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44 cases of racism and discrimination were reported in the first two months of the year

Over half of the reports have been classed as ‘serious criminal offences’.

Image: Discrimination via Shutterstock

THERE HAS BEEN a spike in the number of reported incidents of racism in the first two months of the year.

The figures, released by the Immigrant Council of Ireland, show that 44 people reported racism or discrimination in January and February this year, compared with just five in the same time-frame last year.

More than a quarter of cases involve the targeting of people in their homes or local community and over half have been classed as ‘serious criminal offences’.

Denise Charlton, chief executive of the Immigrant Council said the figures again show that there can be no complacency when it comes to racism and every opportunity should be used to assure victims that they have nothing to fear in coming forward.

““It is clear that racism is a reality which individuals and families are facing on a daily basis in Ireland. We have long suspected that official statistics were not giving an accurate picture of what is happening in our communities and the these figures confirm that.

“The increase of over 800% in reported cases when compared with the same two months last year follows extensive awareness campaigns by the Immigrant Council of Ireland on public transport, social media and on the airwaves.”

Charlton says that the idea that there are racist attacks in this day and age was ‘unacceptable’.

“55% of the cases we respond to fall into the category ‘serious criminal offence’. It is completely unacceptable that in Ireland 2014 people are lying awake in their beds fearing a noise in their back garden, that their home will be daubed with graffiti or that there will be a brick through their window.”

Read: Immigrant Council highlight GAA’s stance on racism as ‘an example to all’

Read: Calling someone a ‘foreign pig’ is not racist (according to Swiss law)

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