UPDATED 18 MAY 2006 (Removed anti-Irish comments.)
More than any other part of Dublin, Temple Bar enjoys real diversity. It's enjoyable because more nationalities visit Dublin's cultural quarter than any other art of the city. They come. They spend. Everyone is happy. But in many parts of Ireland, people are not happy with diversity. Read today's broadsheets and see what I mean.
- Juno McEnroe -- "One in five witnessed racism" in The Irish Examiner. Know Racism conducted a survey of 1200 people in 2003 and discovered the range of racism that exists in Ireland. Anti-Traveller attitudes are viewed as racist.
- Kensika Monshengwo, training officer with the National Consultant Committee on racism and Interculturalism has "yet to see a coloured person who has not experienced racism in Dublin." There is no magic formula to stop racism but Irish people could look at diversity more positively.
- I have witnessed first-hand the sneering authoritarianism inflicted on blacks by members of the Irish Immigaration Service. I believe they should be required to attend annual day-long racial awareness workshops.
- Deaglán De Bréadún -- "Immigration group warns on welfare burden" in "European News" inside The Irish Times today. The Immigration Control Platform calls for restrictions to be placed on rights of work, domicile and social maintenance for people coming from the 10 accession countries in the EU. The anti-immigration lobby group would turn the screws on a potentially high-quality labour supply that could immediately contribute to Irish society through taxes and productivity.
- Tim O'Brien -- "Some EU states oppose continued funding for developing regions" in "European News" inside The Irish Times today. Ireland would oppose the current initiatives on structural funding as well, since the Republic is now longer an "Objective One-type" region.
- Karlin Lillington -- "State pays stiff economic price for racism" in "Business This Week" inside The Irish Times today. "We need skilled immigrants (and skilled foreign students studying here, who are enabled to stay on to work): we need their expertise, experience, energy, and vision."
- Kitty Holland -- "Research reveals negative attitudes to asylum-seekers" in "Home News" inside The Irish Times today. The Know Racism campaign finds 54% of people believe most asylum-seekers are bogus while 20% say Travellers should not have the same rights as the settled community. Overall, 66% of respondents believed "anyone should be allowed to live in Ireland if they work and pay their taxes." Tell that to the Mary Harney, who makes me sort out a work permit every year.
Dearbhaile Hanley fingers some coded terminology that needs to be discussed in the same paragraph as racism in Ireland.
‘Non-nationals’ has become a weasel word here, in a country already poisoned by nationalism. It’s a seemingly innocuous construction, but it’s really code for THEM, not us. But nationals need THEM more than THEY need us, though many are still too thick to see it. Eight years ago, Jason and I used to cringe at the unbearable whiteness of being Irish whenever we got off the plane at Shannon. It was the shock of sameness, as jarring in its way as the first experience of New York’s mix. And it is the energy of Ireland’s new mix that tempts me to move back here some day, as the crass Spar generation never could.
I spend two hours each week standing between non-Irish who used the broadband connection in Tim Powers' newsagency. It's remarkable that to know that most of them want to take courses, settle in, pay taxes, pull their weight, and just blend in. As they start doing these things, the system ensures they stand out as "non-nationals" at every juncture.