TWENTY-FOUR local and European election candidates gathered at the Doras office in Limerick City centre to publicly denounce racism by signing the Anti-Racism Election Protocol 2019.
Seán McSweeney, Doras CEO told the Limerick Post they were “delighted” with the number of candidates that turned up to the event, and foundation “really appreciated their support”.
Doras Luimní is a member of European Network Against Racism (ENAR) Ireland; the Anti-Racism Election Protocol was relaunched in April for the upcoming local and European elections.
“It’s asking all the election candidates to sign up and endorse it, to agree not to use any words or images when they’re promoting their election candidacy that would either reinforce stereotypes, or be racist, or discriminatory in nature,” said Seán McSweeney
Speaking about the candidates that attended the event, McSweeney described there being a positive reaction from the candidates “especially in light of recent incidents”, referring to a racist video recorded on a Limerick street which appeared online earlier in April.
The Limerick Post asked the Doras CEO if he thinks candidates will have a chance to combat racism on the doorstep while canvassing:
“I don’t reckon, I for a fact know, one of the candidates just told me that he did encounter some racism on the doorstep. A particular person who was being quite racist, he confronted them and said he wasn’t willing to listen to that, it was racist, and he completely condemned what they were saying.”
Mr McSweeney told the Post racism “has to be confronted”:
“I think sometimes people feel they can just say these types of racist comments about people, and nobody will stand up to them, and that it’s almost ‘okay’ to say these things, and that gives them permission, and encourages them to use this racist type of language.
“So we all have a responsibility to confront that when we come across it and say it is not acceptable, it is completely discriminatory, and you’re not going to tolerate it.”
Doras continues to encourage both Local and European Election candidates to sign the Protocol to renew their commitment to anti-racism prior to this year’s elections on May 24.