It is interesting to note an article in today’s Irish Times by Shane O’Curry, the director of Enar Ireland (the European Network Against Racism), commenting on the verdict against demagogic newspaper columnist Ian O’Doherty, the Anglophone bête noire of Ireland’s Hibernophone citizens, finding him guilty of using prejudicial language against Roma and other minorities in the country.
“It is easy to dehumanise others; indeed we all do it to some degree. Research reviewed in the latest New Scientist demonstrates that the ability to dehumanise members of a group other than our own is innate.
On Monday, the press ombudsman upheld a complaint I made on behalf of the European Network Against Racism in Ireland (Enar Ireland) about an Irish Independent article by Ian O’Doherty published on September 30th last year. iReport.ie, a racist incident-reporting tool managed by Enar Ireland, received a complaint about the article.
Finding in Enar Ireland’s favour, the press ombudsman ruled that the Irish Independent article was in breach of the press code of practice under principle eight – prejudice. The article made a number of prejudicial generalisations about Roma, including referring to them as a “parasitic, ethnic underclass”.
The article also called for the State to engage in the ethnic profiling of Roma, by deporting “any Roma who doesn’t have a job”. The article also made use of the term “Criminal Roma”, a term recently identified as intended to stir up racial hatred by the European Court of Human Rights.”
Given O’Doherty’s career-building attacks on Irish-speaking citizens and communities down through the years I wonder if it is time for that particular minority to make use of the tools provided by the law to pursue their demands for equality? The next time you read or hear inflammatory views directed towards Hibernophones in the media you know who to contact.