Racism in Ireland on the increase according to new report

Anti-racism group ENAR Ireland have published a new report which claims reporting of racist incidents rose by almost a third in the second half of last year.

Today is International Day against Racism and sees the launch of the latest 6 months report from ENAR Ireland (European Network Against Racism Ireland) which “represents a much higher level of reporting than the previous six-month period, and a significantly higher level than all previously recorded periods” according to report author Dr. Lucy Michael of Ulster University.

The report charts increased levels of racist criminal offences including violence, and threats to kill or cause serious injury.

The report also addresses the impacts on victims and the response from the criminal justice system in Ireland.

The report was made by Dr Michael from the information on racist incidents submitted to the iReport.ie racist incident reporting website.

The data reveals the highest levels yet of racist incident reporting, up to 246 from 190 for the previous period, with at least 155 of these being in the category of criminal offences.

At the same time, Dr Michael’s study shows continuing low levels of confidence in An Garda Síochana among victims.

“The high number of reports that indicate that the incidents are part of an ongoing pattern of racism, particularly those which have escalated to violence over a period of time, demonstrate that Garda efforts to tackle racism before it escalates needs to improve” she said.

The report also shows that half of the victims are Irish citizens, demonstrating the intergenerational and embedded nature of racism against minorities in Ireland.

The analysis also provides insights into the extent and impacts of racism on minorities and the wider community in Ireland.

Director of ENAR Ireland Shane O Curry said:

“When racist violence and dehumanising attitudes against minorities are not treated seriously, hate speech from overseas finds fertile ground in Ireland,

“In terms of our EU and international obligations, Ireland is delinquent in not having hate crime legislation, we need to address this urgently.

“International best practice tells us we also need a coherent vision and strategy in the form of a National Action Plan Against Racism.

“We call on legislators to provide leadership in shaping the kind of policies which can allow us to live in a Republic that cherishes us all equally.”