Racism against people of African descent



Afrophobia in Ireland | ENAR Ireland


2 The ENAR Ireland

data collection process

Data on experiences of racism in Ireland is gathered

through an online self-reporting system www.iReport.ie

which became operational in July 2013. Since then, ENAR

Ireland have published an analysis of the data on 5 occasions,

beginning with four quarterly analysis reports and

later moving to bi-annual reports. The data is used in the

course of the work of ENAR Ireland to respond quickly

and effectively to ongoing events, and analysed to provide

member organisations with the most up to date picture

of racism in Ireland.

This report explores 24 months of reports submitted from

July 2013 to end of June 2015, although dates of the incidents

vary. In some cases the effects of racist violence

continue for months and years after they occur, and reporting

therefore can occur later than might be expected

for other types of crime. Reports selected for analysis for

this investigation were those which concerned incidents

targeting people identifying or identified as ‘Black-African

or ‘Black-0ther’, or ‘Other’ where the person chose

to identify themselves in a way that made clear that they

are a person of African descent.

Each report includes information about the person experiencing

racism and those perpetrating it, as well as

a large amount of detail about the context of the experience,

including location, date, time, form of racism, reporting

to relevant agencies or An Garda Síochána and

the impact on the parties involved. In requesting this level

of information, iReport.ie is aligned with the best practice

in racist incident reporting, and facilitates a complex

analysis of each event as well as the overall collection of

reports. Quotation from the reports produced below are

accompanied by the location and details of the person reporting,

and where relevant the time of day, to give contextual

detail to the incident.

Reports may also be submitted by people who witness

racism, regardless of their relationship to the targeted

person(s) or perpetrator(s). Physical and verbal abuse is

more easily identified by witnesses and is also more likely

to prompt reporting to Gardaí by both victims of such

violence and witnesses, but there is also significant reporting

of racist expression in media and social media by

people unrelated to the targeted group.

Data is collected on the language used by perpetrators during

reported incidents, and on police or other responses to

incidents where they are reported. Although it is commonly

explained that African immigration to Ireland is relatively

new, given the absence of significant populations of

people of African descent until 1997, there has been no absence

of ‘race’ in Ireland. This type of data therefore offers

the opportunity to understand the ways in which racist expressions

are used and understood by perpetrators and by

those investigating racially motivated incidents.

Combining quantitative and qualitative data provides a

number of ways of understanding the patterns, and the

details, in the reported incidents. This methodology is

informed by best practice in analysing racist incidents

in the UK, Europe and USA. The author is a member of

the Sociological Association of Ireland and British Sociological

Association, and employs the ethical standards

of these organisations. If you have detailed queries about

the methodology employed in this study, you are invited

to contact the author.

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