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I have been spat at and abused -- 'demoralising' is putting it mildly

IT is a problem that Rajgne Sharma is encountering all too frequently.

After seven years working on the Luas she says both racist abuse and attacks are on the rise.

"There have been minor assaults as well. A push out of the way, you could be spat at," she says. All of this as she simply goes about her job checking tickets.

"It is increasing more and more, people are getting more and more angry. It can leave you upset and angry and frustrated.

"I'm reared in England, so culture integration or colour integration was never really a subject that was around. I was brought up with white people, coloured people, Chinese people and Indian people."

Ms Rajgne, who is in her early 30s, recently encountered racial abuse three times in the space of a few hours as she checked a tram.

"By the end of my shift I had been spat on. Even to use the word, demoralising, is mild really," she said.

It is a more frequent problem for non-nationals, she said.

"In another 20 years I think Ireland might be where England is now . . . people might see beyond colour, race and creed. The state of the economy has only delayed things now really. It is something that was in progress.

"It is a small percentage of people. It is not always the same ones. Sometimes it is not always those with little education or who have abused alcohol."

Irish Independent