“By joining with other political parties in signing this protocol, we are sending a clear signal to voters that our party rejects racism, hate speech and all forms of discrimination..”

The Social Democrats today called on the government to produce an Action Plan Against Racism, as the party endorsed an Anti-Racism Election Protocol ahead of May’s local and European elections,

Speaking on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the party’s co-leaders Róisín Shortall TD and Catherine Murphy TD said:

“Social Democrats candidates wholeheartedly endorse the protocol from the European Network Against Racism Ireland. As public figures, we are highly conscious of our duty to set the highest standards in politics and public discourse. By joining with other political parties in signing this protocol, we are sending a clear signal to voters that our party rejects racism, hate speech and all forms of discrimination.

“The Social Democrats do not and will not tolerate dog-whistling or the scapegoating of minority communities on the basis of ethnicity or social status. The rhetoric of punching down and inciting hatred against vulnerable communities is harmful and distracts attention away from the very many pressing social and economic issues that our communities face. We welcome Ireland’s increasing diversity and we want to build an inclusive and fair republic where all people are treated with dignity and respect.”

The party’s candidate for Balbriggan, Garrett Mullan who is a founder and former Director of Show Racism the Red Card, called for a new government Action Plan Against Racism.

“The government needs to do more to tackle racism in our communities. Currently, it spends €1.1m a year supporting projects that either tackle racism or contribute to integration of minorities,” he said.

“The most important contribution of a dedicated national Action Plan Against Racism would be in the area of education. If young people are persuaded from racism and hostility, it lays the basis for a stable society. There is ample evidence of communities in Ireland who want to tackle racism and promote integration but they need support.”

 

ENDS

 

21st March 2019