Ireland is a country of racists - at least the Irish think that's true
THE IRISH are racist that is what we believe ourselves, according to a Sunday Independent/IMS nationwide poll.
More than 51 per cent of people polled said that they had had first-hand experience of racism in their everyday lives.
"I find that surprising," said the Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Willie O'Dea TD.
"I don't detect overt racism in my own community. You meet people who are racist, but it is not a general feeling."
The poll conducted nationwide by Irish Marketing Surveys for the Sunday Independent asked respondents: "From your own knowledge and experience of attitudes held by Irish people, would you regard Ireland as a racist society or not?"
In response, 51 per cent answered, "Yes, Ireland is racist"; 44 per cent said, "No, it isn't"; and 5 per cent did not have an opinion. Ireland is facing a huge new influx of refugees and migrant workers, with a new Fás/ERSI report indicating that the growth rate of the Irish economy means that up to 78,000 workers will be needed each year until 2005 and a large proportion of semi-skilled and unskilled jobs will be filled by immigrants.
But there won't be an Irish welcome for many of them, according to the poll commissioned by the Sunday Independent. @@STYL cf,plabx
The findings of the poll indicate that a large majority of those between the ages of 25 and 34 believe in Irish racism, with 60 per cent believing that it is an Irish trait.
The poll also found that people in Dublin have a greater belief that we are racist than those in other parts of the country.
Amnesty International has launched a high-profile campaign to draw attention to racism in Ireland, and former GAA President Joe McDonagh is spearheading a special campaign that is aimed at promoting anti-racism projects in the community.