When We Were Kings and Queens of the Road: Latisha McCrudden

My school journey

My school journey from the age of four to eighteen, through primary and secondary was overall mostly positive. I would split my school journey into two parts, the time I grew up in a domestic abuse home until I was fourteen, and the four years after.

I grew up in a small village called Cloontowart in Lisacul and my primary school was just five minutes down the road from me. I travelled to primary school all the time by car. I was an only sibling until the age of nine so me and my sister were never in the one school, so it was always only myself going.

The fact through primary school I was in a domestic abuse home, I loved going to school more than most children would have, school was my safe place not home. I really took the journey of school as a positive one and grateful I got the opportunity to go to school because some people are never that lucky. I had my few friends in school, and we used to, at the end of the day, walk from the school down to the church in our village in our friend groups.

Latisha as a child

The year in primary school that I liked the most was second class, the year of my communion. It was something very important to me. I enjoyed the preparation and the extra prayers we learnt and how close we felt as a class that year, it seemed to have brought us all together. I remember before our communion, our priest had the communion class and our parents and guardian’s over one of the nights in the priest house, and he talked to the adults. Us children spent the evening together in the other room messing and joking and it is one of my favourite memories from primary school.

I also remember fondly our sixth-class party too, we had the P.E hall to ourselves and takeaway before the end of the day. It was nice to have a day all together for one last time before we moved on to secondary school where some of us would no longer stay in contact. I spent my first three years of secondary school going by car, my younger sister Tulisha getting dropped at my old primary school first and then myself being dropped to my secondary school.

In Transition year, then, I got the school bus, I didn’t mind the morning but hated the way home as I was on the bus for over an hour, and I get travel sickness very easily. During my time in secondary school, I had a lot of personal problems throughout, and that in some way had a damper on my years when I think back. After I was no longer in a domestic abuse home after second year, home felt safe again, so I looked forward to my school holidays for the very first time which was a weird feeling at first. I battled with my mental health through secondary school for personal reasons so I was grateful to have a very good relationship with some of my teachers, Ms. Redmond and Ms. Padden in particular, and I could talk to them about things.

Latisha has become an avid campaigner for many worthy causes, winning numerous awards along the way.

I was really busy during secondary school, and some of my best memories come from the extra circular activities I took part in, for example my BT Young Scientist Journey, my climate ambassador journey, and Gaisce Journey. I got to make extra special bonds with my teachers and meet such amazing people, while having success along the way.

I’ve a couple of friends gained from my school journey that I really appreciate having in my life. I was sad to leave secondary school but was happy to move on to bigger and better things in college. From my principal in primary school, Mrs.Kerrane, to Ms. Redmond in my first secondary school, to Mr. Walshe and all the rest of the school body in my finishing secondary school, Saint Brendan’s – they made my school journey a memorable one.

Hello, my name is Latisha McCrudden, and I am nineteen years of age. Currently I have just started my first year in University of Galway studying Law. I am a first dan black belt in karate, and have won multiple awards in the last few years including the National Traveller Pride Education Award and the National Garda Youth Awards. I have very much become an activist in the last few years focusing in on areas that I am passionate about. I am currently involved in a wide range of national bodies and organisations including the Irish Traveller Movement Youth Forum, Minceirs Weiden Youth Forum, National Women’s Council of Ireland, National Youth Assembly of Ireland, Spunout, and a National CERV project which is looking at the impact of Covid 19 on children across the country. In college now, I have become the first-year representative on the law society, president of the politics society, vice president of the Minceirs Weiden society and class representative on the student’s union. Along with studying to get my law degree to become a solicitor I also have my eyes firmly set on the 2028 election where Latisha McCrudden will bring forth a path of change.

On behalf of the Museum of Childhood Ireland and Robert Burns, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of our wonderful participants for their time and their stories. We are thrilled to be presenting this project and we hope you will enjoy following along with us.

Have a story on this topic and want to get involved? Contact us on our social media sites, or email us at cbrowne@museumofchildhood.ie – we would love to hear from you!

By Chloe Browne

Chloe Browne is an Irish writer, curator and Art Historian, with a keen interest in objects and social history.