The ‘No dogs or Irish’ notices on boarding houses are still remembered by older Irish emigrants to London.
Yet, the Immigrant Council of Ireland reports that there has been an 11% increase in the number of racist incidents reported to it last year. Regrettably, however, physical violence was involved in 13% of the 240 reported incidents.
Inevitably, these may just be a small glimpse into the frightening and cowardly world of racism. In many cases, the likelihood is that the victims may be too scared to report such attacks. And ‘attacks’ is the word for this form of bullying.
The worrying thing is that the number of reports is rising, according to the council which had received 217 reports a year earlier. Shamefully, there were 99 instances of verbal harassment and 68 cases of discrimination. However, there were 31 reports of physical violence.
These statistics reflect badly on us all.