“I am a white South African mother. I went to the Garda station for my first Irish passport application. (Very Proud!). There was a Black Somali family in the queue. The Garda was totally patronizing!!!! When they asked for an official stamp on their documents, he questioned that, and then as a joke he stamped their forms a few extra times PLUS laughingly asked the CHILD for her hand and stamped her HAND twice with his official Garda Stamp.
How humiliating!!! Then, when it was my turn, he was overly friendly. I would not have posted this if it was not for my 12 year old child asking me why did he treat us differently than the black people? Oh my Goodness!!! I cannot report this to the Garda Síochána because there is no proof of racism, it is just a “feeling” you get, even from a 12 year old!”
“I am an Irish Muslim woman. I was walking outside Dunnes Stores with my mother, when a man followed us shouting and screaming gibberish trying to mimic our language, he kicked me behind the knee and I fell to the floor. He ran away. There were so many people watching, we were outside a busy shopping centre, and everyone just kept watching.
On a second occasion, an elderly Irish man, walking behind us, shouted, “you bloody b******ds, f**k off, terrorist, black b*****ds”. I felt scared, hurt, embarrassed, angry. FYI, I’m an Irish citizen, born and bred here, the only difference is my skin colour. Do I really deserve this?”
“I am a black African woman. My neighbour will not let my children play outside, she said they are black and have no business being here. She calls my 12 years old daughter a fat black b*t*h. She threatens to bring her family to come trash my house and set it on fire, so I am doing everything humanly possible to avoid them.
We sleep with one eye open not knowing if the house will be set on fire while we are asleep as she threatens. They say we don’t deserve to live here. We feel helpless, frustrated, abused and violated, even in our own home.”
“My name is Ethel Mvelase. I came to Ireland 5 years ago from South Africa to work. I want to speak out against racism as I like living here but I’m afraid of racists. I was slapped, kicked and spat on by an older Irish man at a Luas stop at 10 O’ Clock in the morning. When I moved away he followed me and told me he “hated black people” and I should “tell my brothers and sisters to go back to Africa”.
I remained silent as I was afraid I would antagonise him and he would hurt me more. I put my hands over my head and pleaded with him to leave me alone. I was afraid. An Irish woman walked by and asked me was I alright. When he saw her he ran away. I think it is dangerous to walk in the street now. I am fearful of talking to people.
I reported this incident to INAR as I will not stay silent. I cannot live in fear. If I report I am heard. If enough of us report the government will have to listen and make racism a crime.”