Mark Maguire
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Taxis, deregulation and racism in Irish border towns
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In September 2009 the radio station LMFM hosted a live debate on racial tensions in the taxi industry in Drogheda. Allegations were made about African-born drivers operating unlicensed taxis and failing to use photo IDs – according to one commentator, ‘They all look much the same to the general public’. This chapter takes this incident as a starting point from which to explore the ways in which the taxi industry has become a key a site of racialization and labour integration in Ireland. The chapter discusses migrant drivers’ hopes for upward social mobility but also attends to their everyday experiences of racism and discrimination in an industry characterized by government at a distance, liberalization, and extraordinary work pressures. The chapter also pays particular attention to the role of rumours within the local cultural landscape.

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Integration in Ireland

The everyday lives of African migrants

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