REPORTS of racism in Ireland 2018

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Reports of racism in ireland


INAR’s 2018 Reports of Racism in Ireland Published

Director’s foreword

In 2018, Racism remained at the forefront of challenges facing Ireland, as the analysis contained in this INAR report, from its 6th year using iReport. ie data, once again demonstrates. This report also highlights the effects on the physical and mental health of those impacted by racism, as well as those around them. data continues to provide an authoritative source of data on Hate Crime and other manifestations of racism, and maintains the position of INAR as the ‘go to’ organisation for data, analysis and trends in Ireland. In addition to providing an ongoing clear picture of these interpersonal manifestations of racism, INAR’s (then ENAR Ireland’s) analysis of its data increasingly provides unique granular analyses of the responses to racism, giving a vivid snapshot of the institutional racism and wider human rights deficiencies within our institutions which create the context for racial violence and discrimination.

In 2018 data provided the evidence base for INAR’s Submission to the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland. This followed our 2017 submission to the Policing Authority, based on a 5-year review of data. In these reports, many of the instances cited had previously been published in the periodic reports, along with short narratives of the racist incidents and Garda responses themselves. Concerns were raised that would be raised again at further meetings with the Police Authority and later in interviews and correspondence with human rights researcher Alyson Kilpatrick BL, and which can be found reflected in the section on racist hate crime in A Human Rights-Based Approach to Policing in Ireland, published by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) in 2018.

As argued in the above submissions, INAR data support the 2004 finding of the Ionann Management Consultants report that An Garda Siocháná is institutionally racist. It’s worth bearing in mind that the MacPherson definition of institutional racism, in line with the UN CERD definition, stresses that institutional racism can exist irrespective of the intentions of police officers, but where there is a failure of an institutions systems to mitigate racist outcomes on members of impacted communities.

INAR’s data supports detailed findings in relation to failures with respect to international best practice standards in policing with respect to minority ethnic victims of racist crime, for example, INAR found patterns of:

Refusal to advise or act

Garda advises to victims of crime that:

  • Action is likely to aggravate the harassment
  • Civil action is the only appropriate response  and outside AGS remit
  • Immigration status may be investigated as part of the Garda action
  • Lack of physical evidence of racism makes complaint insufficient

On scene:

  • Refusal to speak to perpetrators
  • Often blamed on drug or alcohol abuse
  • Refusal to speak to relevant witnesses
  • Refusal to collect evidence at scene

Tracking cases:

  • Failure to provide crime numbers to victims
  • Diversion of victims to other Garda stations to report crimes without advice/support or apparent recording of intent to report
  • Inability/refusal to provide information on status of case to victims

Communication with victims

  • Repeated attempts to contact named Gardaí are unsuccessful
  • Addressing environments of fear for victims

Hostile interactions with ethnic minority public, and with victims

  • Harassment of ethnic minorities, including unwarranted car searches, intimidation of young women, house raids without warrants
  • Reports of racial profiling
  • Hostile treatment of victims at scene

Being able to offer evidence-based criticism is one thing. These findings also demand recommendations for remedies at a legislative, policy and implementation level. Detailed recommendations are to be found in the submissions cited above, and were partially reflected in the Future of Policing in Ireland report, which the Policing Authority and An Garda Siocháná are now mandated to implement.

INAR’s growing expertise in this area has also brought it to engagement in novel research practice in the area of hate crime data communication. As part of the Facing Facts European level partnership on hate crime practice research, INAR co-hosted a collaborative research programme in Ireland where key personnel across Irish authorities, including from An Garda Siocháná, the Department of Justice, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Central Statistics Office, the Courts Service and Civil Society Organisations were invited to co-diagnose gaps in hate crime data practice, allowing for practical and implementable solutions to be recommended. The findings can be found in the innovative and interactive report, Connecting on Hate Crime Data in Ireland.

2018: Overview

There were 390 reports received in 2018. Criminal offences excluding incitement to hatred constituted 103 reports. Discrimination accounted for 118 reports, and other recordable racist incidents accounted for 51 reports. There were 118 reports concerning hate speech.


Criminal offences


Key trends observed in this period:

  • Numbers of reported incidents overall are down against 2017, but reporting rate of crime is higher, and trust in police is lower.
  • Number of assaults up from 42 in 2017 to 46 in 2018 (higher overall, but also much higher as a rate of all reports).
  • The highest ever number of racist assaults (50 reports).
  • A high rate of physical injury and mental health consequences across both crime and discrimination cases.
  • The highest rate of repeat harassment cases to date (92 reports).
  • Continuing low rates of trust in An Garda Síochána and low rates of reporting for all crimes, including assaults.
  • Reports of racial profiling and assault of ethnic minority persons by An Garda Síochána.
  • Continuing patterns of illegal racial discrimination in public sector services.
  • An increase in the number of victims of crime who were under 18 (20% of targeted persons).
  • Increasing publication of hate speech by political candidates in news media.
  • Low removal rates of social media posts, including those advocating racist violence.
  • 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.