Letterkenny man Frank Larkin has vowed to work against disability hate crimes in Donegal and across Ireland.
Mr Larkin has just returned from Budapest where he attended a training event and conference on hate crime with my particular focus being on disability hate crime.
There were people from 14 European countries participating and Frank says the depth of experience and expertise was invaluable.
“The training element concentrated on such things as Data collection and verification, Categorisation of incidents and Bias Indicators, Reporting Hate Crime, Media Monitoring, Victim Support, Models of Cooperation between civil society organisations, Police, Local authorities and government and how advocacy can help to combat hate crime,” said Frank.
The speakers at the conference included Paul Giannasi, Police Superintendent from the UK ministry of Justice & Joanna Perry, Hate Crime Officer OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
Frank added “One of the most useful things in the conference was in learning that there are ways in which you can have the likes of disability hate crime dealt with despite there being no legislation that specifically deals with it in this country.
“The most important thing for me is to implement the training and deliver it to civil society organisations as a whole so that we can ensure that the issue is dealt with as there tends to be a rise in disability hate crime and all other hate crime in times of austerity.”
And he vowed “I will continue to work with the Gardaí at local level and hope that appropriate steps can be taken to ensure that hate crimes are made visible.
“My hope is that it can be dealt with appropriately with the recommended guidelines until such time as it is dealt with by appropriate legislation.”