Thursday 29 June 2017

'Irish are extremely racist' - Indian media cover xenophobic incident on Irish train

The incident was filmed on a train from Limerick to Limerick Junction
The incident was filmed on a train from Limerick to Limerick Junction
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A number of international reports on an incident of racism on an Irish train have sparked outrage among Indian social media users.

A series of videos recording an Irish woman's racist rant on a Limerick train is under investigation by the Gardaí.

In the videos, which were first reported by Independent.ie, a woman can be seen and heard making expletive-ridden comments towards fellow passengers.

According to the Twitter user 'TheBexWAY, who filmed the videos, the woman was reacting angrily to another passenger having a bag on a seat.

"F**k off back to India. Don't give me your guff, you f**king cheeky p***k.

"Respect my f**king country and get your bag off the seat."

Since then, a number of Indian publications and television stations have reported the incident, which has been viewed thousands of times online.

Readers of the Hindustan Times, which has a Facebook following of more than five million people, reacted angrily to the video.

"Irish are extremely racist," one commenter with the username 'FedUp' wrote under the article.

User 'BhattCK' wrote: "after this brazen display of racist behaviour from an Irish lady, which stems from a misplaced self-belief that theirs is a superior race, it is high time Indians realize that this country called India is much more beautiful than those so called Western countries.

"Our brains should focus on developing their own country rather than going overseas to earn peanuts and face racist slurs."

'Proud Bhakt' said Taoiseach Enda Kenny should immediately apologise to all Indians, while another advocated that racism against Irish people should be doubled.

Read more: 'F**k off back to India' - Irish woman's racist abuse caught on camera on Limerick train

The Indian Express, which has more than six million Facebook followers, also attracted colourful comments from its readers.

"I'm living in abroad since last [sic] five years and these kind of racist remarks and incidents against Indians are quite rampant," one commenter wrote, while another said the whole world is becoming "unsafe and aggressive".

Commenting on a story shared by NDTV, which has more than 9 million Facebook followers, one commenter gave some advice to the victims of this assault.

"Tell her that you cant afford to live in India and Ireland is the most affordable place you have found and the Irish Government has welcomed you joyously."

"One should not generalise or be stereotypical, but Irish people generally are very warm, hospitable and courteous," another wrote.

Not all comments were as understanding, with another commenter saying: "Rightly called the dirty Irish by the British. They deserve that name."

According to the Twitter user who first shared the video, the passengers left their seats after 16 minutes of verbal abuse.

"You don't really get the full effect of what happened from the video. She was literally sitting beside them, screaming bloody murder in their faces. It went on for almost the whole train ride," she said.

"I didn't feel safe. If that turned into a fist fight, there would have been nobody there to help us."

 A spokesman for Irish Rail told Independent.ie that behaviour like this will not be tolerated on their service.

"People should be able to travel on our services without abuse of any kind," he said.

"The footage is very clear and very shocking and we welcome the fact that another member of the public was able to assist in identifying the person involved."

Footage like this highlights the need for effective hate crime laws, according to Immigration Council of Ireland CEO Brian Killoran.

"It is harrowing watching this footage of people being aggressively abused because of their ethnic identity," he said.

"Every year the Immigrant Council of Ireland runs a campaign alongside Transport for Ireland encouraging victims and witnesses of racism on public transport to report all incidents. Sadly we know from this experience racial abuse on public transport is an issue, with victims often being transport staff themselves."

In March, a study issued by the European Network against Racism Ireland (ENAR Ireland) found that there was an alarming growth in the number of racism incidents being reported over the last six months.

A total of 245 reports were made in that time frame, which is an increase of 55 in the previous period.

Victims of racist abuse can make a confidential report by visiting ireport.ie.

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