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Racist attacks double within space of a year

A FAMILY of six have been subjected to more than four years of racist abuse, vandalism and property damage and are forced to live in one room of their Dublin home.

This is only one case study in dozens of shocking reports of racism in Ireland.

In another incident, a nine-year-old boy was beaten up by his 30-year-old neighbour, and in yet another a petrol bomb was used to intimidate the individual concerned.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) said it had received at least 20 reports of racist incidents in the first 20 days of the year – twice the number reported at same time last year.

The majority of the incidents, 40pc, occurred in local communities, with 15pc of the cases occurring on the internet, the ICI said.

The body works closely with the gardai, transport providers, Dublin City Council and Educate Together to raise awareness about racist attacks.

CEO Denise Charlton said it was particularly alarming that a huge number of victims could not feel safe in their own homes or communities.

She added that the types of intimidation varied from verbal abuse to racist graffiti to cases where houses have been broken into or fire-bombed.

"Local councils have an important role here and we are calling on each local authority to ensure it responds rapidly to ensure that graffiti is removed, homes are repaired and, in the more extreme cases, that re-housing is considered," Ms Charlton said.

"It is unacceptable that people must live in fear of a brick through the window or, worse, while at home."

A total of 39pc of the victims were African and 17pc were Asian. And 9pc of Irish people who have been victims of racism were targeted by other Irish people because a close family member is of non-Irish or mixed origin, the report revealed.

In one case reported by the ICI, an Irish mother and her son of mixed Irish and African extraction are suffering daily verbal abuse from neighbours, with their house vandalised with spray paint.

ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS, BANANAS WERE ALSO THROWN INTO THEIR GARDEN WITH THE BOY'S NAME WRITTEN ON THEM.

An Eastern European man said he felt discriminated against in work simply because of his nationality.

He told how he had received inappropriate and degrading comments and remarks from his co-workers.

On top of that, he was also denied access to certain work benefits and was informed by colleagues they were exclusive to Irish people only.

The ICI has already welcomed the decision by the Oireachtas Justice Committee to examine the issues of integration and migration, and it has made a written submission.

Anyone who encounters racism or who has been a victim should contact the council on stopracism@immigrantcouncil.ie

hnews@herald.ie


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