Black people suffer the most racism in Ireland, report finds

Victims of attacks do not believe gardaí will treat their experiences seriously, survey says

Black victims of racist attacks do not believe gardaí will treat their experiences seriously, a new report has found.

The report, Afrophobia in Ireland, published this morning by the Irish branch of the European Network Against Racism (Enar), finds black and African people suffer the most racism of all ethnic groups in the State.

Enar Ireland is a network of more than 50 organisations committed to combating racism.

The network includes Crosscare, the Irish Traveller Movement, Siptu and Age Action Ireland.


Its reporting system for racist incidents,, has been gathering data since July 2013.

Report author Dr Lucy Michael, of the University of Ulster, found racism against African and black people accounted for 225 reports to over the past two years, which was 30 per cent of all reports received.

Some 22 reports of assault and aggravated assault against black people were received, with weapons included in two cases.

Three reports involved assaults on children.

Lack of confidence

The reports show a “reluctance” to involve gardaí, Dr Michael says, due to a lack of confidence in An

Garda Síochána

to “take cognisance of the real impact of racist incidents”.

Failures by gardaí to attend at scenes of assaults, to appropriately gather evidence and to update victims on investigations are documented in the report.

“In several cases the victim was persuaded at the scene that no response was possible, or that it was unwise to seek prosecution,” says the report.

Some 28 cases in the report involved reports to gardaí, of which 24 involved criminal offences exceeding verbal abuse.

“Just three of these expressed confidence in the willingness of gardaí to investigate the offence.”

There are “clear challenges for An Garda Síochána”, the report says.

A Garda spokesman said all racist incidents should be reported to gardaí.

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland is Social Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times