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Armagh Travellers Support Group Sees Stars


Young Travellers from the Armagh and Keady area during their visit to the Armagh Observatory Grounds and Astropark as part of the 2008 Traveller Focus Week, 2008 December 6.
The visit was arranged by the Traveller Family Health Worker, Sinéad Hughes (pictured), and involved eleven members of the Armagh Travellers Support Group and volunteers.
Image credit: Brónagh Crowe.

Eleven members of the Armagh Travellers Support Group and volunteers visited the Armagh Observatory and the Observatory Grounds and Astropark on Saturday 6th December as part of the annual Traveller Focus Week organized by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland in partnership with An Munia Tober Travellers Centre, Belfast.

Traveller Focus Week is a celebration and awareness-raising week for traveller issues held each year across the island of Ireland. This year, the theme was “Intercultural Dialogue”, taken from the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue (EYID) 2008 decided by the European Parliament. EYID ties in very closely with the wider cultural and heritage objectives of the Armagh Observatory and its principal funding agency, the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. The Observatory was particularly pleased to contribute to EYID in 2008 as part of its contributions to the celebration of the Tercentenary of the birth in 1708 of its founder, Archbishop Richard Robinson.

Professor Mark Bailey, the Observatory Director, said “It was a pleasure taking such an interested and enthusiastic group of young people around the Armagh Observatory and its Grounds and Astropark. They came well prepared for the tour and the weather could not have been better. We followed the elliptical orbits of the planets around the Sun on the Human Orrery, and, taking giant steps through the Astropark, walked first from the Sun to Pluto, and then up the Hill of Infinity through the stellar and galactic Universe until we reached the Big Bang.” Sinéad Hughes, Traveller Family Health Worker, added: “Members of the Group really enjoyed themselves and were talking stars all night!”

The Observatory Grounds and Astropark are open to visitors for self-guided tours every day. Occasional guided tours of the Observatory or its Grounds and Astropark can be arranged by appointment.

The accompanying images show young Travellers from the Armagh and Keady area, and Traveller Family Health Support Worker Sinéad Hughes and Mark Bailey on the Hill of Infinity and outside the main entrance of the Observatory.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Bailey at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; mebat signarm.ac.uk, or Sinéad Hughes Tel: 028-3752-0553.

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Last Revised: 2008 December 10th
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