Activist Frank Crummey on why he's worried about fascists and racists in Ireland
A lot of progress has been made, he'd hate to see it all undone.
When we look back at Irish history in years to come, people will recognise the difference Frank Crummey has made to life in Ireland over the last 50 years.
Softly spoken and welcoming, Crummey’s warmth and attentiveness makes it easy to see how he has fought for equality and fairness in Ireland for decades.
Crummey has always been considered ahead of his time in terms of his attitude to the rights of women and children and has campaigned on issues such as corporal punishment and the repealing of the Eighth Amendment from the Irish constitution.
So, when an activist as prominent as Crummey says he’s worried about what the future holds for Ireland, it’s important to sit up and listen.
He cautioned Ireland not to fall into the trap that has claimed other countries by allowing racists and fascists to have a voice in this country.
“There’s quite honestly some fascists in Ireland who are being listened to,” Crummey said.
“Some racists in Ireland who are being listened to. And I’m hoping against hope that when Brexit comes in and Brexit is over that hopefully we’ll settle down and become good.”
Crummey spoke about the hateful, intolerant and xenophobic language that is being spouted around the world, and while he said Ireland had been going in the right direction, events in the UK (Brexit) and the US (Donald Trump's election) have left him feeling uneasy.
While Ireland has made so much progress - Crummey admitted he never expected gay marriage or the Eighth Amendment to be deleted from the constitution during his life time - he’d hate to see that progress eroded by allowing bigotry and intolerance to flourish in a country that has become a beacon of acceptance in the western world.