Travellers suffer racism more than other groups

Published 16/08/2014 | 00:00

Deo Ladislas Ndakengerwa Coordinator of Racist Incident Referral and Support Service.

Members of the Travelling community suffer more racism and discrimination in Sligo than another other group.

That's according to a new report which recorded some 112 racist and sectarian incidents in Sligo over the past year.

Deo Ladislas Ndakengerwa, pictured, Coordinator of the Racist Incident Referral and Support Service said: "These figures are very high for a County like Sligo and are a cause for real concern.

"Considering this service is still new and mindful of experiences elsewhere, we fear there is considerable underreporting so the number of incidents could be even greater."

The Sligo Intercultural Forum welcomed the report.

Nike Ogun, chairperson said: ''In this day and age there is no justification whatsoever to discriminate against people because of their physical or cultural beliefs.

"Sligo is now a diverse society and everyone should respect and embrace that.''

The Racist Incident Referral and Support Service has just published its annual report which recorded incidents from June 2013 to July 2014.

The majority of the 112 cases, 68 were perpetrated against members of the Traveller community.

The incidents ranged from verbal racial abuse, discriminatory racist treatment by private and statutory service providers.

They also included threats made in the street and residential areas along with pushing and spitting.

Racial harassment was the most common cause of complaint followed by denial or differential access to services and lesser treatment.

After the Travelling community those who suffered racism and discrimination were black people or those with Arabic and Asian origins.

The Racist Incident Referral and Support Service is based in Sligo Family Resource Centre, 49 The Mall, Sligo.

People can report racist incidents in person or via online at:

Sligo Champion

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