- 06 Dec 21
President Michael D. Higgins shares a special message as part of 100 Voices: #AllAgainstRacism.
Michael D. Higgins,
President of Ireland/Uachtarán na hÉireann
"May I congratulate Hot Press on their campaign ‘100 Voices: All Against Racism’.
"As we listen to the voices that comprise this campaign, let us also reflect on the many individual stories which make up the experience of racism here in Ireland. Being subjected to such racism, as faced by Irish citizens and those who wish to make new homes here, is an appalling experience.
"The stories indicate the experiences of intolerance, exclusion, prejudice, and bigotry. Such accounts are written on a daily basis in our workplaces, our schools, our shops, our playgrounds and on our streets. They are also stories that cast an enormous and shameful shadow across our society; a society that likes to present itself as a progressive and open-minded one, rooted in a spirit that informs the values of freedom and democracy.
"Let us be clear – and make clear – that there can be no place in any democracy for actions or views which deride or disrespect others based on difference; be it difference of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, class, ability or sexuality. Such behaviour is a stain on our nation, whose people are happy to share a common obligation to value and uphold human dignity, equality and justice for all.
"As we build a richly diverse Ireland, and a country that is committed to playing its part in the global struggle for human decency, let us resolve to work together to combat any wilful, ignorant or cruel discrimination in all corners of our society. Let us call out objectionable speech and behaviour when we witness it.
"‘100 Voices: All Against Racism’ is a most valuable initiative, and I thank those who have given generously of their time and experience to contribute to this campaign, and play their important part in combatting racism, in all its many forms, in our society and our communities.
'Tréaslaím libh. Mo bhuíochas is beir beannacht."
Read Part 2 of 100 Voices: #AllAgainstRacism in the current issue of Hot Press:
Special thanks to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission for their support in this project.