A DUNDALK man who is originally from Nigeria has said that racism is a “huge issue” in the town and across Ireland.
The 50-year-old father-of-four told The Dundalk Democrat he does not wish to named as he is afraid of a backlash for speaking publicly about racism.
“I don't want to put myself, my family, and my business at risk because of what I'm saying about this problem,” he said.
“I've been living in Dundalk for over 15 years and racism is still as pronounced as it ever was. More needs to be done to encourage intergration in the community.”
The Dundalk man made his comments earlier today after the release of a new report compiled by the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI).
The report is based on interviews with 50 young people from 20 different ethnic backgrounds around the country.
“The racism involves name calling and a lack of respect. Some people are still prejudiced. It all emanates from home. It's down to what parents are teaching their kids,” he said.
“I'm thinking of leaving Dundalk when my youngest child finishes school because of the racism we have faced.
“One of my children is actively involved in soccer and is hoping to wear the Irish jersey some day but he was very upset to learn about a boy who was racially abused in Aviva recently.”
He added: “I've been here a long time and I still don't feel accepted. It's hard. People blame it on the economic downturn but I think it's much more than that.”
“I think it's a question of accepting people for who they are. In fairness to Irish people they are very charitable. They are near perfect when it comes to charity.”
Primary schools in Dundalk such as Gael Scoil Dhún Dealgan recently hosted a 'Show Racism the Red Card Day' to encourage greater acceptance and integration between children of different ethnic groups in the town.