Government promises a new multi-million pound public awareness campaign against racism.

Minister for Justice John O'Donoghue has also said that he intends to review the incitement to hatred legislation because it has not worked effectively enough.

The minister was speaking at a conference on racism in Ireland held at Dublin Castle. The conference took place ahead of a major United Nations conference on racism due to be held next year.

The focus of the conference is on what legal protections minorities should enjoy, how they are affected by policies and practices of governments, how education and awareness can help, and the role of information media. The multi-million pound public awareness campaign was announced against this background.

The aim is to address racism effectively and to strengthen the appeal of cultural diversity.

The minister also announced a plan to address the incitement to hatred legislation which is currently considered to be too weak. Minister O’Donoghue stated that he believed that there was a small section of Irish society that needed education in this area but acknowledged that

There will always be people who won’t listen to anything.

There are also plans for a working group to provide training to Gardaí and to publish a revised code of ethics.

The United Nations Conference will be held in August 2001.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 5 September 2000. The reporter is Tony Connelly.