ANTI-English chants brought about the cancellation of an auction at a top Dublin hotel.
Sales staff were forced to call a halt to a firesale auction of repossessed properties in Ireland amid allegations they were racially abused with nasty anti-English remarks, some of which made reference to the Black and Tans.
Dozens of demonstrators took over the sales room in the luxury Shelbourne Hotel as auctioneers Allsop Space attempted to sell distressed homes and businesses.
A spokesman for the Irish registered company, affiliated to British auction house Allsop, alleged shouts of “English scum out” and “go back to England” were directed at staff, many of whom are Irish, it was reported.
Protest groups have denied the claims, saying its members stick to a code of conduct and that there was no evidence of racial abuse on video footage they recorded.
It is alleged staff were told to “go to hell” and references were made to “Black and Tans”.
Allsop Space said the event was cancelled in the interest of public safety and maintained 40 of the lots on its book were from private sellers.
Organisers believe the recent revelations in the leaked Anglo Irish Bank tapes, recorded in the weeks before the Irish Government bailed out the lender and other Irish banks, sparked the anger.
One seller said there was mayhem inside the auction hall, where up to 400 people — including buyers and protesters — had gathered ahead of the sale.
“It was shocking,” she said. “It got really nasty really quickly.”
In 2008, an English pipe fitter in Ireland who was racially abused in his workplace was awarded €20,000 in compensation.
The man, who worked for an engineering company on a Dublin building site, claimed colleagues called him names and frequently ganged-up on him to sing Irish rebel songs.
Some workers never spoke to him and whenever staff had to enter tanks or dangerous spaces they would say “send the Brit in”‘ to make the way safe.
Negative reports about England in newspapers and the performance of the country’s football team in the 2006 World Cup were also read out in his presence.
Two months after starting work the man was made redundant and said he was sacked instead of a less experienced Irish worker because he was British.
When the issue of redundancy arose he said one other worker stated aloud: “The Brit should be sacked and an Irish man should not be let go.”
Another said to the supervisor: “No Irish man is going out of the gate while we employ a Brit.”