Eire is more than just Guinness, green hills and redheads... Come talk about what makes Ireland so special.

Racism towards people of colour

Jackinthebox

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Tags: racism, single travelers, gothpunk subculture
  • Added on: August 13th, 2008
Hi,
I am planning to visit Cork as well as Dublin, possibly Shannon as well this fall. I'll be travelling on my own and i am a woman of east indian descent who also happens to be a goth!
i'm just curious on others experiences to ireland...is ireland really as racist as people say it is? would i face harrassment or bother being a woman, being darker skinned, and being into an alternative sub culture?
Does anyone have any feedback on this? I welcome all suggestions, whether you be a lone woman traveller to ireland, vs. a traveller of colour, vs. a goth/punk, or a combination of all 3.

thanks in advance!!
jackinthebox

PhilGill

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  • Added on: August 13th, 2008
Hey there,

I am irish so I might be biased but here is my opinion. Up until pretty recently i.e. 15 years ago ireland didn't get that many immigrants. I was about 10 or so before I saw a person with black skin, I can remember very well the amazement and the puzzlement what went on between my two ears. Ireland has had a massive economic boom in the mean time which has attracted people from all over the world, encouraging investment and unprecedented immigration. It has gotten to a stage where the native irish language is now just the 4th most spoken language in the country after english, chinese and polish. You have as a result a petri dish, a multicultural society growing in front of your eyes - its inevitable that there are going to be strange looks or gazes everynow and again, being alternative will serve to extenuate any reactions you might get. But on the whole, having travelled through quite a few places myself I would say that ireland is alot less racist than other places. I spent 4 months in india and was ostracised due to my skin colour on a regular basis, in the philippines kids came up with their mobile phones to take pictures of me - positive racism I guess you could call it...

Anyways I would be very surprised if you had any hassle at all in ireland, but I am disappointed that someone would call it an especially racist place
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/PhilGill/

Jackinthebox

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  • Added on: August 14th, 2008
hi philgill,

thanks for that update...i've been to a variety of different websites and they all have alluded to racially motivated attacks against men, and even women and children, which is pretty scary if residents of a country feel okay to openly bash women and children in particular. I kept seeing that kind of thread over and over again, that i had to ask the question.
It made me feel fearful, as i'm not fair haired, or fair eyed, that i could be potentially considered a target. However i'm a born and raised Canadian, so i'm used to be in a multicultural society. i don't really know how to not accept people due to their differences, as i accept everyone. I've travelled extensively over the world, purely for pleasure. I have never encountered any racism personally, but that could also be because i am Canadian with a natural canadian accent, so maybe that's worked in my favour? but in any case, i was just concerned about that. I still hope to visit Ireland, as it's a place i've always felt mystically drawn to. I've been thinking about it for at least 10years in fact. I'm glad i'll be able to make it a reality as soon as this fall.

If anyone else would like to add to their irish experiences, good or bad...i'd love to hear them Smile

jackinthebox

manktelr

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  • Added on: August 14th, 2008
I'd agree with PhilGills post but I would point out that in Dublin and the larger Irish towns there's lots of (to put it the scottish way which is more pc) Non Educated Deliquents, this species can be identified by white tracksuit, brylcreamed short fringe and runners that cost more than all the rest of their clothes
(linky to drawing, not mine)
http://bp0.blogger.com/_ONuE0GdBWas/Ra_cuGVLsLI/AAAAAAA...ker-you-prick-ye.jpg

who may have an issue with you, these people have an issue with anybody (I think most white Irish males will have had a few run ins with them) in fact your being a goth might cause greater offence than you skin colour (ps thats a total guess but know they don't like goths much)
Anyway I'm sure you'l have a great time bars that play metal/industrial in dublin are Bruxelles, Fibber magees (parnel street is dodgy at night though) and where ever place is hosting Dominion (used to be Fraisers on O'Connel street)

Jackinthebox

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  • Added on: August 14th, 2008
so the irish don't like goths much, eh? i wish i could leave it at home, but i've been goth since i was 13. i guess i'll have to take my chances Smile but thanks for the warning just the same. Would people be more offended by goths in Cork, or Dublin? i would think in bigger cities, they should be more accepting of it, no?
I have looked up Dominion online, i'm definetly intrigued to check it out. I look up all the goth clubs/clothing/record stores before i visit the city ideally.
What would you recommend to get b/n Cork and Dublin? are trains pretty reliable there? or are buses a better option?

PhilGill

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  • Added on: August 14th, 2008
The bus takes about 5 hours to get down and is so much cheaper than the train, it also runs alot more frequently. It depends on your budget, check up www.irishrail.ie and www.buseireann.ie for the timetables.
I wouldn't say that irish people hate goths, you might get a little grief from the trackie brigrade, or scobie wan kinobies as I like to call them. I have gotten abuse from them because I am from the country side and my accent is different from theirs. But they are a minority, ireland is a great and friendly place. There is a goth scene there and i'm sure you will find plenty of likeminded people there to welcome you..

enjoy Smile
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/PhilGill/

manktelr

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  • Added on: August 15th, 2008
When your looking at Irish rail and the Busses if your a student remember that to get a student fair on the train you need a special student travel pass (that costs 15 euro) but on Bus Eireann all you need is a valid student card from your college (would confirm though if international ones are ok but I'd guess they would be)
Another option for cork-dublin would to fly www.aerarann.com/
this might be cheaper than train but more expensive than bus.

PS Yeah I am sort of exagerating the "trackie brigade" its just that the small annoyances sticks in the mind long after the little gits are gone, didn't mean to make you think that what you wear will cause offence in Ireland at all, the place is swarming with emo's kids anyway Wink
have a great time- there is another place I should be mentioning but can't think of it at the minute Confused

manktelr

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  • Added on: August 15th, 2008
-check out the aircoach for really cheap cork dublin deals that they run sometimes
http://www.aircoach.ie/

Jackinthebox

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  • Added on: August 15th, 2008
Thanks so much for the websites guys! if the both of you are any indication on friendliness/helpfulness of irish folk, i think I'll have a very good time indeed. Here's another question, if i was to stay in Cork for 3 days approx. (i know it's not a lot of time) what would be the key things you'd recommend to visit? I know of Blarney Castle ... if i were to go there, is it better to go by a day tour, or is it convenient to get to on my own w/out a tour bus??? I was thinking best thing to do is to find a central accommodation, so essentially to stay in Cork City to give you an idea of my environ.
What about Dublin,,,,same question...if only had 3 days..are there things on the must do list that shouldn't be missed? i understand you may or may not be from these cities, so you might not know, but any suggestions you could give would be well received and appreciated Smile

aoifka

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  • Added on: August 15th, 2008
Hiya,

Just in response to your query about stuff to see while basing yourself in Cork - check out the discover ireland website http://www.discoverireland.ie/southwest/cork.aspx and do some reading on what you'd like to see. I recommend going to the south of the county and doing some touring around the coast, but maybe if you only have 3 days maybe do a day trip to somewhere like Kinsale or Skibbereen. There's an unbelievable amount of stuff to do around Cork. Cork city in itself is one of my favourite cities, I happened to be there for a few hours last weekend and it's so vibrant and lovely. I think it was the International Culture Capital a few years back or something like that. And the music scene is great. In conclusion, it rocks.

And in response to your question about rascism - I really really really doubt you'll have a problem. Like, at all. Call me naive, but I just find the fact that Ireland is regarded as rascist is really bizarre. Every second shop or cafe you go into here is manned by young non Irish people. Any of the towns and cities is swarming with backpackers from all over the world. In my opinion, the only resentment that comes from Irish people towards those of a different nationality is down to the downturn in the economy and the increase in unemployment. There's bitterness circulating that Irish people can't get jobs because they're being offered to non-nationals who take lower wages. But that's nothing to do with your race or culture, it's just about money and the economy and stuff. (Which I think is very hypocritical because that's exactly what Irish people did in both America and Britain and how we survived from the mid 1800s until the late 1990's. So we should be willing to give a little back I think.) In my opinion the only funny looks will be because you're a tourist talking photos NOT because your skin is a bit of a different colout. So, don't worry one bit, you'll be grand.

And I can't bloody blink for fear of banging into a goth these days. There are loads of em. Everywhere. I was half tempted to go down that route myself for a while but was reliably informed by my friends that I was far too old and would just look like an eejit. Why weren't there goths when I was growing up? Stupid being old. So chill out girl, you'll be sound.
Living Without Cheese:
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/aoifka/

Jackinthebox

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  • Added on: August 15th, 2008
thank you aoifka. you and the 2 charming irish men have put me at ease. i appreciate the link on info about cork. i'll carve some time out this weekend and go through it thoroughly Thumbs Up
maybe i should squeeze another day out in cork, there is plenty to do from the preliminary quick read of that url you generously provided Smile

cybersusst

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  • Added on: August 25th, 2008
Might be a little late jumping on the bandwagon here but I too think you will have no problem. Definitely not for the skin thing, maybe those tracksuit fellas (who can be scary in a funny way) will say something bout the goth thing. Their accents are so hard to understand that you won't know what they're saying to you anyway.

What was said up there about the economy and jobs and all is true. Also lots of ethnic groups suddenly coming together always causes trouble! For example, a lot of my friends won't talk to Polish guys in pubs. They're known for pinching girls' butts on the streets, has happened to me a few times.

But if you're just a traveler I don't see anyone caring!
__________________________________________
My travel/living in Kosovo blog

The Road Forks

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  • Added on: September 3rd, 2008
I also agree that you shouldn't have any problem (at least on the east Indian side of things). I am also of Indian descent and my husband is white, and we didn't have any problems at all. I found that there were a lot of people of Indian descent in Dublin and there are Indian restaurants everywhere. Actually, one of the best Indian restaurants I have ever eaten at is in Dublin --- highly recommend Maloti off Grafton Street. The Irish people were amongst the friendliest I have met in the world and we absolutely loved the country. This is just my two cents, of course, but the best way to see the country is to rent a car and drive through the countryside. Dublin is a cool city but there are a LOT of tourists and we had the most fun in the little towns hanging out with the locals in the pubs until the wee hours of the morning.
Our minds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, eat, and cook our way around the world: http://www.theroadforks.com

TripDiva

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  • Added on: September 28th, 2008
I'm also late on the bandwagon, and I can't really help you on the Goth or the East Indian aspects, but I have travelled around Ireland solo (and female). I think, just like everywhere, there are those who are just looking to make trouble with anyone, for any reason, simply because they have nothing better to do with their lives. I can't recall meeting anyone like that while in Ireland (and I've been four times), but I'm confident that they're around. It's mostly a matter of luck whether or not you'll run into them.

If anything, you'll most likely to get a few well-meaning comments about your travelling alone, as in "Why in the world is a lovely young lady such as yourself having to travel around on her own? Why hasn't some young man snapped you up yet?" or words to that effect. And it's not meant to be offensive - at least I hope it isn't - but it is a way to find out more about you. The Irish tend to be a curious group, so be ready.

You may get some confusion on the Goth thing, but I doubt you'll get any harassment, unless you get unlucky as I mentioned earlier.

Have a wonderful trip - and Ireland is a great country, so don't let a few people prattling on about racism scare you off. Be sensible, but don't let it stop you from enjoying yourself!
Go trippin' with the Diva!
http://tripdiva.com

Jackinthebox

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  • Added on: December 11th, 2008
Hi all,

I've been home now for close to 3 weeks and i thought i'd give you my update. i was in ireland for exactly a week before heading off to italy. and wow! what a fantastic country!!! i never felt so welcomed and had so many smiles thrown my way! the irish people are the very very best. some of the warmest, friendliest individuals i ever had the good fortune to meet. i was floored by the helpfulness as well. if i asked one question, they answered 10 questions!
i know now that i've begun a love affair with this country and i'll definetly head back in the next year or two. I'd like to see more of the west and head towards Killarney and Galway. Anyway, the colour thing, no one noticed...and the goth thing, they were all pretty open minded as well. ireland absolutely rocks! and i absolutely loved Blarney Castle and i checked out Kinsale as well for a day and was swept away by Charles Fort overlooking the sea, Dublin was a great city for walking and touring as well. a definite trip back to beautiful ireland is in order Smile


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