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50 racist incidents reported in 10 weeks to Immigrant Council

The Immigrant Council of Ireland said that the incidents have all been reported to it since the launch of a major awareness campaign.

THE IMMIGRANT COUNCIL of Ireland has said that 50 serious racist incidents were reported to in the 10 weeks since the launch of a major awareness campaign.

It has released preliminary figures today, drawing them from both email and telephone contacts with the Council. It says the figures “confirm that racism can take many forms and is taking place in a whole range of locations”.

The initial findings show that the main types of racism are:

  • Various acts of discrimination: 21 cases or 42 per cent of reports
  • Verbal harassment: 19 cases or 38 per cent of reports
  • Property damage: 9 cases or 18 per cent of reports

The main places where people are experiencing racism are:

  • Accessing government, community and customer services: 14 cases or 28 per cent
  • On the internet: 9 cases or 18 per cent
  • At work: 9 cases or 18 per cent

The people coming forward are from a variety of backgrounds:

  • African: 21 cases or 42 per cent
  • Asian-Irish: 6 cases or 12 per cent
  • African-Irish: 3 cases or 6 per cent

Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said that in the summer they will provide a more detailed analysis, but that “we should be concerned firstly at the level of reports currently being received”.

We are responding to an average of five serious incidents a week, while the figure for 2012 was an average of one a week. At first glance this can appear alarming but it is also a sign that barriers which previously prevented people from coming forward are being overcome.

Previous research by the Immigrant Council showed that people are often reluctant to report racism for a variety of reasons. These include a fear of being perceived as being a trouble maker, concerns about implications for their status in Ireland and a distrust in the police as a result of past experience in their home country.

Charlton said the council will carry out a more detailed analysis of the figures and “produce findings to contribute to the national discussion on racism”.

The Immigrant Council is asking anyone who sees or experiences racism to contact them at stopracism@immigrantcouncil.ie

Last week, groups working with minorities due to meet with Oireachtas members said that racism in Ireland is rising, but the Government is doing little to combat it.

Shane O’Curry, director of the European Network Against Racism Ireland (ENAR Ireland), described the situation as at “crisis point”, saying that his organisation had seen an “alarming increase” in reports of racism

Read: Racism rising at an ‘alarming rate’ in Ireland>

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