herald

Wednesday 21 August 2019

Number of racist incidents soars by 114pc in a year

STARTLING figures have been released showing a 114pc 
increase in the number of 
incidents of racism reported in the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2013.

During the first half of the year the Immigrant Council of Ireland website was informed of 137 cases of racism - an 
increase from 64 in 2013.

VIOLENCE

Most incidents were reported at work or in the home, with verbal abuse the most common form, but almost one in 10 cases involved physical violence.

Denise Charlton, Chief 
Executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said: "The figures we have confirmed for the first six months of the year, while again very worrying, do show victims are feeling more confident in coming forward."

"It is important we send out the message that in Ireland there is no acceptable level of racism," she added. In the wake of these latest figures, the body is asking the Government to launch a new National Action Plan to combat racism and 
introduce a 24/7 online 
reporting hotline, similar to that operated by the PSNI.

In recent months The Herald has highlighted a concerning rise in the number of racist attacks in Dublin.

RALLY

Anti-racism activists organised a rally nine days ago as a show of consolidation with a foreign taxi driver whose home was attacked.

Happy Agamah, a 
German citizen, was asleep in his ground-floor apartment in Ballyboden, south Dublin, when thugs set fire to a fuel-soaked mattress and smashed his bedroom window. A shed outside his window caught fire and was destroyed in the blaze.

As a result of the terrifying incident, Mr Agamah is 
planning to leave Ireland.

The report by the Immigrant Council of Ireland coincided with the launch of the Towards an Inclusive Public Transport Service in Ireland document. It aims to ensure passengers and staff can travel on Dublin Bus, Irish Rail and Luas free from the fear of racist intimidation.

Speaking at the launch, Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke said any form of discrimination is unacceptable. "Migration is our future, diversity advantage is vital to the success of our city and its development," he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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