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‘Racist rumours’ dog foreign taxi drivers in Dublin

Last update - Thursday, December 11, 2008, 12:07 By Viktor Posudnevsky

By Viktor Posudnevsky   A DARK-SKINNED taxi driver is alleged to be prowling the streets of Dublin for white female passengers with the intention of attacking them. But the story appears to be completely unfounded, with no such incidents ever reported to the gardaí, a spokesperson for the force has confirmed.The matter of such “racist rumours” was last week brought to the attention of the Commission for Taxi Regulation and the Garda Commissioner by David Geary, Green Party representative for Dublin’s north inner city.

“I’ve heard the same story from a variety of people in the last few months,” Geary told Metro Éireann. “It’s spread to such an extent that some people would now think twice about using the services of a black taxi driver.”
The rumour, which Geary claims is “citywide”, suggests that non-Irish persons, specifically men of African origin, are driving around Dublin city centre and looking to pick up female passengers with the intention of harming or even raping them.
The rumour also suggests there have been cases where Irish women have flagged a taxi driven by a black male, only to find a second black male hiding in the rear of the car with the intention of attacking them. The women in each case are said to have had a lucky escape.
But the stories are completely false, according to the Garda press office. “These tales have been around for the last number months, but we certainly had no reports of any such incidents here in An Garda Síochána,” said a spokesperson.
Meanwhile, a Nigerian taxi driver who preferred to remain anonymous said he has never come across such rumours.
“I am working all around Dublin and I have never heard any such story,” the man told Metro Éireann. “Personally I have never had any problems with Irish taxi drivers or Irish passengers.”
The Green Party’s Geary said conditions were getting tougher for taxi drivers, with supply clearly exceeding demand.
“Some people get prejudiced. It’s easy to say that if there were less foreigners then there would be less taxi drivers,” he said. “But there are a lot more taxis on the road now because of deregulation, not because of foreigners.”
He said he believes the “racist rumours” were started by “somebody who thinks non-Irish nationals shouldn’t be driving taxis”.

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