Mary McAleese: Irish people have ‘no right’ to be racist
‘We have to create new narrative around a reconciled Ireland where everyone is welcome’
Diversity in Ireland
Where diversity in Ireland and immigration were concerned, she was “actually very proud of Irish political leadership and Irish people generally on those issues”.
In Ireland “today, 17 per cent of our population comes from somewhere else. The last time that happened was probably the Plantation [of Ulster]. But this has been a different kind of absorption, and I think in general we have done a really, really wonderful job.”
That was not, however, to say “we have done a perfect job. That is not to say we don’t have racism in our midst. It’s not to say that some people coming here experience the kind of racism that breaks your heart and makes you say ‘hang on a minute, we were the people who were the victims of racism, whether it was in England, where it was ‘no Irish need apply’, or in America, wherever we went to. We have no right to behave like that,” she said.
The plantation metaphor is interesting from this one.