Below we carry a statement from Anti-Fascist Action Ireland regarding a protest taking place today in Dublin following racist comments made by Fianna Fáil Councillor Sean McEniff.
Anti-racist councillors in Dublin have added their voices to the condemnation of a Donegal Fianna Fáil councillor for racist comments made against Travellers. The widely publicised views expressed by Councillor Sean McEniff were followed by a malicious arson attack on a Council house allocated to an overcrowded Donegal traveller family.
Independent Councillor Cieran Perry said, “The deplorable comments made by Cllr McEniff created an atmosphere where cowardly thugs believe it is acceptable to burn a traveller’s home. This Irish form of racism is unacceptable.
“We feel it is important for elected representatives to express our abhorrence of the views expressed by Cllr McEniff and also Cllr Eugene Dolan of Fine Gael. This is not a local matter for Donegal, it is an important national issue.”
éirígí Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan said, “We are not living in Alabama in the 1950s, but it is clear some people wish we were. Cllr McEniff’s views must be clearly rejected by all decent public representatives. It is little wonder politicians are held in low esteem by the public if a small few pander to ignorant racism and prejudice in this way.”
Donegal community activist Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig said, “This is the most recent episode in a drama of racism, prejudice and exclusion, in which public representatives played leading roles. Cllr McEniff's and Town Councillor Dolan’s racist statements regarding the Traveller community clearly inflamed the situation. I believe they have a case to answer in relation to incitement to hatred.”
The group Anti-Fascist Action is co-ordinating a picket to be held on Saturday 16th February at 2pm at the Camden Court Hotel in Dublin, a property owned by Cllr McEniff.
AFA spokesperson Joanne Tobin said, “This Cllr McEniff condemned the arson attack, but without any recognition of the consequences of his racist statements. Hate Speech leads to Hate Acts. We have been contacted by dozens of people from community, anti-racist and political groups throughout the country who are very angry and want to make their views clear to Cllr McEniff.
“The organisers of the picket wish to make it clear that they have no argument with the staff of the Camden Court Hotel and that no animosity should be directed at them. Our protest is directed at Cllr Sean McEniff.”
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