I bucked the trend and moved to Ireland about twenty years ago when there was mass emigration to England America Europe and anywhere people could get work . Back then people used to be rather self-righteous by reports of racism in other countries tending to see racism as purely a product of colonialist mentality. The Irish as a colonized people saw themselves as somehow immune from racist bigotry.
The Celtic Tiger changed all that . I think it was a bit of an embarrassment for many liberal types here to find out that the Irish could be every bit as racist as the British , Americans and Europeans. If you think about it ,saying that your nation is incapable of being racism is in itself racist .
But Wolfgang did not reproduce that Evening Herald report about the three Sinn Fein members racist attack on migrants in full and his comment did lose context thereby . I read the report at the time .In court the three men concerned showed what certainly seemed like genuine remorse -and shame -for what they did. They were roundly and correctly condemned by Sinn Fein and ,if I remember rightly, put out of the party.The fact that the strongly anti Sinn Fein Evening Herald ran that story on its front page demonstrates that accusations of racism do damage to Sinn Fein .That would certainly not be the case with the DUP and people like Willie Mcrea.
I think that ,whatever you say about Sinn Fein ,it is not a racist party. That's the difference between the situations in the north and the south. There are any amounts of racists in the south but racism is not respectable down here and none of the major parties are pandering to racists. Any party that deliberately tried to whip up racism would find themselves isolated .
I hope that remains the case.