Anti-racism group disrupts launch of political group

Identity Ireland wants stricter border controls and return to punt

The launch of a new political organisation, Identity Ireland, was interrupted by an anti-racism group in Dublin on Wednesday. Video: Mary Minihan

 

The launch of a political organisation advocating stricter border controls and a return to the Irish punt was interrupted by an anti-racism group in Dublin on Wednesday.

Identity Ireland’s Peter O’Loughlin claimed Ireland had a “very generous” social welfare system that he said was quite easy to take advantage of.

“The reason we’re called Identity Ireland is because something has to link us together in a society,” he said. “In order for a nation to exist and to function, to have a government, to have health services, to have education services, there needs to be a link because we’re so different already.

“ So multi-culturalism obviously literally undermines the foundations because you’re saying identity is no longer important.”

Mr O’Loughlin, a teacher, was joined at an event at a city centre hotel by the organisation’s secretary Gary Allen, and treasurer Alan Tighe.

They said the group had around 115 members and wanted to run a “handful” of candidates in the next election.

Members of a group called the Anti-Racism Network Ireland objected to the event and clashed with members of Identity Ireland.

Gardaí had to intervene to stop disturbances which broke out at an Identity Ireland meeting on Irish immigration policy held in Dublin in March when members of the Anti-Racism Network Ireland also protested.

They said Identity Ireland had “chosen” to hold its event on the fourth anniversary of Norwegian far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik’s massacre on an island youth camp.

Mr O’Loughlin said people had genuine concerns about immigration. He said people were afraid of being branded racist and he had seen this when canvassing.

“Immigration is fine at reasonable levels and of course people can become part of the Irish nation but it’s the mass immigration aspect,” he said. “You always have to ask yourself when do you stop?”

An Oireachtas spokeswoman confirmed that Mr Allen had been in touch with the Clerk of the Dáil’s office about registering Identity Ireland as a party but said papers had yet to be lodged.