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'My kid got called a mongrel' - Dublin Lord Mayor Hazel Chu says her family have suffered racial abuse in Dublin

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Hazel Chu, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Dublin city councillor and Green Party chairperson. Photo: Naoise Culhane

Hazel Chu, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Dublin city councillor and Green Party chairperson. Photo: Naoise Culhane

Hazel Chu, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Dublin city councillor and Green Party chairperson. Photo: Naoise Culhane

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu said that she and her family have suffered racial abuse in Dublin.

Speaking on the Jennifer Zamparelli show on 2FM, the Green Party politician said that since taking up the role of Lord Mayor last month, the level of abuse she sustains has increased.

"When I was in school but more so recently especially in this role," she said.

"This is why I think what can we do about increasing diversity. I would say I don’t why, but 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."

Ms Chu who became the first person of colour to ever be elected into the role said that people need to start calling racism out. An example oh her own daughter suffering abuse, she said, is why parents need to monitor what they say in front of children.

"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," she said.

“We need to start understanding that racism does exist but at the same time, it’s there, it is quite prevalent but it is something that we can tackle.

“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 said on this morning's Jennifer Zamparelli show.

"It feels like a bubble. I never dreamed of becoming lord mayor. The gravity of the situation has not escaped me.

"When there are nine people in your three bedroom house and you have to think about putting food on the table politics is the last thing on your mind.

"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 that she'd be sitting in the round room in the mansion house and someone would be making her daughter the lord mayor."

Online Editors