AN Ennis mother whose adopted son was racially abused at a local sports complex has appealed to her local representative to raise the matter at next Tuesday’s Council meeting.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous to protect the identity of her two ‘dark-skinned’ adopted children, has written to Councillor James Breen and asked him to raise the matter at the Council meeting.
She told Councillor Breen that since they adopted their eldest son in 1995, and their second son in 1998, “I have noticed a substantial increase in racism and racist assaults perpetrated on my sons, this has been both physical and verbal in nature and is not confined to any one aspect of life but is to be encountered on a daily basis from people of all ages and social class.”
She said she was particularly concerned when, before the summer, her 15-year-old son, who plays all sports extremely well, was verbally abused three times over one weekend.
“These were totally unprovoked and random incidents and caused a lot of upset for my son,” adding, “there was a particular incident in the Lees Road Sports complex which was particularly unpleasant and involved a group of young adult men playing soccer on the all weather pitch beside where my son and his soccer team were training. One of the men suggested that my son return to his own country and the same man abused the mother of my son’s friend, a South African woman.”
The mother of the boys said she believes that public facilities , organisations and bodies should have clear policies to protect individuals.
She asked Councillor Breen to raise the matter in the council chamber and to make a clear statement that public facilities will not tolerate racism at any level and that anyone found to be racist will be dealt with appropriately.
“I will be raising it at the Council meeting,” Councillor Breen confirmed. “I think every club should have a code of practice and should deal with people that are dishing out racist comments. I will be also saying as a representative of the Ennis Metropolitan District on the body that oversees Lees Road Sports Complex, that anyone abusing people like that should be banned from that area.”
Councillor Breen said with such an mix of cultures now living in the country it is time to grasp the nettle of racism and racial abuse.
“When we went abroad to work we liked to be treated with respect and everyone here deserves to be treated with the same respect. I’ll be asking the Council to write to clubs using public facilities, to advise their members on a strict code of conduct. And I’ll be asking that all clubs throughout the County would adopt such a code, as well,” Councillor Breen said.