Members of the Action Against Racism group ran up and down Grafton Street on Saturday dressed as giant hearts and doled out hugs to highlight the absence of legislative protections for people subjected to attacks due to their race, religion, sexuality or disability.
Some three thousand members of the public signed a petition calling for the Government to activate such legislation, which activists say will bring Ireland into line with other developed countries.
“Ireland is out of step with the majority of countries in the OSCE and the EU, we’re almost unique in the fact that we have no provision for hate crime at all in this country,” said Shane O’Curry, director of European Network Against Racism (ENAR) Ireland which runs the campaign.
“That puts us in contravention of the EU framework decision on racism and xenophobia, so actually we’re in danger of breaching European law,” he added.
Around 15 different nationalities were represented at Saturday’s event, including Polish national and ENAR Ireland development officer Aga Wiesyk.