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Monday 24 October 2016

'It is sad they want us to die' - Brazil's media highlights violence against Brazilians living in Ireland

David Kearns

Published 07/10/2015 | 18:22

21-year-old student Bruno Omena almost lost the sight in his eye after a gang of ten attacked him Credit: Bruno Omena (UOL)
21-year-old student Bruno Omena almost lost the sight in his eye after a gang of ten attacked him Credit: Bruno Omena (UOL)

“When I fell on the ground, they kicked my head… I had only just met them and they began cursing at me from being Brazilian,” that is how 23-year-old student Maria Guimarães remembers the violence he suffered in Dublin’s busy city centre.

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Like Maria, many other Brazilians claim to have suffered prejudice and intimidation in this country.

Bruno Omena (21) was working and studying in Dublin when almost lost an eye after he was set on by a gang of ten.

"Here in Dublin I work carrying tourists through the city on a bicycle. One night, a group of ten Irish men began throwing stuff at me, one of them managed to strike my eye.

“Luckily, the damage was minor. I guess that's what you get for relocate to another country," he said.

Read More: Three physical assaults, spiralling rents and high cost of living - why Sandra is quitting Dublin to return home

Both students were speaking to Universo Online, the world’s largest Portuguese speaking news website.

With more than 11,000 Brazilians living in Ireland, the group makes up more than 12 pc of the visa applications each year.

UOL claims many instances of violence and abuse against Brazilians living in Ireland are not being reported.

It cites a number of students and workers living here, saying that last year there was more than 500 incidents involving “xenophobia and racism” against Brazilians.

“These numbers are much lower than those recorded by the independent institution ENAR (European Network Against Racism) which collects complaints by,” the site says.

Read More: Man in critical condition after one punch assault videoed by passers-by in Dublin's Temple Bar

"I went to a place looking for parts for my bike. The store’s owner, an Irish man, said they did not have the product but told me the address of another place where I could get them,” said commercial supervisor Roberto da Silva (26), who works in Dublin and has lived in Ireland for a number of years.

“When I got there, it was a cemetery. Then I realised that was what they were laughing at when the boy entered the address on my phone. It is sad to think that deep down they want us to die.”

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