The law prohibits discrimination based on language or social status, and the government enforced the law. In spite of this, societal discrimination and violence against immigrants, and racial and ethnic minorities continued to be a problem.
There were racially motivated incidents involving physical violence, intimidation, graffiti, and verbal slurs, particularly against the country's African population. In one recent case, Darren Scully, the mayor of Naas, County Kildare, said during a radio interview that he would no longer meet with
constituents of African origin. Scully was widely condemned for his statement and later apologized for his comments and resigned from his seat. NGOs reported problems with landlords refusing to rent property to persons who were not born in Ireland. NGOs reported that immigrants, particularly those of African descent, suffered unemployment disproportionately during the economic downturn.
According to the 2006 census, 22,369 persons identified themselves as members of an indigenous nomadic group called Travellers, with a distinct history and culture. Despite applicable antidiscrimination laws and longstanding government policies to redress imbalances, Travellers faced societal discrimination and occasionally were denied access to education, employment, premises, facilities, and basic services. However, Travellers also received substantial funding from the government, particularly for education and housing.
The law obliges local officials to develop accommodations for Travellers and to solicit Traveller input into the process. Traveller NGOs asserted that many communities provided Travellers with housing that was inconsistent with the nomadic Traveller lifestyle, or provided transient caravan-camping sites that did not include basic amenities such as sanitary facilities, electricity, and water.