Racism in the Galway taxi industry is the subject of a report issued Friday by the Irish Centre for Human Rights. It was prepared by Dr Vinodh Jaichand, deputy-director of the Centre, with the assistance of a team of student researchers.
The report is based upon launched an investigation launched in July this year to examine racially based tensions in the taxi industry within the city. Many Galway taxi drivers of African origin were present Friday at the launch. the report describes various dimensions of racism in the taxi industry, including attempts to impose various qualifications that would have the consequence of excluding African drivers from the profession. Research indicated that some companies have no African drivers. Moreover, the elimination of the 'cab rank rule' has had as a consequence that clients are not required to take the first cab. Some clients refuse to take cabs with African drivers. Sometimes white drivers leave the dome lights on at night inside their taxis so that clients can identify them.
The issue of racism in the taxi industry is not unique to Galway. Dublin, in particular, is notorious for this, as are many other cities in various parts of the world. Our hope is that various stakeholders address the relevant issues so as to reduce and hopefully remove this blight upon the city.
Hats off to Vinodh and his team for their great work!