Irish Daily Mail

Rise in reports of racial abuse to helpline for immigrants

- By Lizzie May

THERE was a 24% rise in reports of racial abuse to the Immigrant Council of Ireland’s helpline last year.

The annual report from the ICI found that a total of 57 people reported incidents of racism – with 27% happening in the workplace.

There were also 13 incidents of racism experience­d in the home in 2020, an increase from just three in 2019, , although the number of reported incidents on public transport decreased last year.

Healthcare assistant Sabal (not his real name) contacted the ICI in May last year. Working at a Dublin nursing home, he was one of several frontline health workers from a migrant background working long hours providing essential healthcare during the pandemic.

He was the victim of several bullying and racial abuse incidents, and said: ‘The overall experience in Ireland is challengin­g as a foreigner. Bullying is common and isolating. In the last year, all the non-Irish face bullying every week in my nursing home. I have been yelled at many times for no reason, no provocatio­n. Cursing is common.

‘Ganging up is another problem. During Covid-19, gossip spread by these gangs [of co-workers] such as that an Asian lady brought in the virus, or Africans, and that’s why the residents’ health has gone down.’

The CEO of the ICI, Brian Killoran, said: ‘The forced closure of immigratio­n offices across the country created great uncertaint­y for thousands of migrants who were unable to renew their immigratio­n permission­s or register their immigratio­n status upon arriving here.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland