Europe

Traveller is first from community in Ireland to receive PhD

Dr Sindy Joyce Image copyright True Media
Image caption Dr Joyce was awarded a number of competitive awards while she was studying

The first Irish Traveller to be awarded a PhD has celebrated her graduation.

Dr Sindy Joyce is the first from her community in Ireland to be awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy, which she received from the University of Limerick's department of sociology.

Dr Joyce's thesis examines how young travellers' experiences in public and commercial urban spaces are shaped by their ethnicity and racism.

She is among 1,715 students graduating this week.

Martin Collins, co-director of traveller rights organisation Pavee Point, said Dr Joyce's research gave "important visibility to the perspective of young Travellers in Galway".

"Travellers, down through the years, have often been researched and documented - but usually by people outside our community," he said.

"It is an important step for Travellers that we have our own academics who can decide what is important from a research point of view - and what is ethical in carrying out this research."

During the course of her studies in Limerick, Dr Joyce was awarded a number of competitive awards, including an Irish Research Council postgraduate scholarship.