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“We came out, a car drove up, called her a ‘n***er lover’ and drove away. She was obviously deeply upset because she couldn’t be seen as someone who was in a genuine relationship.” Richard Bashir Otukoya: “There was no, ‘Oh look at this guy, he’s got a job, he’s doing his Ph D.’ There was none of that.It was just, ‘No, you’re black.’ That’s it.” Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times As someone who has suffered “subtle racism and explicit racism” all his life, the incident did not unnerve Otukoya (“That’s fine because then you know their intentions”).

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“I’ve had a drunk guy in a restaurant come up to me and my partner at one point and say, ‘Congratulations, I really admire what you’re doing.’” Getting a clear picture of the number of interracial relationships in this country is difficult.

Census data tells us little about race, but it does show that inter-cultural marriages have gradually increased.

But when you get into a relationship, it’s like a big no-no,” he says.

“Even if they don’t say it out loud, you can sense the tension.

The experiences they describe echo an old racist slight that has been thrown at men of colour who immigrate to predominately white nations since time immemorial: “They steal our jobs, they steal our women.” “It speaks of an Irish sense of patriarchy, that Irish men somehow own Irish women,” says Rebecca King-O’Riain, a senior lecturer in Maynooth University’s department of sociology.

King-O’Riain, a mixed-race Japanese-American ex-pat, has conducted significant research into interracial marriage in Ireland.

Straight-up racism was slugged at the couple like a brick to the chest.

“There was one time we went to Tesco,” remembers Otukoya.

follows a black man who meets his white girlfriend’s parents.

The films couldn’t be more different in approach, but both are cutting works that explore historical injustices, lasting prejudices and social taboos.

She recounts a story of an Indian man who was scolded on the street by a white man with the words: “How dare you take our women.” “It speaks to the fact that this Indian man is very threatening because he’s come from outside and ‘married one of our own’,” King-O’Riain says.

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