Bare-knuckle boxing, lavish weddings and hare coursing: Photographer documents the lives of Irish travellers after living alongside them for two years
- Fascinating photographs document the lives of two Irish traveller families living on the outskirts of Dublin
- Belgian photographer Sebastiaan Franco took pictures while spending two years living with the families
- Initially thought of as 'intrusive outsider' he stayed with Keenan and Collins families and 'became one of them'
- Images include bride Cherise arriving at her wedding in Galway as well as a brutal bare-knuckle boxing match
These fascinating pictures capture the daily lives of traveller families on the outskirts of Dublin, giving a rare glimpse into their often closed-off world.
Belgian photographer Sebastiaan Franco took the photographs while spending two years living with the Keenan and Collins families on their site just outside Ireland's capital.
He said he gained the traveller families' trust by 'essentially becoming one of them' having initially been considered an 'intrusive outsider'.
Images show families holding parties, drinking in pubs and attending funerals while others show men locked in brutal bare-knuckle boxing matches and women getting dressed up for lavish christenings and weddings.
Franco said he witnessed many rights of passage, as well as the highs and lows of the community living on the outside of society.
During his time with the families, he photographed a man named Paddy receiving a phone call to say his brother had died. He also captured images of men hauling scrap metal and hunting.
Patrick and Christy are pictured bare-knuckle boxing at an undisclosed location near Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland
Bride Cherise was photographed arriving for her wedding day in Galway. Belgian photographer Sebastiaan Franco took a series of photographs while spending two years living with the Keenan and Collins families
A young boy named Ned is pictured at Ballinasloe Horse Fair in County Galway, which dates back to the 18th century and is one of the largest and oldest horse festivals in Europe
A man named Paddy is pictured flashing an antique revolver during a party in his trailer on his family's traveller site just outside Dublin
A young man is seen here hauling scrap copper along Dunsink Lane near the traveller site where Franco stayed over a two- year period
Fields and scrapyard can be seen here behind Dunsink Lane in Finglas, Dublin, as a carthorse wanders around the old Nissan Micras and Vauxhall Corsas
Two men can be seen burning scrapped copper in a pile on Dunsink Lane near their traveller site, as one man prods it with a piece of plastic
John, Pikey, uncle Paddy, Paul and Martin are pictured (above) playing cards in one their trailers on the site in Finglas, Dublin
Pallbearers and mourners can be seen attending the funeral of a man named Bimby at Ballgriffin Cemetery in Coolock, Dublin
Martyboy is seen here at the top of Croagh Patrick. The mountain is climbed by many travellers as penance or to bless the sick and the dead
Bimby's funeral at Ballgriffin Cemetery in Coolock, Dublin, where family gathered to pay their last respects to their loved one
Young James, Big James (wearing a Mexican-style hat) and Joseph Collins can be seen pictured (above) in Avila Park
The trailer of Davy 'Handsome' in Finglas as dusk begins to fall in Dublin. Photographer Sebastiaan Franco said that although traditional stereotypes of traveller life are there, the reality is 'not as black and white as the community is made out to be'
Brothers John-Paul and Martyboy are seen here drinking some beers and enjoying the last days of summer in Avila Park
Paddy, Martin, Giggsy, Nic Nac, Thomas and Ciaran are pictured (left to right) during celebrations at a pub in Dublin
Paddy Keenan is picture (above) smoking in his trailer. Franco said: 'They [the traveller community] took me in and showed me basically everything that goes on around the site, shared everything they had and never asked for anything, as an outsider that's an amazing privilege'
A man named as Uncle Paddy is pictured after receiving a phone call informing him that his youngest brother had passed away
A dog owned by a man named 'Small Peter' is pictured sitting on an old sofa with a zimmer-frame next to it outside St Joseph's Park in Dublin
Davy 'Handsome' is seen here near his home in Finglas. Travellers are a traditionally nomadic community and have a population of around 40,000 in Ireland so they are considered an ethnic minority
Johnny Keenan is pictured (above) feeding his three dogs in the morning. Franco said he found 'acceptance into a marginalised community' and that he 'became part of the family, showing those human moments people tend to overlook'
Young and old can be seen getting ready for Communion day in Finglas. One little girl has got dressed up for the occasion
Biddy Collins is pictured singing old songs at the campfire as the family sit around and children watch on at the site in Finglas
Communion day (pictured above) in Avila Park. Irish travellers, sometimes known as Pavee, and Scottish travellers are descended from nomadic people in Ireland and Britain
Ciaran and young David are seen here playing football in Avila Park, Finglas, and four dogs also run around and try to join in
A boy can be seen sitting on top of a bonfire pyre of old fences, mattresses and wooden crates on Halloween, as the site prepares for their celebrations
A bonfire night fire on Halloween is pictured (above). The images are from Franco's book, Anasha, which is a word in the Shelta or Cant language used to point out something out of the ordinary
Photographer Sebastiaan Franco captured the bloody aftermath of a bare-knuckle fight which took place near Mullingar, County Westmeath
Travellers are pictured taking part in 'lamping', a form of hunting for wild animals such as rabbits and hares with greyhounds during the autumn
Young girls wearing white dresses after getting ready for Communion day in Avila Park. Franco spent two years living with two families at the site in Dublin
One of the families during christening celebrations on the traveller site in Finglas. An Instagram cut out is being passed around by the women
Mary-Lou is seen here with her newborn son at the family trailer in Finglas - a northwestern suburb on the outskirts of Dublin
Two travellers are pictured larking around with a shopping trolley in Cara Park on the outskirts of Dublin. The title of Franco's book, Anasha, has different meaning and ways of writing because the word has never really been written down according to rules or grammar
A man named as Nic Nac can be seen (above) walking outside his house in Avila Park, Dublin, at night while his dog waits on the pavement
Martin 'Bull's Tail' Collins sitting in his trailer on the family site. The Shelta language that some travellers speak derives from a mixture of English and Gaelic translations
Bridesmaids are seen getting ready for a wedding in Avila Park on the outskirts of Dublin. Traveller weddings are extravagant celebrations, guided by centuries-old religious and cultural traditions that are still adhered to to this day in their close-knit and closed off societies
Two men named as Martyboy and Rasher are pictured (above) drinking in a car at night. Franco's two-year project was welcomed by Ireland's President Michael Higgins, who has long advocated for travellers' rights
A young bride named as Dina is pictured here before heading to the church on her wedding day. Travellers traditionally get married at a young age, typically in their late teens or early twenties
A large crowd is pictured gathered at Cara Park on the outskirts of Dublin to cheer on a fighter named Patrick as he heads off to his bare-knuckle boxing match
Best men can be seen here getting ready for a wedding. It is thought the term Anasha, comes from the Cromwellian settlement of Ireland in 1649
Travellers are pictured dancing the night away as they celebrate after a wedding in Galway, Ireland
A boy nicknamed 'Young David' is pictured here playing outside with a dog as a group of men relax between two houses in Avila Park, Finglas
Avila Park, Dublin, can be seen here as a dog crosses the road. While living in clans, travellers in the past would move across the country selling their wares or finding work with farmers to earn a living before moving on
Giggsy (centre) and Martin (right) can be seen (above) celebrating after the result of a recent bare-knuckle boxing match
A cross and rosary for John 'Johnman' Joyce, who was found dead, can be seen here on Dunsink Lane near the family's site