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'My child was called a mongrel' - mayor calls out racism

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Dublin Lord Mayor Hazel Chu. Photo: Naoise Culhane

Dublin Lord Mayor Hazel Chu. Photo: Naoise Culhane

Dublin Lord Mayor Hazel Chu. Photo: Naoise Culhane

Dublin Lord Mayor Hazel Chu has revealed that she and her family have suffered racial abuse.

"This is why I think what can we do about increasing diversity?" said the Green Party politician, who was elected to her new role on June 29.

"I actually got some research given to me that apparently if you are female, and you are a politician, and you are of a different skin colour you tend to get a fair bit more abuse.

"I don't know what the mindset is, maybe people don't like women in politics or people of colour," she said.

Ms Chu said that people need to start calling out racism. "How can we tackle this issue? We need to start by calling it out, we need to start having honest conversations about these kinds of issues but we need to start encouraging people.

"In a way, it doesn't surprise me but it also completely shocked me when my kid got called a mongrel by older teenagers."

Ms Chu, whose parents emigrated from China to Dublin in the 1970s, said that growing up she could never dream of the position she is now in.

Working two jobs, her mother saved enough money to buy a chip van which she then used to afford a restaurant and then three more.

"I love that I'm the first but I hope I'm not the last person of colour in the role. I think the generations to come, it's good to see more diversity in these roles, it's good to see women in the role. There has been 352 mayors, nine of which have been women, so if we could have a good few more women that would be amazing," she told the Jennifer Zamparelli show on 2FM.

"My mother came over here to look for a better life and get a job. Not unlike what a lot of our young people go through. I just don't think she thought that 40 years later she'd be sitting in the round room in the Mansion House and someone would be making her daughter the Lord Mayor."

Irish Independent