actor John Connors who plays the Traveller Patrick Ward in Love/Hate’.

The actor further described an occasion in recent months where he and a group of his cousins were refused from a pub in Dublin:

“It was just because there was a group of us,” he said.

So we went outside and someone came up and said ‘oh it’s Patrick from Love / Hate’ and he went and got a selfie with me.
And then the bouncer went red and invited us all back up again. So I still get that kind of attitude day in and day out.

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