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Casual racism an everyday reality for migrant workers in Ireland

THE Immigrant Council of Ireland has said that racism is "an everyday fact of life" for migrants in this country.

Foreigners who have come to live in Ireland have reported encountering such abuse to the Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) which today called on the public to do more by challenge such behaviour when they witness it.

The accounts of migrants has emerged as the Council unveiled a major report - 'Taking Racism Seriously: Migrants' Experiences of Violence, Harassment and Anti-Social Behaviour in the Dublin Area'.

The research involved focusing on migrant workers at Dublin Bus, Luas, the Gardai and the Integration Office of Dublin City Council in producing the research report.

The probe involved holding focus groups among people who had come to work here within the last six to 10 years, many of whom had become naturalised Irish citizens. These included African bus-drivers, Luas revenue protection officers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds; and Asian healthcare workers.

An overwhelming number of those interviewed said they had encountered racism during their working time - some of this was on a daily basis.

The anti-soical behaviour included assault in some instances which resulted in victims having to leave their homes.

ICI's Chief Executive Denise Charlton emphasised that one of the most striking aspects of the study was the fact that those who participated believed that there was more prevalent instances of racism than in previous countries they had lived in. These included Britain, Holland and Sweden.

Speaking on Morning Ireland today, Mr Philip Donogue of Dublin Bus said the company had had complaints from staff but it wasn't a daily occurrence.

"That could be because people were reluctant to report all the instances of such behaviour," he explained.

He stressed that Dublin Bus was very proactive in dealing with such anti-social and racist incidents among its workforce which was now drawn from over 60 different nationalities.. He said he would appeal to staff and users of Dublin Bus to help the company in dealing with such issues.

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