A trans woman has described the abuse and threats she has received since moving to Ireland.
Éirénne Carroll moved here from the US last year, and she is now the CEO of TENI (the Transgender Equality Network of Ireland).
She was one of the people who spoke to Ireland’s Call on Newstalk today, describing the experience of moving to Ireland from abroad.
Éirénne explained: “Growing up in the States, there always was an affection for Ireland - it was a real joy to have the opportunity to get to move to Ireland.
“But since I’ve been here, there has been so much discrimination I’ve faced.
“Being a trans immigrant in Ireland has been a challenge. There’s been a lot of people that have just started shouting out transphobic slurs whenever I go out of the flat, go get groceries, or go for a walk, or to walk into the office.
“There have been people who have come up and just said horrible things - it’s even caused me to have to move apartments while living in Dublin, which is its own challenge because the rent is so expensive for a single person.”
Éirénne described one incident in which a group of teenagers circled around her on the street on scooters, “shouting out transphobic slurs”.
She recalled: “People on the street start joining in and laughing… and you’re sprinting down the street back to your apartment, just to get to a safe space.”
'We're just here trying to go about our lives'
Éirénne believes there are big gaps in understanding of trans people, as well as a “big rise” in transphobia culturally.
She told Simon: “What we need to do overall is do a cultural awareness and education campaign - talking about the fact that trans people and gender expansive people are really just here trying to go about our lives.
“There’s no ulterior agenda - what’s going on with the pandemic isolating people, there’s been a loss of community. That kind of leads into these attacks.
"Even myself, there was a credible death threat put in against me that the gardaí found out about.”
Ahead of today’s Ireland’s Call show, Newstalk conducted an exclusive survey of non-Irish nationals, asking a series of questions about their lived experience and also whether or not they think Ireland is a welcoming country.
Of the over 270 people who responded to the survey 64% felt Ireland was a welcoming place for Immigrants.
However, 60% said they had experienced some form of racism or xenophobia during their time in Ireland.
73% felt the voices of non-Irish people are not adequately represented within Irish media.