TWELVE racist incidents in Limerick have been reported to a national online database in the first two and a half months after it went live, the second highest level in the country after Dublin.
Among the complaints made to iReport, an online database managed by the European Network Against Racism, was that of a Muslim man in Limerick who required medical attention after teenagers threw beer bottles at him while shouting racist abuse.
A young Muslim woman in Limerick also reported that she was assaulted by an Irish Traveller who followed her and her mother outside a shopping centre car park, “shouting and screaming at them using racial and religious slurs”.
The victim said she was kicked in the leg so that she fell to the ground, and reported the incident to the gardai but her confidence in the force waned after reporting other racist incidents.
The report stated that the incidents in Limerick were perpetrated against a diverse range of ethnic identities. Since the database was established, 97 racist incidents nationally have been reported between July 11, 2013, and September 30.
Almost two-thirds involved physical threat or physical assault.
The highest proportion of racists incidents were perpetrated against people of black African backgrounds, followed by people of Asian or Chinese ethnicity.
Around half of the reported incidents occurred in the Greater Dublin area, while 12 incidents occurred in Limerick. However, the first report states that Doras Luimni, the Limerick based support group for all migrants in the Mid-West, recorded seven of these.
“This partially accounts for the higher number of reports recorded in Limerick compared to other counties outside Dublin. It was expected that the number of reports may be low in the first recording quarter as the survey was publicised to allied organisations and publicly launched.
“However, victims and witnesses also used the iReport system to report incidents occurring prior to this period. The reporting of incidents prior to this period is important. It points both to the severe impact of such incidents on victims and witnesses, which can last for years, and the absence of other appropriate reporting systems.”
The report highlighted newspaper articles around the issues of racism, including claims by local Fianna Fail councillor that Chinese people were fishing in Limerick for ducks to sell to restaurants.