Judge’s comments are the kind that can undo good relations
‘Show Racism the Red Card support the Integration Centre’s action to complain about the comments of Judge Mary Devins and her perception that Polish people view Social Welfare as a form of charity. Her comments are very unfortunate particularly following the very positive experience of Irish supporters when in Poland for EURO 2012.
The work of the Ireland Fans Embassy and You Boys in Green in promoting good relations stood to benefit Ireland. One activity of YBIG was the organisation of Fans friendly matches in Torun and Gdansk. In the process, they raised €4,500 for local children’s charities in Poland.
After Ireland exited EURO 2012, Polish fans set up a facebook group calling for a friendly match in Poznan between Poland and Ireland in 2012. Irish supporters had such a positive effect on building good will not only with Polish but with people across Europe.
Of course in Ireland, we know that there is a more complicated relationship with people of different cultural backgrounds. In the case of ambivalence to the Polish, earlier in the year there was the Polish waitress story and now we have the comments of Judge Devins.
There should be no place for racism in Ireland and least of all within the courtroom.
Garrett Mullan Co-ordinator for Show Racism the Red Card: ‘The comments of the Judge are bizarre. In reference to her statement, where racism should have been applied as an aggravating factor, the Judge undermined the legitimacy of the courtroom in her reference to a perception about Polish and Social Welfare. Judges hold a particular position within Ireland and are very well paid for it so we expect them to do their job without bringing personal prejudices into the work.
We support the Integration Centre’s action in making a complaint to Pearse Street Garda Station. Judges like all public officials should be subject to accountability and this is extremely poor form on the part of Judge Devins’.