A new far-right party has been officially registered in Ireland. The group insists it is not racist or even anti-immigrant, but in favour of ‘sensible’ immigration policy.
However, The Irish Times has gained access to a private messaging group on Telegram where members of ‘Ireland First’, unguarded, display overt racism, homophobia, anti-semitism and sometimes call for violence against refugees.
Crime and Security Correspondent, Conor Gallagher, has reviewed thousands of messages posted by the group members over a number of months. There is no evidence of the most hateful rhetoric attracting any sanction or criticism from the party’s leadership, which is also active in the chat.
Discussions include pandemic conspiracies, anger at Sinn Fein and the ‘traitorous’ Christy Moore. The ire was directed at the singer for his show of solidarity at a recent ‘Ireland For All’ march in Dublin, in support of refugees and marginalised groups.
It prompted one member of the closed Telegram group to contact a social media account impersonating Brendan Gleeson. The party member appeared to be under the impression the real actor might be persuaded to join their cause.
In this episode Gallagher outlines who is behind ‘Ireland First’, the party’s origins and what its members are really saying in private.