Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.45 13 Apr 2021


Share this article


A man in Co Wicklow says he went public over the racial abuse his family suffers in the hopes that it would stop.

Joe Lawless lives in Bray with his wife, who is originally from the Philippines, and his stepdaughter who has special needs.

He says they live in fear that the abuse could start again outside their home.

Advertisement

But he says since he went public to highlight their experience, they have received a lot of support.

He told The Hard Shoulder it has been going on for a year.

"This started last year - basically my stepdaughter likes looking out the window from her bedroom, it's a thing she always liked doing.

"And then one day there was these five girls walking past the house, they looked up, they saw her and they started making gestures at her and shouting at her.

"I went outside [and] they ran away, but they kept coming back.

"We have an iron gate outside and they were banging the iron gate, they were running in, they were banging the door, running away.

"My stepdaughter was upset over it, she was frightened over it."

'Something was thrown at them'

Joe says anytime he opened the door the girls would run away, but then his wife went out to them.

"My wife went out to them one day, and they didn't run away, and she explained to them that the girl has special needs.

"One girl in particular was like the ringleader, she's very cheeky, she didn't seem to care."

He says things have escalated in recent weeks.

"The week before last my wife and my stepdaughter were going to Lidl in Bray - this was about 1.30 in the afternoon.

"There is a crowd of young people, again the same crowd, that gather outside Lidl because there's quite an open space outside Lidl.

"They were walking into Lidl and the next thing something was thrown at them - my wife didn't see what was thrown, but she thinks it was a stone.

"And the next thing the crowd were all doing these monkey chants, which obviously is complete racism."

Joe says he then went on to Facebook, appealing to the parents of the children to get them to stop.

"The response I got was incredible - I had no idea: I got about over 500 reactions, got about 250 messages.

"Every single one of them being positive, saying it's a disgrace and so forth.

"My wife has been living in Ireland for 14/15 years and she's very upset over it - we all are."

'They must suspect their children are doing this'

Joe adds that he has been in touch with the Gardaí, but he is not sure what they can do.

"The police have said the would send up a car if it happens again, ring them - but I don't really think there's much they can do.

"To be honest, I think maybe the parents probably don't care either - I'm not saying all of them - but maybe some of them don't.

"At this stage, they must know or suspect that their children are doing this.

"The reason I went public, as such, with this was hoping that they would tell them to stop.

"Now it hasn't happened since - but over the last year or whatever - they would stop for a period of maybe a few weeks, maybe a couple of months, but they always came back.

"Our fear is - we're sitting in the house at night - generally this will happen between 5pm onwards.

"We're sitting in the house, and you hear noises going by, you might hear kids playing outside, kids walking past.

"We're always kind of thinking, especially my wife, 'Is this going to start again?'

"I get quite anxious now if my wife says 'I'm going down to Lidl', I kind of feel like I should be going with them.

"The world now at the moment - they're trying to stop racism in the world, and it's terrible to see it in your own backyard".

'They were doing these monkey chants' - Wicklow man appeals to teens to stop racially abusing his family

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

Main image: Cars drive by a sign for Bray, Co Wicklow. Picture by: Google Maps

Share this article


Read more about

Bray Co.Wicklow Joe Lawless Racial Abuse Racism Racism In Ireland

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Off The Ball

Off The Ball

19:00-22:00

Share

Up next

SPLANC

SPLANC

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

TEAM 33

TEAM 33

07:00-08:00

Share

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

08:00-09:00

Share

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

09:00-10:00

Share

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KE...

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KERR

10:00-12:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

12:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-17:00

Share

TECH TALK WITH JESS KELLY

TECH TALK WITH JESS KELLY

17:00-18:00

Share

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

18:00-19:00

Share

SOUNDSCAPE

SOUNDSCAPE

19:00-20:00

Share

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

20:00-21:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on