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Racism reporting website sees reports "flood in"

iReport.ie has seen 60 reports detailing racism in less than one month, said ENAR Ireland.

Jason Sherlock and Tara Flynn at the launch of iReport.ie
Jason Sherlock and Tara Flynn at the launch of iReport.ie
Image: Enar Ireland via Facebook

AN ONLINE SYSTEM for reporting racism in Ireland has logged 60 reports in less than a month.

The site, iReport.ie, is an online racist incident recording system, said anti-racist organisation ENAR Ireland.

Shane O’Curry, director of ENAR Ireland, said that this “is a significantly higher rate than our previous recording system, and a much higher rate than An Garda Siochána, who recorded just 19 incidents in the first three months of 2013”.

O’Curry said that the reports received by iReport.ie show that migrants and minority ethnic groups, including Travellers, “are being subjected to worrying levels of racism and discrimination”.

People are reporting all kinds of racism, from subtle forms of discrimination to concerted social exclusion, from shouting and name calling in the street to intimidation, spitting, sexual harassment and organised violent assault with weapons. But these are being perpetrated by a minority, and although there have been some high profile cases of public figures expressing racist sentiments, the majority of the public in Ireland reject racism.

He said that this anti-racist sentiment is reflected in the fact that almost half of the reports were logged by witnesses, a majority of whom were unrelated to the people targeted.

O’Curry described one report, where a woman who had gone out for a pub meal with her husband said they had been told to pick any of the empty booths they liked. She said a Traveller family with young children who took their own booth just afterwards “were asked to leave by a manager, who claimed that the booths had been reserved for a party”.

The Traveller family challenged the manager on this and left after protesting. The woman and her husband then offered to vacate their booth if, as the manager said, the area had been reserved for a party, only to be reassured by an embarrassed waitress that they didn’t need to.

The settled woman and her husband cancelled their order and left as well.

Findings

Other findings from the first four weeks include:

  • In 46 per cent of the incidents recorded, women and girls were the targets of racism.
  • A quarter of the incidents recorded racism against people who are black.
  • In 20 per cent of the incidents recorded, children under 14 were targets.
  • Out of the five reports of racism against Muslim women, all five were targeted because of their veil.
  • In one case a group of Muslim men wearing their prayer hats were attacked by a gang of men with sticks.
  • 49 per cent of the reports were made by witnesses or third parties.
  • 68 per cent of these were made by people who were unrelated in any way to the target(s).
  • 89 per cent of the reports recorded interpersonal, rather than institutional racism.

“It is a good thing that so many Irish people take racism seriously,” concluded O’Curry.

In one case an Irish family were horrified when their visiting relatives and other tourists were racially abused in a restaurant, so they reported the incident to iReport.ie.

iReport.ie is the work of Enar Ireland, which is a network of over 30 organisations working against racism in the country. The information that it collects will be used to understand the frequency and type of racist incidents that occur in Ireland, with the aim of devising strategies to tackle the problem.

Read: Jason Sherlock helps launch new anti-racism initiative>

Read: 50 racist incidents reported in 10 weeks to Immigrant Council>

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

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