An elderly man who pleaded guilty to racially abusing a non-national in Co. Cork has avoided conviction.
Judge Leo Malone fined 68-year-old Richard Hurley €350 for using threatening, abusive, and insulting language against a non-national earlier this year.
The incident occurred on Barrack St, Cork on January 4 last when the victim told police he was waiting for an estate agent to show him a property at 96 Barrack St, the Irish Examiner reports.
While he was waiting, the accused came out of 95 Barrack St.
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Inspector Bill Duane told Cork District Court on Tuesday: "He came out and stuck his finger up to him and said: ‘Go back to your own f---- country you f---- black ‘N’."
"Mr Hurley told gardaí the man was peeping in his doorway and said: ‘I will not have peeping Toms in my doorway.’
"He continued to shout: ‘The Irish did not fight in West Cork for the blacks. Bobby Sands did not die for the blacks’," added Insp Duane.
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Judge Leo Malone questioned why the 68-year-old had reacted in this manner.
His attorney, Diarmuid Kelleher, said Hurley had a heart condition which heightened his lack of tolerance on the day in question.
"He has no predisposition to this kind of criminality.” his legal counsel stated.
Judge Malone described his behavior as “inappropriate”.
"Taking into consideration his age I, reluctantly, won’t impose a conviction.”’
Judge Malone ordered the man to pay €350 to a local hospice.
A recent survey conducted by Nasc, the Irish immigrant support centre in Cork, found that 45 per cent of respondents experienced discrimination in at least one area of their everyday life.
Fiona Finn, chief executive of Nasc, told the Irish Times: “We’re most particularly concerned about the black African community – their perceptions and experience of racism come out much higher than the other migrant communities.
“And one of the most striking things is that eight out of 10 people who have experienced racist incidents haven’t reported [them] and that points to a systemic failure within the system.
“I think it shows there’s an issue [with] how people in the ethnic communities interact with law enforcement – very often their only interaction with the Garda is in an immigration context.”
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