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'To the question, does Ireland have a racism problem? Absolutely'

Fionnghuala O'Reilly


Being anti-racist means you have to speak up, writes Fionnghuala O'Reilly, who was racially abused after becoming the first black Miss Universe Ireland

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FIONNGHUALA O'REILLY: 'The Miss Universe Ireland organisation stood up for me and condemned the racial abuse.' Photo: Mark Condren

FIONNGHUALA O'REILLY: 'The Miss Universe Ireland organisation stood up for me and condemned the racial abuse.' Photo: Mark Condren

FIONNGHUALA O'REILLY: 'The Miss Universe Ireland organisation stood up for me and condemned the racial abuse.' Photo: Mark Condren

When I was growing up in the States, yes, I was affected by racism and it never gets easier.

Watching the protests from Ireland has been extremely upsetting, though it is not something shocking or surprising to me. The violence I have seen has been deeply concerning and my heart goes out to anyone who has been affected.

Coming from my own experiences, I am glad people are standing up for what is right. I have family in America, my mother and four of my sisters are currently in Washington. It has been hard to not be there with them.