Counter Culture / March 23, 2021

Racist incidents reach record high in Ireland in 2020

Photo by James Eades on Unsplash
Counter Culture / March 23, 2021

Racist incidents reach record high in Ireland in 2020

Words: Dylan Murphy

The new report from The Irish Network against Against Racism provides disappointing revelations.

Today, The Irish Network Against Racism shared their annual report documenting racist incidents in Ireland and it makes for dire viewing.

According to incidents brought to the INAR’s reporting system, there were 700 incidents of racism in 2020. Notably, this is a 32 per cent increase on the previous year, where there were 530 incidents recorded. Criminal offences excluding incitement to hatred constituted 159 reports, whereas there were a record 51 racist assaults and a record 594 hate speech incidents, which is nearly double of 2019’s figures.

The Irish Network Against Racism have been essential to progressing the racist incident reporting system since 2013, providing important data for policy submissions locally and internationally.

General observations from the report.

Social media was a rife with hate speech in 2020 and provided the platform for extremist groups to voice harmful rhetoric.

While reports of repeat harassment, serious threats, thefts and workplace racism were down slightly from the year previous the report added this could be due to restrictions allowing people to avoid threatening enviornments. Moreover, the report also highlighted that despite being in lockdown for long periods in the last year, assaults in 2020 were as high as 2019.

Oein De Bhairduin is an author,  Traveller activist and member of the INAR Board. Speaking on the news of the figures he said, “Contrary to what we might expect, the Pandemic and associated lockdowns did not result in a quieter time for minorities in Ireland.”

“In fact, the situation worsened for minorities, both in terms of the absolute number of online and on-the-street hate incidents and in terms of the disproportional impacts of Covid on almost all minority groups. It’s been a bad year for everyone”.

“Racism and hate crime have made it an even worse one for all minorities.”

Author of the report, Dr Lucy Michaelsaid, “The report findings are also disappointing in what they tell us about our institutions and how they respond to minorities. Minorities making complaints about repeat harassment have told us about more instances of inappropriate responses from Gardai than before”.

“We’ve also sadly logged an increase in instances of racial profiling by Gardai.”

Read the full report here.

Elsewhere on District: We spoke to Denise Chaila on her influences, winning the Choice Prize and developing her sound.