INAR logs record high in racist incidents and assaults

March 23, 2021

The Irish Network Against Racism (INAR) today launched the report of its 2020 findings from the racist incident reporting system. With the total number of incidents reaching 700 (there were 530 in 2019), the system also recorded 159 Criminal incidents, a record 51 racist assaults and a record 334 hate speech incidents.

Oein De Bhairduin, author,  Traveller activist and member of the INAR Board 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” he said ”and racism and hate crime have made it an even worse one for all minorities.”

Dr Lucy Michael, Research Lead at INAR and author of the report said: “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” she said “we’ve also sadly logged an increase in instances of racial profiling by Gardai.”

“What all minorities need in order to be able to live as equals” said de Bhairduin  ”is for our government and institutions to bring their weight to tackle racism and discrimination, and the conditions which foster racist and discrimination. We have the promise of Hate Crime legislation this year, and that is welcome. We also need measures to tackle hate speech in the online environment.” He said “and we also need to climb the steep slopes of our institutions if we are to tackle institutional racism and the systemic racism it enables. Last year, the UN CERD Concluding Observations for Ireland, included recommendations for outlawing racial profiling, as well as for a National Action Plan Against Racism (NAPAR). This requires taking bold measures for eliminating structural, institutional and cultural racism in all areas of life. For us to be able to make these aspirations real, we need focus, ample resourcing and real leadership from our government, and we need it now”




Notes to Editor:

INAR’s timeline on developments relating to hate crime, since the 2000 commencement of the Review of the 1989 Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, can be found here.

The Irish Network Against Racism INAR (formerly ENAR Ireland), who coordinate a network of over 140 civil society organisations in Ireland, have pioneered the racist incident reporting system since 2013, logging thousands of hate crimes and racist incidents, and producing from their data cutting edge reports and policy submissions to national and international reporting bodies, government and media. Its complete periodic reports on racism can be found here.  INAR is also an active member of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), a network of 160 organisations from 30 European States. INAR submits data reports and other submissions to the Government, National Authorities, European Union, OSCE, Council of Europe and UN bodies on racism and discrimination in Ireland. INAR prepared and presented the Irish Civil Society collective Shadow Report to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination hearing on Ireland in November 2019. INAR has also contributed to the Future of Policing in Ireland report, and numerous other policy submissions.

INAR produces regular reports on racist hate speech, hate crime and discriminatory incidents recorded through its racist incident reporting system. Figures for 2018 and 2019 also showed an increase in overall reported incidents as well as continued growth in serious incidents, including violent crimes. The growth in serious incidents was recorded against a marked increase in racist hate speech by political figures, and an explosion in race hatred in social media.

The hate crime reporting platform can be accessed online. While the iReport App, is available for Android and iOS devices on the INAR website. The App is aimed at members of minority groups who experience racism, as well as their allies and advocates, encouraging the latter to ‘speak up’ and make racism visible.