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– Joseph Loughnane on the rise in discrimination in Ireland during the recession. (Originally posted on the Irish Left Review)

Over the past month we have seen numerous racist and discriminatory statements made in both Council meetings and Courts across Ireland. What they amounted to was public representatives as well as a judge using either racist slang or making racist statements in the course of their work. These statements were largely brushed under the carpet by the media despite the long term effects they have on the oppressed groups they targeted. A statement by a Fianna Fail senator that he would not get into a taxi driven by an “obvious” non-national resonates quite closely with problems with racism in Galway city.

Despite numerous letters to the local media as well as reports categorically confirming that racism against African taxi drivers is rife in the city, the practice continues with more and more non-national drivers reporting incidents of aggravated racial assault and abuse, to the effect now that these men and women see it as normal for them receive racism on a daily basis. Comments by this Senator only serve to cement such prejudice and make the day-to-day living of an African taxi driver that bit harder.

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