Hundreds of people participated in a ârally against hateâ in response to the increase in cases of racism.
he Rally Against Hate was organized by the group Le Cheile, which means together in Irish, an alliance of public figures working to âcounter the rise of fascism and far-right politics in Irelandâ.
The crowd heard from Sophia Mulvany, an 11-year-old girl in a wheelchair from Dublin.
She said: âIn my school I have a lot of friends. Some of my friends, their parents are from Spain, Poland, China, Africa and Germany. People say they don’t want them here because they’re different.
“I don’t walk, does that make me different? Does that mean I don’t belong here?
âWhen we say access for all, we want everyone to be included. Not a few, but most.
“Whether you are gay, straight, trans, a person of color, a traveler, a person with a disability, or any other group.
âYou deserve a voice and you deserve a place in society.
“Modern Ireland is a place where people from all over the world are accepted with open arms.”
Louise O’Reilly of Sinn Fein, Gary Gannon of Social Democrats and Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit, Paul Murphy and Brid Smyth were among the TDs in attendance on Saturday. Dublin Mayor Hazel Chu was also present.
The Lord Mayor, whose parents are from Hong Kong but have lived in Ireland for decades, told the crowd his mother suffered racist attacks when she moved here.
“She was a migrant who arrived here 45 years ago. And over the years, it was always
âAll the racial attacks she was getting, an ashtray on her headâ¦ that she should go home, it was always followed by the phrase ‘We have to keep going and we have to keep our heads down, we have to fit inâ.
“But those days are over. We are an Ireland made up of 12% migrants. We are a diverse and different Ireland, and these differences must be celebrated.
“If my mother, who is a dishwasher and a housekeeper, and who came here with one bag to make a better life for herself, and her daughter can become Lord Mayor of Dublin, then anyone in this country can become anything.
“We have to encourage them for this.”
Le Cheile says his aim is to challenge far-right politics and narratives, debunk disinformation and challenge anti-foreclosure rhetoric.
Protests associated with the far right opposing Covid-19 measures have escalated in violence in recent months, including when a member of An Garda SÃochÃ¡na was attacked with fireworks.