New Race Cases arising from Irish Equality Legislation

“The year 2001 should be a watershed in our efforts to create a more intercultural society as it is the year of the UN Global Conference against Racism”, said Equality Authority CEO Niall Crowley, in a statement marking International day against Racism – March 21st 2001.

“Ireland should take the lead in developing such initiatives around the Global Conference.The Conference will commit us to planned and strategic initiatives to address racism, and to promoting and providing the culture and identity of minority ethnic groups” continued Mr Crowley.

“We have already taken a lead with strong anti-racist legislation, which the Equality Authority is charged with implementing. We have given priority to this issue although a clear challenge persists in building a consciousness of these new legislative rights among Black and minority ethnic groups.

The Equality Authority helps combat racism by providing information on the anti-discrimination rights established on the race ground. We can also provide legal advice and representation.

  • 11% of current cases under the Employment Equality Act 1998 are on the race ground including issues like harassment, access to employment and dismissal
  • 4% of current cases under the same Act are on the Traveller ground including access to employment and dismissal.
  • 3% of current cases under the Equal Status Act 2000 are on the race ground including issues like access to education, goods and harassment.
  • 59% of current cases under the Equal Status Act are on the Traveller ground, including issues like access to goods, leisure facilities and education.

“Racism can be seen in all areas of Irish life – on the streets, in the workplace and in the provision of services. We are all challenged to change this situation by taking action as individuals and as organisations” he continued.

The Equality Authority is publishing its leaflets in 7 languages and nine formats in total and is also hosting a briefing lunch on the Equal Status Act for Black and minority ethnic groups on Wednesday March 21st to mark what Niall Crowley described as “an important day to signal the urgency of taking action to combat racism in Ireland”.