Today’s workers gathering, organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, in solidarity with those affected by last week’s hate incited violence in Dublin city centre, sent an important message that Ireland is for all, says the Union of Students in Ireland.

USI was proud to attend today’s rally, along with many students, to show that we condemn in the strongest terms, the racism that was on display last Thursday evening, and we will continue to work to end all forms of racism in our society.

USI also attended to show its support to everyone who was affected by the awful violence and hate-filled atmosphere, particularly students and others working in the area.

USI Vice President for Equality and Citizenship, James Curry said: “All of our thoughts are with the five-year-old girl who remains in critical condition in hospital, and the whole school community at Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire, after last week’s horrific attack. We also want to pay a special commendation to Caio Benicio, the Brazilian Deliveroo driver who stopped the assailant and put his life on the line to save other people, along with others that helped too.

“USI joined the ICTU protest today to add our voices to the condemnation of the riots that took place on Thursday evening, led by the far right using the attack as a mechanism to spread racism and hate. Ireland does have a racism and far-righted problem and we must continue to stand against it and work to eradicate it. Before last week, the far-right was being pushed back as tens of thousands of people joined in solidarity marches for Palestine, and we must continue to do that.

“This violence, and the way it was encouraged and incited online, shows us yet again the need for the Hate Speech and Hate Crime Bill and that it must be enacted as quickly as possible by Government.”

For our part in particular, USI will work to ensure that this hatred stays out of our campuses and that all students are able to be safe in this country.

USI is proud to represent the international students in our colleges and universities and we believe their inclusion in the higher education system in Ireland is vital and beneficial for all parties.