Sarah Carey’s apparent desire to promote a local charity run by a near neighbour may be understandable (“Grassroots approach to integration proves effective”, Opinion, November 12th). But doing so by applauding the Government’s decision to abolish the National Consultative Committee on Racism (NCCRI) and the National Action Plan Against Racism (NAPAR) because they did not measure up to her implied or potential standards of performance – set by a worthy but relatively untried initiative based in Summerhill, Co Meath – quite simply beggars belief.

Her column is an unfounded and outrageous attack on many very hard-working and dedicated people.
The State must spearhead the campaign against racism in Ireland. The Government is desperate to be seen to be cutting public expenditure. What more convenient bodies to abolish than those which are doing work that has the potential to both embarrass and challenge Ministers? This cutback is also likely to prove popular with those who are quite comfortable with attitudes and policies that if anything foment and encourage racism.

I admire and respect the staff of the NCCRI because I know of the considerable energy and commitment they have demonstrated in their work. Philip Watt, the organisation’s chief executive, has visited us in TRUST on a number of occasions and taken testimonies from perhaps the most vulnerable victims of racism, with whom nobody else would talk.

It is appalling that anyone should seek to denigrate the very people who pressed the Government to keep racism on the national agenda – in a way that helps Ministers to cover up their shameful backtracking in the fight against racism in Ireland.

– Yours, etc,

Director Co-Founder, Trust, Bride Road, Dublin 8.