White supremacy groups in Ireland: a growing concern

Ian Begley

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White nationalist organisations are trying to influence the general public through a web of lies. Ian Begley investigates.

Racist organisations like the Irish Nationalist Movement and the Irish Nationalist Brotherhood continue to generate a large degree of controversy and concern in Ireland.

Those who belong to these far-right groups communicate primarily through racist internet forums like Stormfront.org and ThePhora.net, where they have free reign to exhibit their provocative views with other likeminded individuals.

Unlike the far-right British National Party (BNP), Ireland does not possess an authentic political party that advocates white nationalism and anti-multiculturalism. Instead, several small numbered white nationalist movements have formed around a common theme of Republicanism, white supremacy, and anti-immigration.

Many of these groups range from different levels of extremes, scaling from hard-line Christian conservatives to flag burning Neo-Nazis. Their value systems are often flawed and incoherent, therefore making it difficult to establish whether they are a legitimate factor for concern in Ireland.

Rosanna Flynn, spokesperson for Residents Against Racism, states that she frequently suffers from death threats and other forms of abuse from racist individuals.

You don’t have to be a racist to hate niggers – just a good Christian. And thank God Dublin is full of good Christians.

She described a letter that was personally addressed to her with a message stating: “we’ll get you, you nigger cocksucker,” attached with a drawing of a gun pointed at her head.

Rosanna does not think that racist organisations in Ireland will ever be as prominent as the BNP is in Britain, but believes there has been a slight increase in racist ideology in Ireland in recent years, and is critical about the lack of governmental action towards white extremists.

“I don’t think racism is dealt with properly in Ireland… I know it’s no use reporting these things to the Gardaí because nothing is ever done about it.”

Rosanna says that many white nationalists do not deem themselves as racist, often attempting to put a respectful front “on something that is anything but respectful.”

She states that people often send her messages, attempting to justify their disjointed dogma towards other ethnicities.

‘“You don’t have to be a racist to hate niggers – just a good Christian, and thank God Dublin is full of good Christians.”’

Michael Quinn, founder of the Irish Nationalist Brotherhood, a rebranded version of the Democratic Right Movement (DMP) has been involved in far-right politics for over 30 years.

His organisation models itself off the BNP, and has links with several other white supremacist groups like Combat 18, the English Defence League and the KKK.

On his website, Quinn outlines his intention to develop a well-backed political party that coincides with his far-right ideology.

“My belief is that the only solution to this politically created societal mess is a strong right wing Nationalist political force, which in time could become a political party similar to other Nationalist political parties such as the BNP [sic].”

Quinn’s political integrity that he tries to instil upon himself is often jeopardised by the provocative rants that he regularly posts online. In 2011, he made tabloid headlines when he uploaded a video of himself speaking in favour of the Norwegian massacre, adding that he would have “no problem” with an Anders Breivik style-massacre in the Dáil.

The Irish Nationalist Movement (INM), run by co-founder John Kavanagh, is a widely criticised splinter group of the DRM.

Like many other white nationalists, Kavanagh denies that he is racist and states that he is a right-wing activist who strives to protect Ireland’s culture and native identity.

“I am not racist; I don’t hate other races. I do support tight immigration control and abolishment of the asylum process. I do believe that some levels of immigration is acceptable [sic].”

However, Kavanagh contradicts himself in nearly every way imaginable on his website. On 25th October, 2012, he writes:

“I had a woman came in to my repair shop looking for money for black kids in Africa for soccer uniforms!!! She had a shocked look on her face when I said i wasn’t interested in giving money to blacks [sic].”

 

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White supremacy groups in Ireland strive to divert public opinion against multiculturalism, and share a common ideology that Ireland should be maintained for white Irish nationals only.

On another occasion in 2009, posting on Stormfront.org, Kavanagh declared: “I hate indians, paki, muslims and all that other crap in my country. I want to take the fight to them directly… If I had power…Blacks, muslims, pakis, etc. Id round them up and shoot them all for invading my country. Dont Worry about the tidy up, I make them dig their mass graves first [sic].”

Although members of the INM don’t seem to expand beyond the anonymity of the internet, Kavanagh and his INM associate Andrew Walsh infrequently attempt to organise meet-ups for their followers.

On November 18th, 2012, Kavanagh and Walsh set off to an undisclosed location in Roscrea, Tipperary for the purpose of launching a newly drafted manifesto with several other INM members. Asked to collect a ‘new recruit’ at a bus stop, Kavanagh and Walsh walked right into a trap and were attacked by several members of the NGO, Anti-Fascist Action (AFA).

A physical fight broke out and resulted in several minor injuries to both parties. The day after the incident occurred, Walsh and Kavanagh described the details of the fight on the INM website.

Antifa attempted an ambush on Irish National leader Andrew Walsh and John Kavanagh of the Nationalist Movement.  About seven or eight antifa scumbags came out of the woodwork like termites.”

“I don’t like violence but they were so weak and I felt so powerful, I got to say I enjoyed punching their dirty heads off. Even better, one of them that attacked Andrew was a black bastard.”

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Speaking with a spokesperson from the AFA about this incident, it seems that the turn-out for this meet-up was significantly lower than expected.

“The meeting in Roscrea had expected to gather around 50 guests, but ended up with only two people showing up.” [Kavanagh has since disputed this claim.]

The AFA spokesperson also made observations about the mind-frame of both John Kavanagh and Michael Quinn.

“They both have an odd, conservative outlook on things and seem to be very out of tune with today’s society. They live in rural areas with little diversity, and have a lot of free time on their hands which basically allows them to be full time racists.”

White supremacy groups in Ireland strive to divert public opinion against multiculturalism, and share a common ideology that Ireland should be maintained for white Irish nationals only.

Their failure to unite under a banner of set policies and goals creates rivalry and contempt amongst their nationalist counterparts, which further decreases any hopes of them forming a BNP type party.

It is also evident that these movements masquerade their racism by using people-friendly words and terms to highlight their policies and beliefs, and seem to justify their racist ideology by blaming Ireland’s economic problems on multiculturalism.

If racism in Ireland isn’t combatted effectively by our government and police force then it is very probable that these white nationalist organisations will gain more support and sympathy from the general public, thus putting foreign nationals at a greater risk in our society.

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Ian Begley