Learn about racism in ireland

Access key resources, research, data and training in relation to racism in Ireland. 

Defining racism

INAR understands racism as: any action, practice, policy, law, speech, or incident which has the effect (whether intentional or not) of undermining anyone’s enjoyment of their human rights, based on their actual or perceived ethnic or national origin or background, where that background is that of a marginalised or historically subordinated group. Racism carries connotations of violence because the dehumanisation of ethnic groups has been historically enforced through violence.
In other words, racism is when an individual, group, structure or institution intentionally or unintentionally abuse their power to the detriment of people, because of their actual or perceived “racialised” background.

It’s important to understand that racism is an ideology from a colonial past which “holds one race superior, while another inferior” in the words Bob Marley in his song ‘War’.

This understanding follows from international and civil society definitions:

International law

The United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) defines racism as: ‘Any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.’[i]

[i]UN International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), (1969), Article 1  

National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (2007)
Irish civil society organisations use the working definition drafted by the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI) which defines racism as:

‘A specific form of discrimination faced by minority ethnic groups based on the false belief that some ‘races’ are in essence superior to others because of different skin colour, nationality, ethnic or cultural background’.

Understanding Racism in Ireland: Resources

Understanding Racism Booklet

Read booklet which gathers INAR’s common positions on racism

Racism in Ireland Today: What are the issues?

Learn what are the main concerns in relation to racism in Ireland

Reporting racism in Ireland

Data on Racism in Ireland

Access iReport.ie data on Racism in Ireland since 2013

Reporting racism in Ireland

Combat Racism in Ireland

10 things you can do about racism in Ireland

find Out More About Racism in Ireland


Access our research, data and reports on racism in Ireland


 Access anti-racism training and workshops


 Learn more about our policy and advocacy work

Our Guide

Responding to Racism Guide: How to report racism & where to find help

Alternative Report on

Racial Discrimination in Ireland

Collective Civil Society Perspective



iReport.ie Racist Incident Reporting System, INAR Ireland’s flagship project, was launched in July 2013. It allows the people, communities, and organisations of Ireland to confidentially report racism, including online hate speech. 

    • National, confidential and user-friendly way to report racism from any online device.
    • Enables people who experience or witness racism and/or those supporting them to do something about it and break the silence.
    • Used for monitoring racism in Ireland.
    • Provides evidence and data on racism in Ireland.
    • Counters an increase in racism and a hardening of racist attitudes.
    • Helps focus the discussion on finding solutions to racism.


    reports of racism in ireland

    Access iReport.ie data on racism in Ireland since 2013. 


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    Find out more about our projects, campaigns, research,policy work and events. 


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