Rise in racist incidents linked with poor Garda practice says new research
2018-02-01 17:03:00 -
Breaking News

By Kathryn Wooldridge


Deficiencies in Garda practice go hand in hand with a 33 percent increase in racist incidents in Ireland, according to a new study.


Dr Lucy Michael of Ulster University analysed data recorded through iReport.ie, the European Network Against Racism (Enar) Ireland’s racist incident reporting system, which showed a total of 330 reports of racism that the Garda allegedly failed to deal with, made between January and June last year.


In addition, there were 111 reports of racist hate speech online – on social media as well as on Irish news websites.


Reports of racist incidents have risen consistently since the launch of iReport.ie in July 2013, according to Enar Ireland.


“The latest findings show a stark increase in incidents which follow a sadly familiar pattern of racist violence and other serious crimes against minorities,” says Dr Michael. “A four-year analysis in this report shows long-term systemic failures in An Garda Síochána’s ability to respond adequately and appropriately.”

Alleged assaults came up in 19 cases during the six-month period last year, with six reports involving weapons and 13 cases of threats to kill or cause serious harm.


Enar Ireland director Shane O’Curry is concerned about the rise in reported incidents, particularly physical threats.


“This failure in our State’s ability to protect minorities is wholly unacceptable in a republic which purports to cherish everyone equally,” he says.


“Yet there is an opportunity this year with the hearings of the Commission on the Future of Policing for us to present evidence-based recommendations for changes in our policing practice that can bring Ireland in line with European obligations on racism and hate crime and ensure that minorities enjoy the same protection as everyone else.”


Sergeant Jim Molloy of the Garda Press Office explains that the force works to protect the safety of minorities in Ireland. 


“Our diversity officers are specially trained to deal with a wide variety of crimes that impact on the human rights of citizens including hate crime and racism,” he says.


“Diversity training is ongoing within An Garda Síochána. For example, a Roma integration training programme saw Garda members trained on Roma culture by members of the Roma community.”


Gardaí urge anyone who has been a victim of a racist or hate crime to inform them so that the incident can be thoroughly investigated. 



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