Meet the Tinsmiths – James Collins and Tom McDonnell
James Collins and Tom McDonnell are two of the last remaining Traveller Tinsmiths in Ireland. Now retired and both based in Finglas, James and Tom have returned to the tradition of handcrafting household objects such as jugs, pails and ponchers, adapting their skills to more modern designs.
Originally from Edenderry, Co. Offaly, James grew up watching his late father, Michael, make tin items that were sold or swapped for food. Similarly, Tom McDonnell, originally from Kells, Co Meath, inherited this highly mobile craft from his father, as his family travelled the midlands. Both men are now aged 71 and the keepers of this craft.
Filmed by Barry Lynch.