'Most racist incidents here are unrecorded'
RACIST incidents in Ireland are far more common than official figures suggest, campaigners have claimed.
The Integration Centre – a body which promotes the inclusion of immigrants – said that figures on reported racist incidents here are low only because the majority go unrecorded.
The centre cited the example of 142 racist incidents being recorded in official garda figures from 2011.
It set out to show that the system for reporting racism is unable to accurately capture the number of incidents and therefore prevents the correct monitoring of the situation.
They said that published figures from the gardai only cover incidents that ended with criminal conviction.
In the UK even if a racist incident is not deemed a crime or offence, it is still recorded.
The figures for the UK and Ireland reported racism incidents show a staggering difference because of this.
The UK and Wales had 47,678 reported incidents of racism from 2011-2012 compared with just 97 in the same time frame in Ireland.
The Integration Centre report said that if figures do not reflect accurately the number of racist incidents in Ireland, they will continue to occur.
They also said that in Ireland racism is not considered as an aggravating factor in sentencing, so when someone commits a racially motivated offence it isn't treated any differently to a regular offence.
The centre's report shows that the legislation in Ireland for reporting racist incidents has not been updated in over 23 years.
The Integration Centre surveyed 150 victims of racism in Ireland in 2012 to discover that only 13.3pc actually reported the event.
The top reasons for not reporting the incident were that 34pc believed there was no point and 30pc didn't think the incident was serious enough to report.