The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Dessie Ellis has called on Fianna Fáil Senator Pascal Mooney to withdraw comments he made in the Seanad today which condoned discriminating against taxi drivers on the basis of their perceived nationality. He also called on party leader Micheál Martin to distance himself from such comments.
Deputy Ellis said:
“Today in the debate on the new Taxi Regulation Bill Senator Mooney said that he would go to a local taxi driver in preference to an ‘obvious non-national’. He also went on to say that he thought there was a very high number of ‘non-Irish’ operating taxis in Ireland. These are discriminatory statements and the Senator should withdraw them.
“There are people of many different nationalities and cultures working in Ireland in all different sectors. They are part of our communities and economies and Pascal Mooney would do well to remember that before he so callously judges them. He said his discriminatory practice was not based on colour but I am intrigued as to how Senator Mooney has the ability to discern someone's nationality through a car window. Regardless it is wrong to do this and wrong for a public representative to openly condone it.
“Foreign nationals in Ireland have been found to suffer regular racial abuse of varying degrees on the street and in their workplace. This is a serious issue and we must address it, not give comfort to those who engage in racism.
“Fianna Fáil should distance themselves from these remarks and Pascal Mooney should apologise.”