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Having taken place today at 1.45pm, a gathering of members and candidates for seats in Wicklow County Council gathered outside their Wicklow town HQ to sign a #AREP19 Protocol.
The #AREP19 being the the anti-racism protocol that has been in use in Ireland since 2001.
Turning up at the County Buildings on Monday were councillors from all parties – including Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Labour, Social Democrats, People Before Profit and Sinn Féin – alongside independents, and Shane O’Curry, director of European Network Against Racism Ireland. The latter is a network organisation of nearly 90 Irish civil society member organisations working collectively to combat racism.
One of those who attended the signing, Labour candidate Ian McGahon, explained the background to the Anti-Racism Election Protocol #AREP19.
ENAR Ireland’s Protocol has been in use in Ireland since 2001 and was re-launched this year on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It has particular relevance in the context of the use of racist discourse by one candidate in the 2018 Presidential Election and the rise of xenophobic populism in Ireland and globally, not least the Islamophobic terror attacks in Christchurch. We hope with this protocol to help keep the May 24 local and European elections free from the kind of toxic discourse that misinforms voters and debases political debate.
You can find out more about Anti-Racism Election Protocol here, ENAR Ireland’s membership here, and their most latest report on racist incidents in Ireland here.