A Dublin senator has said she was left “emotional and upset” after a taxi driver refused to bring her home to a halting site.
On Lunchtime Live this morning, Senator Flynn told the full story.
She said she hailed a taxi from Grafton Street, but the driver refused to enter a halting site in Ballyfermot because there were “caravans in there.”
“I just said, ‘That's fine, I won’t be paying you’ and he got angry then,” she said.
He then threatened to call the gardaí, but Senator Flynn called them herself.
“[The operator] asked the taxi driver to drop me to my destination, and the taxi driver basically no because ‘there are caravans in there.’
‘Waste of time’
Ms Flynn said the operator initially told her “This is a waste of time” – but changed his reaction after she told him she was a member of the Seanad.
“Unfortunately, it didn't change with the driver,” she said.
“The reason why I said that was to let them know that I wasn't going to risk my job, my career – I was trying to give him that reassurance that I was a nice person.
“That's common, I remember one time trying to report another hate crime by a member of the gardaí, and I was told in Ballyfermot Garda Station that there’s no way of dealing with a hate crime.
“The Garda ombudsman investigated and told us I had no case because there wasn't enough evidence.
“Of course, there was enough evidence, but when it comes to racism and discrimination, guards don't want to deal with it.”
Senator Flynn said there has been “very important and positive change” for Travellers in recent years.
“I think in terms of access to education and even being able to have a member of The Travelling Community in the Oireachtas,” she said.
“We do see Travellers taking on apprenticeships and trying to get access to opportunities to go on and have careers.
“Unfortunately, very little has changed around hate.”
Senator Flynn said she is hoping to have legislation on hate crime passed and is part of a Civil Engagement Group that is working on amendments for the Bill.
“I get attacked constantly, and again, if it was about me, I probably would have given up a long time ago,” she said.
“This is about a better change for people from minority groups.
“People are not looking for special treatment, all they are looking for is basic human rights and to be treated with respect.”
You can listen back to the episode here: