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Anti-racism campaign on public transport moves up a gear

Wednesday, 16th August, 2017 6:07pm

Rasa has been with Bus Éireann for 12 years, servicing as far as Skibbereen and Bantry and she was speaking as part of the launch of a new initiative on the part of the transport industry to challenge racism on public transport.

More than 1,000 posters will be displayed during a two-week period as Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus, Iarnród Éireann, Transdev, Local Link bus services and the taxi industry come together in a campaign co-ordinated by the Immigrant Council of Ireland, in partnership with Transport for Ireland and Dublin City Council.

Rasa believes that campaigns such as this – the biggest of its kind in Europe – are important.

“I’ve been doing this route for ten years and my customers know me and I know everyone’s names and even their surnames,” she says.

“I was working before in other workplaces and it was bad but here I feel comfortable and I feel respected. I don’t feel foreign, I feel normal. Creating a good atmosphere in work ensures everyone feels happier and works more efficiently.”

Brian Killoran, CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said: “The Immigrant Council is proud to link up with national transport agencies to promote a message of solidarity and zero tolerance towards racism. The public transport system is the perfect partner as it both serves and represents the cultural diversity in Ireland.

“A total of 33 different backgrounds are represented among Bus Éireann’s 2,536 employees and among Iarnród Éireann’s 3,832 staff 23 different countries of origin are represented.”

These sentiments were echoed by Anne Graham, the chief executive of Transport for Ireland.

“Ireland has become more diverse and more mature in recent years, and the staff who deliver our public transport services certainly reflect these positive changes,” she said.

“However that doesn’t mean we can be complacent, and prejudice and intolerance – whoever the target may be – need to be tackled head on. Transport for Ireland is delighted to give this our full support.”

If you witness racism on Ireland’s transport system, you are urged to email stopracism@immigrantcouncil.ie.

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