Until the late 1950s, Irish Travellers lived primarily in rural areas and travelled within relatively confined areas. With the urbanisation of the last quarter century, their traditional sources of income have dried up and they have had to adjust to very different circumstances. Emigration, whether temporary or permament, to Britain was one means oof adaptation. Plentiful opportunities for unskilled labour and generous welfare benefits were the main attraction. More recently, however, Ireland has become more attractive; in particular, Irish welfare benefits are now almost on a par with those in Britain.
George Gmelch, Sharon Bohn Gmelch, 'The cross-channel migration of Irish travelers', Economic and Social Review, Vol.16, No. 4, 1985, 1985, pp287-296.