“Most Members will be aware of the atrocious attack on a Pakistani doctor in Tipperary in recent days. It now transpires that this attack was racially motivated, which is a frightening development.
There have been a number of similar cases throughout the country. Everyone is aware that only a tiny minority of people in this country harbour racist views, particularly in view of the fact that Irish people benefited by emigrating to other countries in the past.
It is important for all public representatives to ensure that they do not, in any way, contribute to an atmosphere of racism. At times words are spoken which are not particularly helpful.
Perhaps the Leader could arrange a debate, not so much on racism but on how we can make people feel more welcome when they come to Ireland and how we can interact with them and benefit from learning about their cultures.”