An anti-racism activist has said there have been more than 200 racial assaults in Galway so far this year.
He also suggested that the number of rapes and sexual assaults against immigrant communities is “probably a lot higher” than Garda statistics reflect.
Joe Loughnane, Chair of Galway Anti-Racism Network made the claim at a meeting of the City’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC).
He said he was aware of incidents of African taxi drivers being physically and racially assaulted by “people of all backgrounds” and ages.
“These are quite serious and a lot of the times, these taxi drivers from an African background won’t report them to the guards, or if they are asked to report it, they’ll say it will be a case of their word against the person who assaulted them.
“That fear of reporting is still there. We know that, because there’s a system, ireport.ie, which is a way of recording incidents of racial abuse and racial assaults and it’s clear from looking at the statistics for Galway that the assault figures alone are actually higher than the figures for assault in general under minor assault.
“We’re aware for this year alone of over 200 cases of racial assaults, whether it be African taxi drivers reporting it, Travellers, members of the Muslim community, refugees etc. It’s people who do not feel confident enough going to the guards, but they go to that website to report to a non-governmental organisation like the one I’d be involved in,” said Mr Loughnane.
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