Muslim cleric announces candidacy for European elections in June

Dr Umar al-Qadri, chief imam of Islamic Centre of Ireland, to run as an independent in Dublin

Dr Umar al-Qadri, chief imam of the Islamic Centre of Ireland, has announced his candidacy in the Dublin constituency for the European Parliament elections in June.

The cleric, who has a track record in speaking out against extremism and terrorism, said he planned to run as an independent candidate and would campaign on issues such as affordable living, “sensible immigration”, helping small businesses, and peace-building in Gaza and Ukraine.

Dr Al-Qadri said he would bring a “fresh perspective” and a dedication to serving the best interests of Dublin’s diverse populace.

“After much reflection and consultation with the incredible people of Dublin, I’m thrilled to announce my candidacy for the European Parliament elections 2024 in the Dublin constituency, Alhamdulillah!” he said.


“As an immigrant who’s called Ireland home for 21 years, I’ve been deeply inspired by the warmth and resilience of Dubliners. But recent events have shown me that our beloved city is at a crossroads. The rise of far-right extremism and divisive rhetoric threatens the very fabric of our society.”

He said his experience as an entrepreneur, a prominent Muslim faith leader and advocate for social justice meant he could offer “pragmatic solutions” to address the pressing challenges facing Dublin and Europe.

Dr Al-Qadri said his campaign would also seek to foster dialogue, promote inclusivity and advocate for policies that benefit all members of the community.

“I believe that by working together, we can build a future where Dublin stands as a beacon of unity, prosperity, and hope in Europe and beyond,” he said.

“I am committed to representing the voices and aspirations of all members of our diverse community, and I look forward to engaging with voters and stakeholders throughout this campaign.”

Dr Al-Qadri was in the headlines recently after being the victim of an assault, which is being investigated by An Garda Síochána. He also led the Muslim funeral prayer at a multi-denominational funeral service for Sinéad O’Connor.

He founded a mosque in west Dublin about 15 years ago and later established the Islamic Cultural Centre Ireland.

He was a founding member of the Council of Irish Imams, but resigned from it in 2016 after stating it was “ineffective as a platform to discuss the concerns of the Muslim community in Ireland”. He is currently chair of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council.

* This article was amended on April 13th to correct a factual error

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien is Education Editor of The Irish Times. He was previously chief reporter and social affairs correspondent