Pavee Point Press Statement

26 Oct 2014


Mob Violence Has No Place in Ireland

Pavee Point strongly condemns any actions to intimidate and promote violence against Roma in Waterford.  This follows the publication of multiple Facebook pages which openly incite hatred against Roma, and reports of a public order incident on Saturday evening where up to 100 people are reported to have gathered outside the home of Roma living in Waterford.

The content on Facebook pages to date have shown huge misinformation and racism towards Roma and have included inflammatory, dehumanising and violent language.  There is a clear link between online hate speech and hate crime and there is an urgent need to address the use of the internet to perpetuate anti-Roma hate speech and to organise violence.

European institutions and groups such as the European Roma Rights Centre have raised concerns about rising violence in Europe and the strengthening of extremist and openly racist groups which spread hate speech and organise anti-Roma marches.  Attacks in other European countries have included several murders of Roma.  We don’t want this to become a feature in Ireland.

“Anti-Roma racism does not occur in a vacuum and we now need strong public and political leaders to be visible, vocal and openly condemn anti-Roma actions in Waterford”  said Siobhan Curran, Roma Project Coordinator Pavee Point. “At a national level a progressive national strategy to support Roma inclusion in Ireland needs to be developed as a matter of urgency” she continued.

Pavee Point calls on all elements of the media to take on board the recommendations from the Logan Report and avoid sensationalist and irresponsible reporting.