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Cycles of Violence: Racist Hate Crime in Northern Ireland

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Critical Perspectives on Hate Crime

Part of the book series: Palgrave Hate Studies ((PAHS))

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Over the last two decades, Northern Ireland has become increasingly more diverse in terms of languages, cultures and religions. The proportion of the usually resident population born outside Northern Ireland rose significantly from 9% in 2001 to 11% in 2011. This change was largely as a result of inward migration by people born in the 12 countries that have joined the European Union (EU) since 2004. These EU accession countries accounted for 2% (35,700) of people usually resident in Northern Ireland on Census Day 2011. With increasing diversity has come increased attention to hate crime in our society. Politicians, academics, statutory, voluntary and community sector organisations and media are increasingly keen to look at the causes and impacts of hate crime, but seldom does this result in action for victims and, in some cases, ethnic minorities are subject to victim-blaming (e.g. see McDonald 2009).

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  1. 1.

    Recommendation 14 of the Ninth Report of 2004–2005 session ‘The Challenge of Diversity: Hate Crime in Northern Ireland’, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, p. 53.

  2. 2.

    See News Letter, Wednesday, 10 March 2004 ‘Racist posters taken down’; and Thursday, 11 March 2004 ‘Fear on the streets over racist leaflets’.

  3. 3.

    Tenth report (March 2006), Thirteen Report (January 2007), Fifteen Report (April 2007), Seventeen Report (November 2007), Twenty‐Second Report (November 2009), Twenty‐Third Report (May 2010), Twenty‐Fifth Report (November 2010).

  4. 4.

    The impasse between the no-flags policy supported by nationalist and the all-year policy of the unionists was broken when a compromise Alliance motion in favour of the designated days was passed by 29 votes to 21.

  5. 5.

    It was one of four vehicles burnt out in the Whitewell Road area of north Belfast on Tuesday night. And now two families have been forced to flee their homes in the wake of the frightening attacks, in fear for their children’s lives.

  6. 6.

    In January 2016, McConnell was cleared of two charges under the Communications Act. The judge cited freedom of speech.

  7. 7.

    The Macpherson Report defined ‘institutional racism’ as ‘The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin which can be seen or detected in processes; attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness, and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people’.


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Correspondence to Patrick Yu .

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Yu, P. (2017). Cycles of Violence: Racist Hate Crime in Northern Ireland. In: Haynes, A., Schweppe, J., Taylor, S. (eds) Critical Perspectives on Hate Crime. Palgrave Hate Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-137-52666-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-137-52667-0

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