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Úna-Minh Kavanagh

Young woman racially abused and spat on in Dublin city centre

Úna-Minh Kavanagh had to rub spit out of her hair after an attack on Parnell Street in Dublin yesterday evening.

A KERRY WOMAN, who has Vietnamese heritage, has told how she was racially abused and spat on in Dublin city centre yesterday afternoon.

Úna-Minh Kavanagh was waiting for a friend outside a hotel on Parnell Street yesterday evening when she noticed a group of about seven teenagers walking towards her and yelling.

As they passed her one of them shouted: “And you’re a f***ing chink”. Then one of the youths grabbed her face, shook it and spat on her.

“He spat in my hair, it was just incredibly degrading. The whole incident lasted a couple of seconds, less than ten seconds,” she told today, saying she was left “disgusted” by the whole incident.

Kavanagh’s story came to light after she blogged about it yesterday evening, writing: “I gathered my thoughts and posted my outrage and I reported it to the Gardaí. It was horrible and terrifying but I am not a coward.”

The 21-year-old journalism graduate and gaeilgeoir says she is subjected to verbal attacks “pretty much on a weekly basis” but said this was the first time she had been on the receiving end of a physical attack.

Kavanagh’s decision to blog about the incident saw a huge pick up on Twitter with prolific tweeter and comedy writer Graham Linehan highlighting the incident to his nearly 300,000 followers:

“Twitter has been absolutely amazing,” Kavanagh said. “They actually got me through it because I was feeling a bit depressed about the whole thing. I am so grateful for the support, it’s fantastic.”

Kavanagh said she has experienced abuse because of her background for her entire life and would like  this incident to give her an opportunity to speak to young people from a background similar to hers to encourage them to report racist abuse.

She confirmed she has spoken to gardaí at Store Street in Dublin in relation to the incident.

Read: Úna-Minh Kavanagh’s blog post in full

Read: Swedish riots ‘should serve as a wake-up call’ for Ireland

More: Spar investigates alleged homophobic incident at Dame Street store

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