A TCD Maths lecturer has threatened to leave the country after suffering two racist attacks within just 48 hours.
Dr. Calin Lazaroiu, originally from Romania, was assaulted on his way home by a gang of youths in Parnell Square, leaving him with a fractured skull and a broken nose. The following day he was approached by another gang whilst leaving a doctor’s surgery in north Dublin. The mob were reported to have threatened Dr. Lazaroiu to “get out of here, or we’re going to kill you”. It is understood that the academic, who has taught in the College for four years, is too afraid to return to his home in Finglas.
After his ordeal, the expert in String Theory commented that any repeat attacks would force him to get “out of here for good”. On a resource webpage for International Students, Dr. Lazaroiu warns prospective pupils that “racism and xenophobia are on the increase in Ireland”, expressing his alarm at the growing number of racist attacks on ethnic minorities.
A report from the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI) concluded that 73% of racially motivated assaults occur in the Greater Dublin area, which has become considerably more diverse after the membership of countries such as Romania and Bulgaria to the European Union. Xenophobic attacks against Eastern European residents have increased over the past decade. Instances include a Romanian national who was facially disfigured in 2002 after being subjected to abuse by a group of men in Gardiner Place. The NCCRI has since shut down due to cutbacks in the Government budget last year.
“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it”, reads a Martin Luther King quote published on Dr. Lazaroiu’s College staff profile. Dr. Lazaroiu’s anti-racist sentiment is all too relevant in light of the attacks which took place on May 31 and June 1.
The Garda Race Relations Unit is currently investigating the incidents. A spokesman for the Unit says the Gardai are “committed” to solving racially-motivated crimes, and are calling upon help from the local community.
“My only crime was to come to Ireland to educate people”, says Dr. Lazariou.