Silent War in Northern Ireland against minorities

A survey carried out by the Observer newspaper has found that 90% of racist incidents reported in Northern Ireland since the beginning of 2005 have occurred in Loyalist areas.

The Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities said the figures confirmed all their anecdotal evidence that most racist attacks were taking place in unionist areas but Patrick Yu, the organisation’s director, revealed that racist attacks in Catholic areas have also been on the rise recently.

“NICEM heard recently of a case in Larne where the two sides, Catholics and Protestants, united together against migrant workers in the town,” he said. Dr. John Coulter also discusses this issue of anti-migrant racism uniting previous foes.
A survey earlier this year reported that racism seems to have replaced sectarianism as the most prevalent prejudice in Northern Ireland.

Twice as many of the 1,250 people questioned said they would be unwilling to accept or mix with members of ethnic minorities as they would with members of the other main religious tradition to their own.

Meanwhile, the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight has Northern Ireland’s racist issue on its cover, calling it the “Silent War”.

The Belfast Telegraph reports on that story, saying racist incidents in Northern Ireland have increased by 15% in the past year while PSNI figures say a total of 746 crimes with a racial motivation were committed in the province between April 1, 2005 and March 31, 2006.

The figures include 25 threat or conspiracy to murder crimes, 238 woundings or assaults, 69 cases of intimidation or harassment and 351 incidents of criminal damage.

The worst racist hot spots in Northern Ireland are Belfast, Dungannon, Craigavon and Ballymena.

“Racism is rising fast in Northern Ireland. Racist incidents have increased by 15pc in the past year. But it is the growing ferocity and systematic nature of these hate crimes that is shocking,” said reporter Matthew Collins.

It should be interesting to see the response of Northern Ireland’s poltical parties to this ongoing and apparently deteriorating situation.

  • Doctor Who

    As someone whose family arrived in NI to avoid Fascism, I find this very disturbing.

    The article did make it clear that most immigrants lived in Protestant areas and that attacks have happened in Catholic areas as well, so I don´t think there is an issue as which side of the community are the worst racist biggots.

    There is a definate need for debate in Northern Ireland on migration, it is very new, migrants are arriving in large numbers and with more East European sttes joining the EU, these numbers are going to get higher, and multi pluralism in Northern Ireland is here to stay. Attacks of this nature simply detracts from the debate.

    With Sinn Fein handing out “Welcome Packs” to migrants in West Belfast warning them not to contact the Police, is this not going to cause a lot of confusion when they embrace the PSNI as their Ard Fheis.

  • GavBelfast

    It’s disgusting, whoever is responsible. Wasn’t there also a suggestion that we had a green/orange pact against migrants in Kilkeel direction?

    And the trails for this Tuesday’s ‘Spotlight’, even if Stephen Nolan presenting may make it a bit tabloid-esque, look like it will be uncomfortable viewing, with unpleasant people here who I would gladly swap for hard-working, diverse arrivals on our shores.

  • daithi

    All the parties put out the requisite press releases “deplorable racism” etc., but clearly we need something much more.

    Ideas anyone?

    In Berlin they hold big rallies featuring all parties against racism and anti-semitism – perhaps a model for us?

  • lonely pint

    If the survey shows that 90% of attacks occur in loyalist areas,it is sadly evident that the loyalist/unionist community have a very real problem with racist behaviour in their midst.

    This has been particularly true in parts of South Belfast such as Donegall Pass and Donegall Road where there have been sustained campaigns against the chinese community and migrant workers from Eastern Europe.
    On a brighter note, a social Housing development for Chinese people in the Markets area has been a great success with the local community welcoming the arrival of the Chinese families.

  • willowfield

    In order to draw a conclusion about the relative levels of racism, or violent racism, in either community, one would need to compare the data about the location of the attacks with data about where ethnic minorities actually live. For example, if 90% of them live in “loyalist” areas then the fact that 90% of attacks took place in such areas would not prove anything.

    That said, instinctively I would not be surprised if “loyalists” were more racist (or more violently racist) than nationalists.

    There is less “political education” or political sophistication in “loyalist” areas, less confidence about identiy, and a greater feeling of insecurity. Also there is less discipline among “loyalist” terrorists than among nationalist terrorists.

  • Mark

    I previous noted Jim Allister DUP MEP travelled to racism blighted Dungannon to deliver a strong anti-immigration message to local residents. Certainly not an attempt to reduce racial tensions from him.

  • How are these Chinese people getting visas to come to Ireland or Britain? The Chinese are notorious abusers of student visas. They are also obviously working other scams such as opening businesses with others’ money. A good start would be to fuck the Chinese out from these islands.
    Ten percent of Portsmouth is Polish. I guess they are here to stay like the Irish in England.
    Another group who should get the boot are Muslims from non EU countries. And of course the African scammers. The sons of Roisin didn’t die for them.

    Before anyone jumps on my back, they are ilegal immigrants and have no right to be here. It is also annoying seeing pampered Africans on TV saying they have made a contribution and being awarded for same.

    There is an inevitable day of reckoning ahead with Irish trailer trash (Ballymena, West Dublin) and an African and Muslim underlass. The Chinese will present other problems. The idea of dispersing them across the country will also complicate things.

    On the plus side, this reconquest of Ireland wil help put an end to old divisions even as it creates new ones.

  • fair_deal

    No one seems to have pointed out the dodgy methodology of the “survey”. This survey shows that 90% of racist incidents INCLUDED IN MEDIA REPORTS were in loyalist areas. Perhaps the Observer could bother its arse to do some decent research and analyse the detailed information ward information available from the PSNI and the DCU’s, instead of a quick web search to make a dodgy headline.

  • lib2016

    Is it just me or is there something nasty about trying to score points about which community is more or less racist? On the other hand ‘willowfield’s’ honesty gives a lead for the rest of us.

    There seems to always be a tendency for the racists to get in first but when in Britain over the last forty years and in the South over the last four or five years it has been heartening to see the new arrivals gradually being accepted, especially when it takes place among the next generation.

    Most obvious when I’m travelling by public transport but one sees it increasingly elsewhere. One of the cases where ‘political correctness’ is very much a necessity and as I get older I feel guilty for all the times when I haven’t spoken out.

    Yes, TheGeorge – your opinions are a disgrace.

  • Ziznivy

    And on another thread he describes Northern Ireland as a fascist state.

    Pretty basic irony, but you can still get a titter.

  • qubol

    lib2016:Is it just me or is there something nasty about trying to score points about which community is more or less racist?

    not really lib, we have a problem and in order to solve it we need to look at the source, we also need to get the respective political leaders to show some real leadership on this problem and not indulge in the racist rabble rousing so loved by DUP politicians like Ruth Patterson.

  • DCB

    I thought the George was taking the piss, but evidently not.

    Starting businesses with others peoples money is what capitalism is all about.

  • Rory

    On the plus side, this reconquest of Ireland wil help put an end to old divisions even as it creates new ones.

    If racist intolerance as esposed in The George’s post is to be a mark of this reconquest then you can bet your boots it will create new problems. It would meet with all the resistance that I, for one, could muster and I do not suppose I would be alone.

    There is no room for this reactionary wee-Irelander nationalism in a modern state (nor indeed in any but a fascist state) and such attitudes must be robustly, if not ruthlessly combatted.

  • Immigration of the unskilled does not work. Look at the Sydney riots, Holland, France etc. If it is right to open the doors, then let everyone pile in. Britain has put steps to stop Bulgarians and Romanians flooding in. Why?
    Don’t confuse racial intolerance with reality. The South and large slapbs of the North are fine at the moment as house prices continue to rise and there are plenty of jobs. Wait till the worm turns.
    The United States has to curb imigration from the Philippines. Why? Because most Filipinnos want to get out through whatever scam they can. Who can blame them?
    Fair Deal makes a good point, but one that is better than he imagines. Of course, PSNI figures, properly verified, are the ones to use. Butr “people” prefer silly surveys and the NIMBY liberalism of the Mary Robinsons of this world.
    Most demographic growth is coming now from non nstionals. Ireland is a great deal for any African or third world Asian who can get in. Fine. Just prepare for trouble in the years ahead.

    As regards silly claims of racism, try to be original. Why did Australia drift so much to the right politically and intern refugees in the back of beyond? Why is immigration such a big issue in America?
    Ireland is an island by the way. How did all the Africans get there? Think smuggling, criminal gangs and 419 scams. And then think of the big double dole scams that have cost the tax payer hundreds of millions. Wise up and get beyond the cliches.

  • George

    TheGeorge,
    “And then think of the big double dole scams that have cost the tax payer hundreds of millions. Wise up and get beyond the cliches”

    I think if you stopped believing your own cliches and investigated the facts you’d find that the double dole scam accounted for 6.4 million of the 600 million Seamus Brennan says is being pilfered by fraudulent claims.

    It’s the 99% of the others (I think you’ll find they’re mostly Irish) you should be looking at but much easier to pick scapegoats, the most vulnerable in this society, the ones you have least knowledge about and the ones you least appreciate and understand.

  • Crataegus

    TheGeorge

    I ever you have the misfortune of serious illness you may find many of those Africans you stereotype in our hospitals, helping run our Health Service. If you open you eyes you will see many immigrants work dam hard and are an asset.

    The vast majority are our looking for work, trying to make a go of it. Recently was given a business card from a Polish bloke offering a service (Put Floor). It amused so I thought why not, good bloke. The point is limited English, foreign country, out trying to get work. Wish more locals had the same drive. Many of these immigrants will be among NIs business owners of the future.

    I have had nothing but good experience of immigrants, the same can’t be said of locals.

  • heck

    I tell people in other parts of the world that apart from the effects of the troubles and their conflict over national identity Northern Ireland citizens are the some of the nicest people you will ever meet.

    And then I read this racist crap and hang my head in shame.

  • Crat and George: Let’s keep our eye on the ball, shall we? First, as regards (all) Irish versus immigrants, of course lots of Irish are the scum of the earth. None more so than anyone who raises fists or more to immigrants or anyone else.
    Of course, almost all of them work hard and their remittances, like the remittances of people like them all over the world, are vital to keeping their families in food and housing.
    It is also good to see Poles, Slovaks and the like parade around the city as free people, not as their parents had to under communism.
    However, there are supposed to be 500 Poles sleeping rought in Dublin. There was the young Polish lady who lost her toes through frostbite in Coleraine. The dream does not work out for everyone. I wonder are the Poles in Ireland running community welfare programmes for their less fortunate fellows.
    Ireland is now a rich country and Africans and Chinese are flocking to the place. Look at the risks the Africans take to get to the Canaries. No one denies the drive. However, to pretend that criminal gangs are not centrally involved in all of this is naive. Australia had to slam the doors shut. Just how many should Ireland absorb and what should be the criteria? How come there are so many Chinese? Who gave them visas? Who is checking up on enrollents in English language schools?
    Another thing: the Romanian gypsies who are ferried, babies in tow, to be deposited inside Catholic churches. These people are not Irish or Catholic. Why should they be allowed to abuse Catholics with their presence? The ones I know are chauffered to and from “work”. I wonder will they apply to bring more beggars in on family reunion schemes.
    We are entering a new Ireland where the shops are British and the old allegiences will go to be replaced by new issues and new problems and new challenges. Let’s wait until the Celtic tiger bubble bursts ad see if we are any better than the Ossies and the tolerant Dutch.

  • Animus

    Oh, I don’t know where to start faced which such breathtaking ignorance. Not a great ambassador for our wonderful education system, eh?

    A little education for you, TheGeorge

    Many of the Chinese community in NI are from Hong Kong. Visas were handed out to attract businesspeople to come to Britain. Yes, like Windrush, they were actually asked to come here! There is nothing shady in it whatsoever. Once established, many people then sent for their families, particularly those who own takeaways and so on. Many of them have been here since the 80s, they aren’t as ‘recent’ as is sometimes claimed.

    There are companies here which are travelling to places like Poland to recruit people – young Poles aren’t just putting a map on the wall, and throwing a dart to choose a new location. They are actively recruited. It wouldn’t surprise me that people from other nations are being similarly recruited, I am aware that English firms go to Africa to recruit health care workers.

    Also, in answer to your other question, theGeorge, there is a Polish Welfare Society. They give advice and an opportunity for people to get together and to learn more about NI. For your information there are homeless (local) people in Belfast who will be sleeping rough tonight.

    Who is checking enrollments in English language schools? What are you talking about? I know that Botanic Primary offers EFL courses and there has been controversy about English as an additional language, but kids with Chinese parents attend the same schools as kids with Irish parents.

    Again with the dole, immigrants aren’t entitled to benefits, but the level of benefit scammed is less than that which goes unclaimed each year.

  • George

    TheGeorge,

    “However, there are supposed to be 500 Poles sleeping rought in Dublin. There was the young Polish lady who lost her toes through frostbite in Coleraine. The dream does not work out for everyone. I wonder are the Poles in Ireland running community welfare programmes for their less fortunate fellows.”

    I think you’ll find that the other 100 odd thousand are paying taxes and contributing to society so I don’t see any obligation to also run welfare programs after coming home from a hard day’s work. When was the last time you were down in the soup kitchen helping your own?

    “Ireland is now a rich country and Africans and Chinese are flocking to the place. Look at the risks the Africans take to get to the Canaries.”

    How many Africans have made it here illegally in the last year in your estimation? What constitutes a flock of immigrants?

    “However, to pretend that criminal gangs are not centrally involved in all of this is naive.”

    Of the hundreds of thousands here how many are involved in criminal gangs in your opinion and how does this compare with the indiginous Irish criminal gangs?

    Or are you talking about the people who have been abused by criminal gangs such as human traffickers, in other words blaming the victim?

    Also, how many illegals do you think made it here in the last 12 months with the help of criminal gangs?

    “Just how many should Ireland absorb and what should be the criteria? How come there are so many Chinese? Who gave them visas? Who is checking up on enrollents in English language schools?”

    The criteria are clearly laid out on permanent residency. Around 200,000 international students come to Ireland each year to study bringing in 400 million euros in revenue.

    “Another thing: the Romanian gypsies who are ferried, babies in tow, to be deposited inside Catholic churches… I wonder will they apply to bring more beggars in on family reunion schemes.”

    Actually, Romanians, as things stand, under the third land rule and the safe country of origin policy can’t apply to stay never mind bring someone else over.

    “We are entering a new Ireland where the shops are British and the old allegiences will go to be replaced by new issues and new problems and new challenges. Let’s wait until the Celtic tiger bubble bursts ad see if we are any better than the Ossies and the tolerant Dutch.”

    Indeed, let’s see but let’s stick to the facts when discussing this important issue rather than peddling myths and half truths.

  • micktvd

    The George, it’s true that here in Australia the Right wing Govt of John Howard has made huge political mileage from traditional Labour voters’ fears of non-white migrants. To do it, it’s had to ramp up an abysmal fear and villification campaign, and pretend that a few boatloads of half starving Afghans are threatening our borders. The whole sorry spectacle has been an abject lesson in how far we need to travel. processed overseas

    On the other hand, more than a quarter of Australians were born overseas. Multicultural Australia is the reality, I’m happy to say.

  • tom