'Concerning' | 

Shocking study finds Irish Travellers and Gypsies most 'disliked' ethnic group in UK

Researchers carried out a survey of 1,667 people in Britain last July to examine how the public felt about ethnic minorities

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Neasa Cumiskey

A shocking study has shown the level of discrimination faced by Irish Travellers and Gypsies in the UK after figures showed they are the most 'disliked' group in Britain.

The research, which was conducted by the University of Birmingham in conjunction with YouGov, was presented as a report entitled The Dinner Table Prejudice: Islamophobia in Contemporary Britain.

Researchers carried out a survey of 1,667 people in Britain last July to examine how the public felt about ethnic minorities.

They were “surprised” to find that the British public felt overwhelmingly negative towards Irish Travellers and Gypsies – despite them only featuring in one of the survey's questions.

Almost 50pc of participants reported a negative personal attitude towards these groups.

“The surprising – and in places, highly concerning – results show that it is not Muslims who are the ‘least liked’ group in Britain but Gypsy and Irish Travellers, who stand out by an almost 20pc margin,” the report states.

“44.6pc of respondents acknowledged negative attitudes towards this group, followed by Muslims (25.9pc) and then Pakistanis (14.5pc).

“This compares with 8.5% for Jewish people, 6.4% for black people, and 8.4% for white people.”

The researchers added that they were concerned that having a negative opinion about Irish Travellers and Gypsies was the norm and said that this requires further examination.

“What is clear from this vast difference is there is a significant need for further investigation into public views about discrimination against Travellers,” the study continued.

“Muslims and Gypsy and Irish Travellers are the two standout groups in our survey because more people evaluate them negatively than positively.

“This suggests that not only is there discrimination against these two groups but also that there is less public sanction against openly acknowledging one’s dislike.

“This is borne out in the contrasting way these two groups are discussed in public life.”

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