In a newly published report the Irish Network Against Racism (INAR) has revealed that it received 530 reports of racism in 2019. Included in this are reports of discrimination, hate crime, hate speech, incitement to hatred, and physical assaults.
Authored by Dr. Lucy Michael, the report also links the increase of racist incidents to the rise of the far right in Ireland. It argues that the activities of the far right online “brought about a marked increase in volume, intensity and vehemence of online hatred, hate activity and incitement”.
Assault and hate speech
In the new report INAR reveals that it received 530 reports in 2019. Amongst this, 122 related to what it called “Criminal offences”. Incidents of discrimination accounted for 111 reports with INAR receiving 174 reports regarding hate speech. A further 130 reports around “other recordable racist incidents” were made.
This marks an increase of 140 from 2018 which saw 390 reports made that year.
The report also details cases of physical assault on minorities as well as threats made against them. In one case it’s divulged that two Muslim boys were physically assaulted after they had been harassed over a period of months. What’s more,
They are too scared to report to the Gardaí and feel it would not be taken seriously. Their mother reported: “Since then boys have been isolated, no friends. They have been to counselling and are not the same boys they once were. They are very sad.”
INAR also noted a number of “key trends” in its findings. It recorded the “highest ever number of racist assaults” as well as the “highest rate of repeat harassment cases to date”. The organisation also disclosed that there continues to be “low rates of trust” in the gardaí. And it has gotten reports of the gardaí engaging in racial profiling.
Another trend INAR detailed is the
Growth in the number of far-right websites and social media identities, particularly targeting asylum seekers and refugees, but also young people of African background and/or Muslim faith.
Highlighting racist comments made by Irish politicians, INAR declared that this also “emboldened” far-right activists and YouTubers. And as a result, these groups “saw an opportunity to shift discourse around minorities to the right”.
Featured image via INAR – Screenshot