Irish Travellers (note British spelling of "traveler") is a broad term used to describe groups of nomadic Irish people. They are a kind of Gaelic gypsy and sometimes confused with gypsies. Their origin dates back to the time of Oliver Cromwell and the Battle of the Boyne (1690). Irish people pushed off their land began a nomadic life. Many immigrated to America to escape the Irish potato famine.

They traveled from town to town in their distinctive barrel-shaped horse-drawn mobile homes. They maintained their livelihood performing Irish songs and dances for locals as well as performing metalwork for farmers. Because of their metalwork, Irish Travellers were also called for a time "tinkers". Much like gypsies they also garnered a reputation for being tramps and thieves. (Just try to get that Cher song outta your mind now, sucka!)

In America, Irish Travellers preserved their culture (and their extraneous l) by not only moving together in close knit groups, but speaking their own language called "shelta". Because of the great cloud of suspicion Irish Travellers are constantly under, many often refer to shelta as being a "secret language". Irish Travellers usually refer to their shelta language by the names "cant" or "gammon". Shelta is more of an academic classification. Also, Irish Travellers collectively call themselves "the pavee".

Irish Travellers have bred a horse called the Irish Cob Horse. They needed a horse that was strong to pull their mobile homes. However, the horse also had to be very docile as Irish Travellers tended to have large numbers of children (sprogs) and needed a breed that would tolerate their antics. The Irish Cob Horse is an offshoot of the Clydesdale.

Much like gypsies on the continent, Irish Travellers face a great deal of discrimination in their homeland of Ireland.

There are an estimated 25,000 Irish Travellers today in Ireland and about 7,000 in the USA.