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Ad for house a sign of prevalent racism which must be tackled says Ó Snodaigh

5 March, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Human Rights Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD warned strongly against what he referred to as a "dangerous and worrying development" around issues of racism in light of a racist ad placed in a Galway newspaper this week.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"We need to be very careful that signs of blatant racism are not ignored or tolerated in our society - this could lead to a dangerous and worrying development. The published ad is more reminiscent of what was seen by many unfortunate people, Irish included - seeking employment or accommodation in the 1940s and 50s in Britain and North America. The fact that a newspaper should carry an ad with such outrageously and blatantly racist words is genuinely worrying. But it is not enough to simply note this so-called "misprint" in passing. This Property company in Galway needs to be pressed further for a proper explanation instead of insulting the intelligence of the nation by calling it a "misprint". Computers do not automatically type hidden words so how did the words "no coloured" appear? I assume they didn't mean the house was unpainted.

"The Property company try to assure us saying they had 'many coloured people in different properties' as though that could excuse the occasional racist ad. Anyone aware of racism in their midst - and this is hardly a recent phenomenon, knows that black people are not 'coloured'. It is in fact highly objectionable to call them 'coloured' in any context, good or bad. I hope the matter will be dealt with comprehensively by the Equality Authority, at the least, so that non-nationals in Galway do not have to fear further discrimination or racism from any quarters, as suggested by NGOs there.

"We need to keep on top of this issue. Racism lurks in our midst, evidenced also by the Vincentian Centre's recent report on racism and housing, and only constant education and positive initiatives to address it will ensure that it will be proactively tackled" ENDS

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