Eamon Ryan uses "n-word" when discussing racism in Dáil Éireann
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan used the n-word while speaking about racist abuse in Dáil Éireann today.
In a parliamentary discussion on the Black Lives Matter movement, domestic racial abuse, and systemic racism in Ireland, Ryan said: "In the newspaper today there was a young Irish man, Sean Gallen, giving his experience of being othered. Of being, from the age of six, given that name - you n*****.
"Explaining that sense of how it completely undermines people. And every people, I know friends, relations of colour in this country, and Travellers, and other minorities speak of the same experience. It's real."
Ryan was referencing a story published in the Irish Times today, written by Sean Gallen, with the headline "I was six when I was first called a n****r in Ireland."
The piece recalls the first time Gallen, who moved from Martinique to Ireland as a young child, was racially abused: "I was around six when it first happened and I had just started school, having moved from Martinique to Ireland.
"How did this word shoot off the end of the whip and bounce on the breath of a mob to find itself centuries later in the mouth of a child, on a playground in Dublin?"
The slur is one of the most offensive and infamous in history, and many critics believe that it is inappropriate for white people to use the word when even referring to it, such as writer Brando Simeo Starkey. Other scholars, such as John McWhorter, have defended this specific usage of the word.
Ryan went on to talk about "segregation," in Irish schools, and noted that only 1 in 20 teachers are from "non-Irish or new-Irish backgrounds." He further said that policing should be "blind to colour or ethnicity."