SRtRC clarity on meeting with Phil MacGiollaBhain

Campaign Manager Nicola Hay spoke to Phil Mac Giolla Bhain on Saturday afternoon and they agreed to meet up to discuss anti-Irish racism as well as the historical context on the back of our research findings. 

Phil Mac Giolla Bhain is not working for, or volunteering with, Show Racism the Red Card. 

Prior to the meeting, we knew that Phil had previously criticised the organisation’s efforts to tackle anti-Irish racism and having previously received complaints from members of the public that not enough is being done, Show Racism the Red Card would like to address the issue.

During the meeting, a number of issues were discussed.

Both Nicola and Phil spoke about Marriage Equality, LGBTQI Rights, Women’s Rights, Anti-Irish Racism, Poverty Inequality and a sense to address injustice.

Following the meeting, concerned members of the public highlighted a number of articles and references made by Phil in his writing. 

The Scottish team have now read through the articles and we are concerned by some of the offensive language used in labelling a group of people.  Whilst we understand that Phil has been the victim of racism and that he wants to address anti-Irish racism, we do not feel that the approach he takes is constructive in terms of working across divides. 

This morning Nicola called Phil and expressed concern pertaining to the language used in reference to Rangers FC supporters and had a detailed conversation about the key differences between his approach and Show Racism the Red Card’s approach, as we feel it is counter-productive in bridging divides and working toward finding a solution to the problem. To that end, our approaches are incompatible.

Within the meeting, and again during the phone call it was reiterated that we do not label people racist – only a person’s language and behaviour can be racist and through labelling we only further entrench divides, shutting down discourse and the opportunities to find solutions and create a fairer Scotland for All.