Archbishopurges firm opposition to racial aggression
The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin has urged the people of Ireland to firmly reject all "incidents of racial aggression".
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said he was "very concerned" by recent incidents including the daubing of anti-Semitic graffiti on the walls of the former Anglo Irish Bank building on North Wall Quay.
Elsewhere in the city, a number of racist posters were put up outside the Immigrant Council of Ireland's office on St Andrew Street.
"I wouldn't want to say we have become a racist nation," the archbishop said, but he added: "Experience in the past shows that if a racial dimension enters into anti-social behaviour, it is a warning sign that this has to be taken seriously."
He warned that the posters and graffiti incidents could "develop very quickly into an attitude. People in a negative economic climate can be exploited very quickly," he said.
His comments echo those of Justice Minister Alan Shatter, who said there was "no room for racism in Irish society". Speaking to the Irish Independent, Archbishop Martin also commented on the decline in community spirit.
He said that where local communities worked, there was better care for the elderly and less likelihood of anti-social behaviour which could become racist. "We have to rediscover our sense of community. I believe it is in Irish people."
He said that caring communities were "particularly important for the older population".