herald

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Racist abuse is driving me out of Ireland - doctor

A PAKISTANI doctor recruited by the HSE says he is considering leaving Ireland after suffering racist abuse in a nightclub.

Dr Syed Kamran Haider Bukhari has spoken out about his hurt and distress after being kicked and punched in a nightclub by a female reveller who later branded him a 'n*****'.

Dr Bukhari -- one of 100 doctors recruited to Ireland by the HSE -- told the Herald that the incident has caused him to reconsider whether he will remain in Ireland.

"I love this country. I work extremely hard and I have made so many friends and have had so many good experiences here.

"But this is not the first time I have been subject to racism. Somebody has to stand up and stay 'stop'," he said.

"I don't know if I want to remain here any longer.

"I was going to bring my two daughters and wife over from Pakistan but why would I want to have them living among racism?



Suffered

"I don't want them subjected to the type of attitudes and attacks that I've suffered from," he added.

The 32-year-old junior doctor works in Drogheda for the Louth-Meath Mental Health Services.

He said that he was out socialising with friends on Monday night when he was assaulted by a young female.

"A young girl who was clearly drunk approached me on the dance floor before shouting nasty names at me. She punched and slapped me but she was taken away by her friends who apologised.

"But then she came back. She was shouting racial expressions at me before punching and kicking me. I couldn't defend myself, it's not in my nature to [retaliate].

"I just took the abuse but I couldn't believe the reaction of the nightclub."

Dr Bukhari told the Herald that when he approached the night club staff they "laughed at me and made fun of me because I'm a psychiatric worker".

He said he has spoken to local gardai and that he intends to make a formal complaint.

"I'm extremely upset to be honest. I've given every ounce of my energy to my job where I work with children and adolescents.

"The words used to describe me were nothing short of racism and I feel it is a really major problem in Ireland.

"But I am more upset at the response of the authorities and the night club itself. They are supposed to protect people.

"I don't want to make myself out as a victim but I do want to highlight that racism is at large here."

Attempts to contact the night club were unsuccessful this morning.

Dr Bukhari added that the incident has led him to question whether he will remain in Ireland after his contract with the HSE expires in 2013.

"I don't know if I will stay in Ireland after my contract expires," he said.

He added: "I certainly won't bring my family over now."

hnews@herald.ie

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