Where to report racism in Ireland

Welcome to our new Responding to Racism Blog based on the Responding to Racism Guide: How to Report Racism and Where to Find Help.

In the second article of the series we provide you with information about where to report racist incidents such as racist discrimination and racist crimes, as well as how to go about finding redress and how to use existing legislation to address racism.

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Where to report racism in Ireland

Mar 13, 2020Responding to Racism Blog0 comments

Reporting racism, either as a victim, witness or a supporter, can be a confusing and complex task to navigate. Whether you yourself have experienced racism, witnessed it happening to someone else or come across it online, it is important to take action, report it and make a formal complaint, even in cases where taking a legal route may prove challenging. We hope that the below article will help you recognise what actually happened, what steps to take next, where to report it, and what are your rights as a victim.

If you believe the content or behaviour you are reporting is prohibited in Ireland, please contact relevant authorities listed below, so they can accurately assess it for possible violations of law. However, before you go ahead with making a complaint, please take a moment and read our previous article listing what you should take under consideration while reporting racism. 

We encourage the reporting of ALL types of racist incidents to iReport.ie and relevant bodies and we hope that this article will make this process easier and clearer for those affected.



Before you report racism, recognise what happened

Before you report a racist incident, you should 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 a criminal act which relates to criminal law? See bolow for information what racist crime and discrimination are, as answering this important question is crucial to determine where and how you should prorgress with reporting the incident. 

Racist crime

hate crime is a crime motivated by prejudice when a perpetrator targets a victim because of their perceived membership of a certain social group.

Hate crime has two important elements:

  1. CRIMINAL ACT: Hate crimes are acts which are treated as crimes in CRIMINAL LAW. Those offences include:
  • Murder
  • Assault, including assault causing harm or serious harm.
  • Criminal damage to property or threat of criminal damage.
  • Rape or sexual assault.
  • Public order offences (disorderly conduct, threatening and abusive behaviour, affray, violent disorder).
  1. BIAS MOTIVATIONHate crimes are motivated, at least in part, by bias or prejudice against someone’s real or supposed identity or background.

Racist crimes should be reported to An Garda Síochána.

Racist discrimination

occurs when a person is treated in a less favourable way than another person is treated in a comparable situation based on any of the nine prohibited grounds listed in the EQUALITY LEGISLATION:

  1. Gender (including transgender)
  2. Civil status
  3. Family status
  4. Age
  5. ‘Race’ (includes skin colour, ethnicity and nationality)
  6. Religion (or none)
  7. Disability
  8. Sexual orientation
  9. Membership of Traveller Community

The tenth ground of discrimination has recently been added.

  1. Housing assistance (i.e. in the provision of accommodation)

Discrimination is outlawed by Irish equality legislation in the workplace and in the provision of goods and services. 

All racist discrimination cases, either at work or in access to goods and services, should be reported to the Workplace Relations Commission.

Responding to Racism Blog

This article is part of INAR's Responding to Racism blog based on the Responding to Racism Guide: How to Report Racism and Where to Find Help. Articles collected in this blog aim to provide practical information and guidance on how to report and respond to racist incidents in Ireland. Articles range from information about what racism is, why and how to report it, to information on where to report racism depending on what actually happened, to bystander intervention techniques, responding to racism in a community and supports available to victims.

The longer-term goal is to develop these articles as a part of the national one-stop-shop online resource on reporting and responding to racism, easily available to anyone affected by racism in Ireland. We hope that the provided information will encourage readers to report racism and inspire them to re-think their role in addressing it.