Why and how should you report racism

When you decide to report racism there are a few important things to take under consideration. This page outlines useful tips on what to remember about while reporting racism and why it’s important to record it.


  • To receive support, information and advice on how to seek redress for racism.
  • Racist incidents and crimes that are not reported cannot be addressed.
  • To take action against the people or institutions responsible.
  • To understand how often racist incidents occur and who is experiencing racism in Ireland.
  • To monitor racism and make relevant authorities aware of its nature, scale and manifestations.
  • To help devise effective local strategies for combating racism.
  • To inform our arguments for stronger anti-racist policies at a national level.
  • To create public awareness of the types of racism that exists in Ireland.
  • To promote equality and send out the message that racism is not acceptable in Ireland.
  • Racism is a denial of basic human rights.
  • Racism is prohibited by Irish equality legislation and international law.


Describe the incident in detail

What exactly happened and to whom; if you were attacked, how it happened, the nature of any injuries sustained, damage done to your property etc.; where and when the incident took place (date and time); by whom (if known); how many people were involved; what, if anything, was said by the perpetrator(s), particularly anything insulting about your skin colour, immigration status, ethnicity, nationality, religion etc.

If you think the incident had a racist motive, say it

While reporting a racist incident, it is important for you to say that you think it was motivated by racism and why. Ask for it to be recorded that way. If you have any evidence of bias or prejudice (i.e. racist language used), let the reporting body or investigators know.

Seek evidence and witnesses to the incident

If possible, obtain witness(es) contact details for future support. Look for evidence that will support your complaint, such as CCTV footage, photos of damage or injury to you or your property, written confi rmation from a doctor of injuries sustained and so on.

Identify the form of racism that has taken place

Was it discrimination in employment or in access to services, which relates to equality legislation; or aracist crime which relates to criminal law; or racism online, in the media or other incident? This will determine where and how you should progress with reporting the incident.

Identify the appropriate body to seek advice and redress

For example, depending on what happened, the Gardaí, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC), Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), trade union etc. can help you bring those responsible to justice and/or help resolve your case.

Refer to our Responding to Racism Guide: How to Report Racism to find relevant details.

Find out what the complaint procedure is

Many bodies require you to follow a certain complaint procedure and may require you to observe deadlines for issuing your complaint or returning certain forms etc. Make sure you are familiar with these procedures to make your complaint in time.

Keep a record of the incident and your complaint

Make a written report of the incident(s). Keep a record of all correspondence, copies of completed forms, photos, recordings, links and screenshots (in case of racism online) etc

Identify other agencies that might help you resolve the incident

Consider all possible avenues of redress, such as the landlord/housing management agent, the employer, a local politician or an NGO/ charity/ community group that specialises in advice and support.

Seek advice

Before making a formal complaint seek advice from a lawyer or/ and specialist advocacy organisation to see what your options are.

Make an appeal

If you have been unable to sort out the problem with the body concerned or you are not happy with their decision you should be able to make an appeal i.e. to the organisation concerned, the Workplace Relations Commission, the Ombudsman or the Children Ombudsman, the Garda Ombudsman, relevant court etc.

Report the incident to

We encourage you to report all racist incidents to the online racist incident reporting system. This helps us to keep a record of incidents of racism in Ireland, to monitor its extent and different forms, and to fi nd solutions on local, national and international levels. Remember that unreported racism stays invisible and cannot be addressed.


IREPORT.IE RACIST INCIDENT REPORTING SYSTEM 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 nationwide. 

    • 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.

  Reporting Centers

    Find a Reporting organisation near you and get support with reporting to

    Click Here