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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 17:49 GMT 18:49 UK
Glamour bunch tackle stereotypes
The women are aged between 17 and 24
The women are aged between 17 and 24
An attempt to break down prejudices against Travellers is being made with the publication of a new calendar.

A competition was launched across Ireland to find 12 young glamorous women aged 17 to 24 to promote a more positive image of the community.

The group have been posing for the calendar - entitled Beauty has no Boundaries - with the help of some of Ireland's top stylists.

The initiative was sponsored by the Voice of the Traveller magazine.

It was launched at the National Association of Travellers' Centres Conference in Maynooth, County Kildare.

Irish President Mary McAleese told those at the event Travellers had faced many obstacles, but that this was changing.

"Two decades ago, virtually no Traveller children transferred from national school to second level. It was unheard of for Traveller young people to go on to college or university," she said.

"That story is no longer true and today the genius of young Travellers is revealing itself in many different ways.

"But there is still a very long road to travel before the remarkable opportunities Ireland has on offer today are fully accessed and used by the Traveller community."

Sinead Burke, editor of Voice of the Traveller magazine, said: "We hope this calendar challenges the public perception of Travellers.

"These girls represent a new generation of Travellers who share the same aspirations as all young Irish people."

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