Racism drops as integration increases in Ireland- survey suggests

A survey commissioned by the Irish government’s National Action Plan against Racism has indicated towards a significant drop in the level of racism in Ireland. A representative sample of the population as a whole participated in the survey carried out by IMS Consultants. The results contrasts sharply with the recent results pointing to an increase of 15% in Northern Ireland.The findings show that the main trends across key measurable statistics have moved in a positive direction over the past three years. Experiences of racism in Ireland have fallen and there has been a shift in understanding and awareness of non-Irish nationals and their contribution to society since 2003.One of the most dramatic findings of the research is the fact that there has been a significant increase in the numbers of people who have had experiences of new communities – this has increased from 36% to 67% in the past three years.- 13% of people witnessed racism in Ireland compared to 18% three years ago.• There has been a significant drop – nearly 20% – in those who view Ireland as racist (from a mean of 5.88 out of ten in 2003 to 4.69 out of ten in 2006);• Today 65% of those interviewed believe most immigrants come from Eastern Europe, with 37% believing they come from African countries. This is an inversion of 2003 findings, when 53% of people interviewed had the perception that most immigrants to Ireland came from African countries, and only 30% believed they came from Eastern Europe;• 80% of interviewees anticipate the number of non-Irish citizens in Ireland will continue to rise;• 44% of those interviewed were concerned that non-Irish workers were replacing Irish workers;• 41% of those interviewed believed there was a need and a place for a Government position on racism in the form of the National Action Plan Against Racismwww.diversityireland.ie

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