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In the last 24 hours, I have heard three different people say:

“I’d hate to live with a Chink. They smell, you know.”

“His children? [referring to well-known Irish man of mixed race] You’ll find them in the zoo.”

“He’s foreign, but he’s gorgeous. It’s ok, I checked, he’s not Polish.”

Edit: Is this just me? Was I underestimating how racist we are in this country?



  1. As a seemingly acceptable foreigner (Kiwi) in Ireland who has a girlfriend from a different European country (not Poland but often assumed as such), it never ceases to amaze me the difference in how myself and my girlfriend get treated wherever we go. Its as blatant as when being served in a shop the coldness she gets treated with and then warmth to me straight after her.

    • I have seen examples of that alright – and while I know people can be rude, or presumptuous, or just ignorant, this level of blatant racism was new to me. One of them even said “Oh I know I’m a complete racist” as if that made it ok…

  2. The thing that also makes me laugh is when you hear people talking about all the “foreigners” getting social benefits here (seemingly irrelevant if they have worked for many years and then lost their jobs) yet when they are talking about their Irish friends who are ripping of the system (whether it be council houses/ social welfare or whatever) that is completely fine. “Its all the bloody foreigners causing the problems!!!”
    So bloody infuriating.

  3. I don’t know much about what’s happening in Ireland right now…but I know as a Canadian watching the Republican Presidential debates in the United States, the level of racism and intolerance in some of the rhetoric has gotten disgustingly high.

    And, living in a very small Canadian town, there’s *always* a disturbing undercurrent of racism, often from people I’d least expect it from. It makes me very sad.

    I like your blog…I’ll be back to


    • Hi Sarah, thanks for commenting (I haven’t been back here in a while!). The US Presidential race is a prime example but it’s amazing how overt it has been already. Rick Santorum’s comments about how Obama “as a black man” can tell anyone anything about abortion were pretty instructive on how bad things still are.

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