Christine O'Mahony cautions against understating the far right threat in Ireland. 


On the 6th of January 2021, in the midst of a pandemic that has ravaged the United States, the world watched in shocked horror as President Donald Trump riled up thousands of his supporters and threw Vice President Pence to the baying wolves for upholding the oldest written constitution in use. 

This brings to mind the last words of the dying former Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey in 1530, who finally said no to another autocrat who believed absolute power was his divine right. Accused of treason his dying words: “If I had served God as diligently as I have done the king, he would not have given me over in my grey hairs”. 

Pence now derided as a traitor, Trump encouraged his rabid mob to march on Capitol Hill. By the time the throng reached the doors of democracy, grief gave way to real tears by the absence of a Paul Revere or a Dame Barbara Fritchie. Instead, it has been alleged that these far-right domestic terrorists gained access easily because some law enforcement officers facilitated their access into the building, where they proceeded to wreak havoc and mayhem. Many displaying the symbols of their hate live streamed themselves under the banner of Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump’s brand of patriotism. 

Five people died as a result of this riot, four Trump supporters and a police officer who was pepper sprayed and hit on the head with a fire extinguisher. Sadly, it seems there is now no need to hide behind white sheets in America, evinced by the displays of symbols of hate: Nooses and gallows, Three Percentage flags, Proud Boys’ ok signs, Oath Keepers’ caps, Confederate flag, QAnon signs, Auschwitz sweatshirt, 6MWE (exterminating six million Jews was not enough) T-shirt, MAGA civil war January 6 2021 shirts. Even more worrying, this canker of lawlessness and hate is not confined to America: it is widespread - the far right is here and they are active.

In Ireland, many politicians as well as young members of various political parties condemned this violence. Ógra Fianna Fáil was among them but continues to bury its head in sand pits with its defamatory and inflammatory argument that Sinn Féin, the largest left-wing party in Ireland, would act like Trump supporters in the future and will probably “storm the Dáil”, if they don’t get enough seats in the next general election. This is a shocking baseless analogy. Do they really think Ireland has forgotten who were excluded from Government in 2020, although they had the highest first preference votes? This argument is not only flawed, it smacks of Trumpism and the attacks on ANTIFA. 

Let it be reiterated it was right wing groups who almost brought America’s much celebrated democracy to its knees. There are those who are of the opinion that the far right in Ireland are harmless and are unlike those in America. Not so. Never forget: big crimes often grow from little ones. Just like the far right in America, far right political groups, such as The National Party, Anti-Corruption Ireland, Irish Freedom Party, Na Ridirí and Síol na hÉireann, carry their own symbols of hate. These symbols range from, nooses, Knight’s templar cross flags/t-shirts, “Ireland is for the Irish” banners, Eoin O’Duffy- “unrepentant fascist bastard” t-shirts and MICA (Make Ireland Catholic Again) hats. And like the US, there is a QAnon group here.

In October 2020, Gardaí emphasised the fact that future far right protests could result in more violent incidents. One need look no further for corroboration than the vicious incident which took place in the previous month outside Leinster House, between the far right and LGBTQ+ activist Izzy Kamikaze, who was struck on the head by National Party member, Michael Quinn, who had a weapon wrapped in a tricolour flag. (He has since been charged for the incident). 

Individuals like former journalist Gemma O’Doherty, a leading advocate of right-wing views and conspiracy theories, has, like Trump, emboldened the far-right in Ireland with her vitriolic rhetoric and harassment of people of colour. How harmless are these groups when individuals like Fiona Ryan & Jonathan Mathis, who appeared in a Lidl commercial were driven from Ireland by death threats, spearheaded by O’Doherty who also harassed a Halal butcher? Her live stream of Garda Alan Leblique and resulting cyber bullying may have, according to his family caused him to take his own life. 
Far right members launched arson attacks on two direct provision centres, which luckily were empty. One in Rooskey, County Roscommon and the other in Moville, County Donegal. Their hatred of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers extends to anyone who supports them, like Sinn Féin TD, Martin Kenny, who woke up to find his car had been set on fire. Father Stephen Farragher was denounced as a heretic and subjected to a “torrent of abuse” by Niall McConnell’s Síol na hÉireann for allowing two members of the Muslim community to say the final blessing and prayer at a Sunday ceremony in a Ballyhaunis Church. Dublin’s Lord Mayor Hazel Chu has not escaped their ire because she is not white Caucasian Irish. Since “Ireland is for the Irish” a Padraig Pearse’s quote misinterpreted to suit their ethnonationalism. The National Party, verbally abused Gay Minister Roderic O’Gorman in July 2020. They accused him of being a paedophile and protested outside the Dáil, with posters of nooses they intended to string him up with. Seems familiar? If not review the photographic images of the January 6th riot. 

Make no mistake, the far right is dangerous, they are growing exponentially and they are not ashamed to spread toxic on-line lies and propaganda, using apps like Telegram and the now deactivated Parler, for their own ends. Like spinning the Carrigaline stabbing of a white boy by a black boy into more than an isolated feud. Their new target is the late mentally ill, George Nkencho, who was shot by the Gardaí. The far right attempted to convince members of the public he had 30 previous convictions and was a physical abuser. Likewise, circulated a picture of a football fan in England and claimed this was the shopkeeper that George stabbed. The Gardaí later had to clarify that George had no previous convictions and had not stabbed the shopkeeper. In January 2020, a black woman was the first to give birth in Ireland. Over several days she was bombarded with racist abuse and there were claims that the media was biased and not documenting when white women gave birth.

The question is who are more likely to undermine the legislature: Sinn Féin or the far right who holds violent rallies like the anti covid-19 rally, held on a beach in June 2020, where Fergal Sheehy was videoed attempting to strangle someone in an incident after which a knife was recovered from an assailant’s bag. According to the Sun Newspaper (4th October 2020), groups like Na Ridirí believe they should be allowed to take up weapons against the state if necessary. The far right have proven they can be violent and will target minorities. It is dangerous to underestimate them.

Christine O'Mahony is a 22 year old Human Rights Law Postgraduate student at University College Dublin. She has a degree in Law (LLB International) from Maynooth University. She has an interest in politics, history, anti-racism action, equality and is currently doing research on Hate Speech laws for her dissertation.  

Dangers Of The Far Right In Ireland

Christine O'Mahony cautions against understating the far right threat in Ireland. 


On the 6th of January 2021, in the midst of a pandemic that has ravaged the United States, the world watched in shocked horror as President Donald Trump riled up thousands of his supporters and threw Vice President Pence to the baying wolves for upholding the oldest written constitution in use. 

This brings to mind the last words of the dying former Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey in 1530, who finally said no to another autocrat who believed absolute power was his divine right. Accused of treason his dying words: “If I had served God as diligently as I have done the king, he would not have given me over in my grey hairs”. 

Pence now derided as a traitor, Trump encouraged his rabid mob to march on Capitol Hill. By the time the throng reached the doors of democracy, grief gave way to real tears by the absence of a Paul Revere or a Dame Barbara Fritchie. Instead, it has been alleged that these far-right domestic terrorists gained access easily because some law enforcement officers facilitated their access into the building, where they proceeded to wreak havoc and mayhem. Many displaying the symbols of their hate live streamed themselves under the banner of Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump’s brand of patriotism. 

Five people died as a result of this riot, four Trump supporters and a police officer who was pepper sprayed and hit on the head with a fire extinguisher. Sadly, it seems there is now no need to hide behind white sheets in America, evinced by the displays of symbols of hate: Nooses and gallows, Three Percentage flags, Proud Boys’ ok signs, Oath Keepers’ caps, Confederate flag, QAnon signs, Auschwitz sweatshirt, 6MWE (exterminating six million Jews was not enough) T-shirt, MAGA civil war January 6 2021 shirts. Even more worrying, this canker of lawlessness and hate is not confined to America: it is widespread - the far right is here and they are active.

In Ireland, many politicians as well as young members of various political parties condemned this violence. Ógra Fianna Fáil was among them but continues to bury its head in sand pits with its defamatory and inflammatory argument that Sinn Féin, the largest left-wing party in Ireland, would act like Trump supporters in the future and will probably “storm the Dáil”, if they don’t get enough seats in the next general election. This is a shocking baseless analogy. Do they really think Ireland has forgotten who were excluded from Government in 2020, although they had the highest first preference votes? This argument is not only flawed, it smacks of Trumpism and the attacks on ANTIFA. 

Let it be reiterated it was right wing groups who almost brought America’s much celebrated democracy to its knees. There are those who are of the opinion that the far right in Ireland are harmless and are unlike those in America. Not so. Never forget: big crimes often grow from little ones. Just like the far right in America, far right political groups, such as The National Party, Anti-Corruption Ireland, Irish Freedom Party, Na Ridirí and Síol na hÉireann, carry their own symbols of hate. These symbols range from, nooses, Knight’s templar cross flags/t-shirts, “Ireland is for the Irish” banners, Eoin O’Duffy- “unrepentant fascist bastard” t-shirts and MICA (Make Ireland Catholic Again) hats. And like the US, there is a QAnon group here.

In October 2020, Gardaí emphasised the fact that future far right protests could result in more violent incidents. One need look no further for corroboration than the vicious incident which took place in the previous month outside Leinster House, between the far right and LGBTQ+ activist Izzy Kamikaze, who was struck on the head by National Party member, Michael Quinn, who had a weapon wrapped in a tricolour flag. (He has since been charged for the incident). 

Individuals like former journalist Gemma O’Doherty, a leading advocate of right-wing views and conspiracy theories, has, like Trump, emboldened the far-right in Ireland with her vitriolic rhetoric and harassment of people of colour. How harmless are these groups when individuals like Fiona Ryan & Jonathan Mathis, who appeared in a Lidl commercial were driven from Ireland by death threats, spearheaded by O’Doherty who also harassed a Halal butcher? Her live stream of Garda Alan Leblique and resulting cyber bullying may have, according to his family caused him to take his own life. 
Far right members launched arson attacks on two direct provision centres, which luckily were empty. One in Rooskey, County Roscommon and the other in Moville, County Donegal. Their hatred of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers extends to anyone who supports them, like Sinn Féin TD, Martin Kenny, who woke up to find his car had been set on fire. Father Stephen Farragher was denounced as a heretic and subjected to a “torrent of abuse” by Niall McConnell’s Síol na hÉireann for allowing two members of the Muslim community to say the final blessing and prayer at a Sunday ceremony in a Ballyhaunis Church. Dublin’s Lord Mayor Hazel Chu has not escaped their ire because she is not white Caucasian Irish. Since “Ireland is for the Irish” a Padraig Pearse’s quote misinterpreted to suit their ethnonationalism. The National Party, verbally abused Gay Minister Roderic O’Gorman in July 2020. They accused him of being a paedophile and protested outside the Dáil, with posters of nooses they intended to string him up with. Seems familiar? If not review the photographic images of the January 6th riot. 

Make no mistake, the far right is dangerous, they are growing exponentially and they are not ashamed to spread toxic on-line lies and propaganda, using apps like Telegram and the now deactivated Parler, for their own ends. Like spinning the Carrigaline stabbing of a white boy by a black boy into more than an isolated feud. Their new target is the late mentally ill, George Nkencho, who was shot by the Gardaí. The far right attempted to convince members of the public he had 30 previous convictions and was a physical abuser. Likewise, circulated a picture of a football fan in England and claimed this was the shopkeeper that George stabbed. The Gardaí later had to clarify that George had no previous convictions and had not stabbed the shopkeeper. In January 2020, a black woman was the first to give birth in Ireland. Over several days she was bombarded with racist abuse and there were claims that the media was biased and not documenting when white women gave birth.

The question is who are more likely to undermine the legislature: Sinn Féin or the far right who holds violent rallies like the anti covid-19 rally, held on a beach in June 2020, where Fergal Sheehy was videoed attempting to strangle someone in an incident after which a knife was recovered from an assailant’s bag. According to the Sun Newspaper (4th October 2020), groups like Na Ridirí believe they should be allowed to take up weapons against the state if necessary. The far right have proven they can be violent and will target minorities. It is dangerous to underestimate them.

Christine O'Mahony is a 22 year old Human Rights Law Postgraduate student at University College Dublin. She has a degree in Law (LLB International) from Maynooth University. She has an interest in politics, history, anti-racism action, equality and is currently doing research on Hate Speech laws for her dissertation.  

4 comments:

  1. Christine - thanks for posting this with TPQ. An important piece that warns against the danger of complacency.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Informative and timely article,here in New Zealand we have seen first hand the end result of the hatred described by Christine in her piece.The slaughter of innocent peacefull people at their place of worship by a far right wing fanatic was a horrible and despicable reminder of what this evil rhetoric can lead to.Complacency unfortunately plays a role in allowing this ideology and rhetoric to gain ground and indeed was shown by the official inquiry into the massacre to have been a factor.I am however pleased to see that people here in New Zealand have started to speak up and confront or condemn those who would use race or culture to devide is,it really is up to us individuals to do our bit.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think a change from the dozen or so IRA/ republican entities, assorted useless Independents and FF FG SF who are all the same turd at this stage would be welcome. At the end of the day..or century, the left has failed. Tory Party uk FG Ireland is hardly communism or socialism so the usual suspects shouting fascists or right wing bigots or nutters is just an indication that the left is irrelevant. A new centre right party with new faces and people centred may be just what the Dr. Ordered. Bring it on... Sieg Heil.. suck it up..you brought it on yourselves.

    Larry Hughes

    ReplyDelete