The Irish Far Shite.

In #rabble10, Blog, Politics, Print Edition by David Flemming14 Comments

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Riding the wave of demonstrations across Europe following the Charlie Hebdo killings, a group calling themselves anti-Islam Ireland held a protest rally outside the Islamic Cultural centre and Mosque in Clonskeagh. how strong are such far right groups here? David Fleming asks some anti-fascist activists.

According to the group’s spokesperson Sandra Archer, they were there “to highlight wrong doings by the Islamic faith across the world”. The group consisted of only eight people from Anti-Islam Ireland, who also call themselves Irish Voice. The group were met by members of the Mosque who offered them tea, coffee and dates. It is traditional in Islam to offer dates as a welcoming gift.

They were also met by a counter demonstration of about 100 Anti Fascist Action and Anti-Racism protesters. There were some minor scuffles and the opposing groups exchanged verbal insults. The AFA supporters confiscated their leaflets and ripped up their banner. Anti-Islam Ireland left 35 minutes later with their collective tail between their legs. After requesting Garda protection they were escorted away, presumably to crawl back under whatever rock they emerged from. This was an unmitigated disaster for them. Having previously claimed they had more than 100 supporters due to show up on the day, a grand total of 8 did. They also claimed that more people had shown up on the day but were scared off by republicans, and that their freedom of expression had been impeded by the counter demonstrators.

I reached out to Irish Voice for an interview two days after their protest. This was their reply: “No chance . we have read your leftist bullshit before . no one takes any notice of you”. The grammatical errors are their own.

This group is not the first of its kind in Ireland by any means. This country has a long history of far right groups that precedes WW2, with the blueshirts, now Fine Gael. Ireland was also home to a number of prominent Nazis after the war. Anyone who went to primary school in Ireland will be familiar with Folens publications. Nearly all of our schoolbooks were published by them and many will recall the distinctive bumblebee logo. What they may not know is that founder Albert Folens, a Belgian national, was a volunteer in the Flemish Waffen SS and later worked for the Gestapo.

Another famous Nazi, Otto ‘Scarface’ Skorzeny, also settled here in late fifties and became a farmer in County Kildare. Skorzeny was known as Hitlers’ favourite commando after he led an assault on a hilltop fortress in Italy, freeing imprisoned fellow fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Skorzeny was depicted in the Irish media at the time as a glamorous cloak and dagger figure. He received a warm, welcoming reception upon his arrival in Dublin, which was attended by many in the Irish elite and establishment, including a young Charles Haughey.

So, like most European countries, Ireland has had, and still has, some far right groups. However, unlike our European counterparts, their influence and numbers have been minimal, almost to the point of non-existence. But why? To find out more I caught up with ‘John’ from Anti Fascist Action Ireland. We met in a random pub in Dublin’s city centre and chatted at length about the history of AFA and the far right in Ireland.

“The critical difference between us and other European countries where there is a sizeable electoral party that promotes anti-immigration politics as a backbone, or whether its football hooligans or fascist boneheads with a street presence, is in Ireland you have neither, and one of the key reasons we would argue is because of groups like AFA who have always been on top of things and do not sit back and wait for something to happen”.

We discussed the possibility of an English Defence League type group springing up in Ireland; “The difference in Ireland is that the football scene is much smaller and you don’t have those kinds of numbers, but probably more importantly, is that in terms of football, in all the major teams in Ireland there is a very strong left or left of centre ethos that goes back decades”.

He continued; “Even specifically the two main football hooligan groups in Dublin, Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers, individual members of those crews would have friendships with people in AFA or friendships with people in the republican movement who have friendships with AFA, and as a result the worry that disaffected young working class men that would turn to racist politics is fortunately quite small”.

The link between anti-fascist or anti-racist politics and the republican movement is an important one. Whereas, in the UK or mainland Europe, the allegiances of the working class vote are split between far left and far right parties like the BNP, France’s National Front or Denmark’s Dansk Folkeparti (Danish Peoples Party), the Irish working class vote has traditionally gone to Sinn Fein, who, according to ‘John’, “Have been very good from the top down, and vice versa, in promoting internationalist, anti-racist and generally pro-immigrant politics. That in many ways has been a life saver for anti-fascist politics in Ireland.”

The far right in Ireland is as fragmented and marginalised as it has ever been and long may it continue. In part due to groups like AFA, who have been very successful in stamping out fledgling organised racist movements before they have a chance to grow.

We all have a shared responsibility though, to ensure nothing like the National Front or Pegida ever flourish here.

Photo by Al O’Neill of NOA photography.

Comments

  1. Fukin Traitors the lot of antifada.. when they chopping ya head off n raping ya children the smile will be on the other side of ya face ya bleedin heart leftie scumbags… A new dawn arises 😉

    1. watever nob.. these shit cunts dont want to be part of our little republic.. these dirty cunts want to take over…. OVER MY DEAD BODY!!! barenakedislam.com… educate yaself simpleton 😉

      1. Your hilarious. Makes me comfortable knowing that idiots like you exist. Hardly going to threaten anything 😀

  2. Great piece. Long may they be subject to the shaming they deserve for their hate filled views. In which time we can concentrate on pressuring for change that will benefit all of us, only having to worry about getting kicked about by the gards, not boneheaded facists as well.

    1. its very ironic Sean.. That left wing Fascists are protecting religious Fascists from True Patriots who you call Fascists!! between ye left wing pedophiles and these religious pedophiles( check out Mohammed and his 9yr old bride!!) ya nothing but a bunch of fukin hypocrites!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ya couldnt make this shite up!!! CHECK OUT BARENAKEDISLAM.COM AND EDUCATE YASELVES YE FUKIN SIMPLETONS +TRAITORS.. fuck islam the death cult !!! A New Dawn is Arising all over Europe and there is deffo no room for ye fukin bleedin heart leftist cunts!! MUSLIMS OUT!!!!

  3. While there is always a breath in my body, I will, with others, stand up to these vermin. Long live the AFA and antifa.

  4. A plausible historical explanation for the relative lack of “far right” groups is offered…. which rather diminishes the role of antifa, wouldn’t you say? Stealing people’s leaflets, ripping up their banner…. great work! How very freikorps of them. A fitting tribute to their enemies! I jest. Alternative, fringe voices need to be heard! Except when they don’t, naturally. Then we will do everything we can to stamp them out. Anyone who believes in less immigration than me is a racist. Anyone to my right is extrem rechts. An excruciatingly stupid taxonomy, sure, but it gets the job done – the job being to preen and strut in a degenerate morality play for the benefit of the decent, good people… the left-wingers, duh. I’m left wing because I am uniquely sensitive and uniquely compassionate, and therefore uniquely equipped to solve the housing crisis. The solution is to have a caring system, not a system that doesn’t care! If you were a HUMAN BEING you would understand that. Right wing vermin can’t see that whoever says they’re the most compassionate gets to dispose of all property in the country. Long live antifa.

    Leftists (leftoids? people of the left?) have this amazing knack of attacking positions as extreme, fringe, unacceptable etc while implying that these views are in fact dominant, mainstream and in need of heroic subversion by the pure-of-heart vanguard. Victim hierarchy logic. The last shall be first etc At any given moment, racism can be depicted as conquered (victory laps!) by the left, “it’s 2015, like”, banished, a relic… or, EVERYWHERE, lurking between people’s ears, liable to strike, a cancer in society. Whatever is useful is true. Well, this is politics after all.

    The violent, tattooed fuckwit boneheads who join far-right groups in Europe tend to join left wing groups in Ireland. Thus becoming noble downtrodden Republicans and not scumbags at all because they have the correct beliefs. Nationalist Sinn Fein are very good at internationalism, don’t you know? What’s that? Concerning yourself with the welfare of… Jesus, I almost said foreigners! The welfare of other-situated Irish, I mean. Travellers are not massively racist or sexist or bigoted. Never! Traveller culture is noble and our ethnic pets need to be be protected in their wee reservations on the side of the road. Anti-immigration nativist racist Irish scum need to be demographically assaulted. Preserving cultures and identity is good, except when it’s the worst thing ever.

    Social administrators and heroic antifa street people will destroy anyone who threatens to sabotage the social order – the disgusting, corrupt social order which we hate. Tolerance is good! Therefore the more people are forced to tolerate, the better. Look how much I can tolerate! More than you, anyway.

    Yes, I am “far right”. I’d say I was racist, too, but I need a much stronger word now that you’ve zapped away all its punch. It was a goodly cudgel, once. What’s an even more extreme version of a racist? Whatever it is, I’m that. Japan for the Japanese etc

  5. What does being pro-immigration have to do with being anti-fascist? Such a bizarre ideological statement

  6. This the same Antifa that cut the head off the statue of Sean Russell? Bunch of losers

  7. No its not. AFA was not involved in that act of vandalism although the fascists would like to believe they were.

    1. Comments from gleeful antifascists on Indymedia at the time would suggest otherwise, AFA were just to cowardly to admit to it after the backlash

  8. There is only one fascist group in Ireland and that is the so called AFA.. These are low life animals and everyone with a brain know that they are latter day fascists……they are fooling nobody.

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