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Labour Party leader, Brendan Howlin said a “new toxic racism” has entered Irish politics.

Howlin made the comments during a speech at the party’s annual conference in Mullingar last night.

“Let’s call it what it is from protests against asylum seekers through to a presidential candidate making disparaging comments about travellers, long-standing taboos have been broken,” he said.

He continued, “Leadership is needed on this issue but the Taoiseach has sent mixed messages at best. One in eight people living in Ireland today was born in another country. They are now part of Irish society. “

-Noah Harte