RACISM appears to be on the rise in Ireland as figures show reports of racist incidents have increased by 24% in the past year.
A new study conducted by the Irish Network Against Racism (INAR) found that complaints of racism and racist abuse dramatically leapt up in 2020, coinciding with the Black Lives Matter movement which rose to international prominence in May last year following the death of George Floyd.
INAR's study shows that iReport.ie received 700 reports of racism in 2020, compared with just 530 reports in 2019.
This represents an increase of just under a quarter (24%) in 12 months.
Breaking those reports down, criminal offences accounted for 159 of the reports in 2020, including 51 assaults, 36 threats to kill or harm, 10 thefts and 61 cases of criminal harassment.
There were also 99 reports of discrimination, while other 'recordable' racist incidents accounted for 143 reports.
79 of the reports came from people who were denied access to goods or services, citing racism as the motivation, while 22 people reported racist discrimination within the workplace.
The study also revealed an increase in the amount of racist hate speech incidents. These included incidents in newspapers (40) and on radio and TV (212).
Two reports of racism were also made against politicians in Ireland.
The majority of hate speech, it appears, comes from social media (surprise, surprise), with 212 overall reports.
It's also understood that 11% of all reported racist incidents in 2020 resulted in physical injury, while 101 of the reports constituted 'repeated harassment'.
The study also found that a third of all reports made in 2020 came from black-African and black-Irish individuals.