Irish Network Against Racism logs record high in racist incidents and assaults
This item has expired, and will soon be unavailable for viewing
The Irish Network Against Racism (INAR) launched the report of its 2020 findings from the iReport.ie racist incident reporting system. With the total number of incidents reaching 700 (there were 530 in 2019), the system also recorded 159 Criminal incidents, a record 51 racist assaults and a record 334 hate speech incidents.
Oein De Bhairduin, author, Traveller activist and member of the INAR Board said: “Contrary to what we might expect, the Pandemic and associated lockdowns did not result in a quieter time for minorities in Ireland. In fact, the situation worsened for minorities, both in terms of the absolute number of online and on-the-street hate incidents, and in terms of the disproportional impacts of Covid on almost all minority groups. It’s been a bad year for everyone” he said ”and racism and hate crime have made it an even worse one for all minorities.”
Dr Lucy Michael, Research Lead at INAR and author of the report said: “The report findings are also disappointing in what they tell us about our institutions and how they respond to minorities. Minorities making complaints about repeat harassment have told us about more instances of inappropriate responses from Gardai than before” she said “we’ve also sadly logged an increase in instances of racial profiling by Gardai.”
“What all minorities need in order to be able to live as equals” said de Bhairduin ”is for our government and institutions to bring their weight to tackle racism and discrimination, and the conditions which foster racist and discrimination. We have the promise of Hate Crime legislation this year, and that is welcome. We also need measures to tackle hate speech in the online environment.” He said “and we also need to climb the steep slopes of our institutions if we are to tackle institutional racism and the systemic racism it enables. Last year, the UN CERD Concluding Observations for Ireland, included recommendations for outlawing racial profiling, as well as for a National Action Plan Against Racism (NAPAR). This requires taking bold measures for eliminating structural, institutional and cultural racism in all areas of life. For us to be able to make these aspirations real, we need focus, ample resourcing and real leadership from our government, and we need it now”