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Attitude towards Travellers is just blatant racism

Published 29/10/2015

The loss of 10 lives in the Carrickmines fire is tragic, but not just for the families affected. Far more tragic is the response of our society to this community and the bare-faced racism it has exposed.

I am a blow-in from America, a country increasingly known for its hostile stance towards immigrants and endemic maltreatment of ethnic minorities. One of the things I love about Ireland is the generally good response that immigrants receive.

There are tiers of acceptability. Americans and Western Europeans are grand, those from Central Europe (notably Poland) are hard-working and are okay, too. Eastern Europeans tend to be looked up a bit more suspiciously. Africans, well, I think their community would describe our attitudes towards them as mixed.

In general, they seem accepted, but are looked upon with suspicion as economic opportunists. Utter nonsense. But Travellers - my God, I have not seen such outright, blatant racism. It is little wonder that the Travelling community has little time or respect for settled people.

Maybe we should consider that Traveller attitudes towards the settled are a reflection of settled attitudes towards Travellers.


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