Concerning Rise in Racial Discrimination in Ireland

Protest in East Wall, Dublin

By Suhasini Srinivasaragavan

The Irish Network Against Racism (INAR) recorded 404 reports of racial discrimination in Ireland in 2021 via their portal

Their findings reveal that racial crimes are severely underreported, with over 75% of incidents have gone unreported in 2021. A source close to the report says that 1 in 6 persons in Ireland could have faced racial discrimination to a degree.

“When I was pregnant in 2000, a man approached me outside the GPO and told me not to bring another N*g*er into the country…I was so afraid I hid my pregnancy,” says Dr Salome Mbugua, the CEO of AkiDwA, the only NGO in Ireland working towards the rights of migrant women in Ireland.

Dr Mbugua says she started the organisation after hearing about similar experiences from migrant women in Ireland.

Worsening Trend

Ireland introduced the National Action Plan Against Racism in 2003 to provide a framework to tackle racism. However, the program was shut down in 2009 after the financial crash. 

“I wouldn’t say racism didn’t exist, but it was not as bad as it is now,” says Dr Mbugua as she recounts protests near her office in East Wall in recent weeks. She maintains that the Irish government has not taken a stronger step in tackling racial discrimination since the closing down of NAPAR in 2009.

“We have received calls from desperate women who are afraid that their hostels will be banned”, she adds. 

The INAR report says that Chinese and other Asian groups were targeted the most, following a similar pattern since the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst the largest share of reports was received from people with Black backgrounds.

Fear of movement 

“Parents fear for the safety of their children… young people are afraid of getting on buses and the Laus…there is now a fear of movement…it’s not just refugees, it is anyone who looks different.”, says Dr Mbugua.

Areas surrounding East Wall show signs of damage to shops and hostels. Several Chinese restaurants in Parnell street, Dublin, had broken windows. Many shop owners and passersby hesitated to speak to the press.  

However, the fear is not shared equally by all migrants. “I have been here for five months, and so far it has been good”, says a Brazilian immigrant.

“I haven’t felt any issues. Things are great for me here,” says a white Italian man. 

1 thought on “Concerning Rise in Racial Discrimination in Ireland

  1. May be the racial discrimination is more towards black people and to a lesser extent towards Aisans. Europe is a white man’s world. People forget that Earth is a common home to entire humanity; flora and fauna.

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