Training Programmes


July 2016 Update

The initial idea to develop and run an accredited pilot Traveller Mediation & Conflict Training Programme came from a 2 day Conflict Training workshop run by MTCMI in the summer of 2014 for Travellers in Westmeath/Offaly.

What emerged was a strong sense from the group that the best people to resolve conflicts within the Traveller community were Travellers, and that an accredited Traveller mediation training programme needed to be developed.

MTCMI approached the Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention in Maynooth University to discuss the possibility of working together on developing a pilot programme. MTCMI also approached the ETB both in Laois/Offaly and in Kildare/Wicklow. All the above agencies were willing to work collaboratively on this project.

MTCMI then brought together an Inter-Agency Steering Group to guide the project, with representatives from a number of regional and national Traveller organisations.  MTCMI also held two consultation sessions with Traveller groups (in Offaly & in Maynooth).


The following the overall programme objective was agreed by the Inter-agency Steering Group:

To deliver a culturally inclusive training programme on mediation and conflict                                               

Steering Group Members:
Thomas McCann (Traveller Counselling Service)
Mags Lovett ( Offaly Traveller Movement)
Emily Sheary  (Restorative Justice in the Community)
Maura Burke  (Laois/Offaly ETB)
Colette Tuohy ( WM Community Development)
Susan Cullinane ( Kildare/Wicklow ETB)
Delma Sweeney  (Kennedy Institute)
Martin Collins ( Pavee Point)
Cathleen McDonagh ( Exchange House)
Michael McDonagh ( Navan Travellers)
P.J.Dooley ( Kildare Travellers)
Kieran Doyle ( Kennedy Institute)
Chris McDonagh ( MTCMI)
Aileen O’Brien (MTCMI).

 Pilot training programme framework: 

  • Intercultural Studies QQI level 5 accredited
  • Conflict Resolution using Restorative Practices QQI level 5 accredited
  • Mediation & Dialogue: methods and skills
  • Evaluation

Following successful completion of the programme, participants will be eligible to enrol for the MII (Mediators’ Institute of Ireland) accredited Mediation training Course to become certified mediators.

Timeframe: Start date for the programme:  March 2016

  • The course is run through BTEI (Back to Education Initiative) and there will be no loss of benefits to participants
  • Participants receive travel and lunch expenses ( subject to funding sought by MTCMI from DJE)
  • Participants can claim for approved childcare facilities through KWETB.


The programme was promoted widely in November/December 2015 ( in ITM ezine, with local Traveller organisations, and on Activelink) as:


The Programme is a basic introduction to mediation skills and will equip students with skills and competencies to apply in conflict situations in the community.

 Programme content: Conflict Resolution & Intercultural Studies will be the two main programme modules. They will be accredited nationally, through the QQI Framework at level 5.

Guidance and support will be provided to the participants during their training to assist with any difficulties that they may have in completing the programme work.

  •  37 Applications were received by the closing date of 22nd January 2016.
  • 21 applicants came to interview

 Interview Process

  • The Interviews took place in the Kennedy Institute on the 9th and 10th February 2016, with one panel on the first day and two panels on the second. In total 21 applicants were interviewed.
  • From this process, 16 applicants were enrolled on to the programme


MTCMI coordinates monthly meetings of the Programme Working Group, composed of tutors and representatives from the 3 key stakeholders ( MTCMI, Kennedy Institute, & KWETB), and will continue to do so throughout the lifetime of the pilot programme to review and monitor content and delivery, and to ensure a coordinated process.

Research Sub-Group

A research sub-group has been formed from members of the Steering Group, and from additional members from Maynooth University, and is coordinated by the Kennedy Institute.

A research intern from the Kennedy Institute has been tracking and recording the process of this initiative from its inception, and funding is currently being sought to evaluate the pilot programme until December 2016.

The Programme Steering Group meets on a quarterly basis to provide direction and guidance to the initiative, coordinated by MTCMI.


The programme has been running since March 2016 on a one day per week ( in term times ) basis, and is planned to be completed by mid-December 2016.


Inter-cultural Studies module

  • Core Tutor:  Thomas McCann
  • Associate tutor: Michael McDonagh

Conflict Resolution module

  • Core Tutor:  Delma Sweeney
  • Associate tutors: Catherine O’Connell, Patty D’Abozaglo

Visiting Tutors/Speakers to date: Dave McInerney, Phyllida Clarke,  Martin Collins