Race attacks: no new trace system

YOUR report headlined ‘Racist incidents to be tracked’ (July 7) incorrectly gave the impression that Minister of State for Integration Mary White was setting up a new monitoring system to track incidents of racist attacks and abuse.

While the minister did meet with the Garda Commissioner recently to discuss a number of issues, including the importance of addressing anti-racism and promoting integration, she did not announce an intention to set up a new monitoring system.

Official mechanisms to deal with complaints about racist crime and racial discrimination are already in place.

For example, if a person has been a victim of, or witness to, a racially motivated crime, he or she should contact the local garda station or the Garda Racial and Intercultural Office, Harcourt Square, Harcourt Street, Dublin 2 (016663150).

If a person has experienced discrimination on the grounds of race in employment matters or in trying to access goods and services, he or she should contact the Equality Tribunal at 3 Clonmel Street, Dublin 2 (014774100 or 1890-344424). The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, 150 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1 (phone 1890-600800) deals with complaints (including complaints alleging discrimination) made by members of the general public against members of An Garda Síochána.

As you are aware, the Press Council and the Press Ombudsman’s Office have also been established and their complaints mechanisms provide the public with a quick, fair and free method of resolving any complaints they may have in relation to newspapers and periodicals that breach their code of practice.

The minister of state’s office maintains good relationships with these offices and monitors trends in the statistics produced by these complaint mechanisms.

The minister is examining possible initiatives to enhance supports for our migrant communities.

Sineád Copeland

Press Officer

Department of Community, Equality

and Gaeltacht Affairs

Mespil Road

Dublin 4

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