Ireland | 12/31/2021

Ireland 2021 December

Key Developments


Hermann Kelly’s media role with Romanian MEP Cristian Terhes

  • Hermann Kelly, president of far-right organisation, The Irish Freedom Party (IFP), has a new role as press officer for Romanian MEP Cristian Terhes. Kelly has previously acted as press officer for Nigel Farage and is known for opposing immigration and promoting racist ideas of racial superiority. As part of this media role, Kelly coordinates English language communications for Terhes, who opposes mandatory certificates of vaccination in the European Parliament. Irish MEP’s Clare Daly and Mick Wallace joined four other MEP including Terhes in opposing the certificates.
  • Since Kelly has taken on this role with Terhes, who has large social media following among Romanian language users, we can see similar narratives and aesthetic used by the IFP being used in Terhes’ media. Being mindful of Kelly’s past efforts to stoke racialised conflict via wedge-issue politics, we must watch carefully for international coordination by Kelly and Terhes between Romania and Ireland, particularly among Romanian-Irish communities.

International connections of Irish far-right highlighted in Islamophobia report

  • The European Islamophobia Report for 2020, published 29th December 2021, has highlighted the international connections of Irish far-right. The report for Ireland lists Niall Mc Connells relationships with members of neo-fascist groups across Europe, “including the NDP (Germany); the New Right (Romania); Democracia Nacional (Spain); E. Michael Jones, who has been referred to as an anti-Semitic author; Dan Eriksson (Europa Terra Nostra); Roberto Fiore (Forza Nuova); Nick Griffin (former leader of the British National Party); the aforementioned Jim Dowson, who is referred to as a “central pillar in the Christian militant group Knights Templar International”; and Greek Golden Dawn associate Athanasios Konstantinou.”
  • Authors Bayrakli and Hafez warn of an overall rise of militant Islamophobia, with a particular emphasis on hate crimes carried out in Germany, Sweden and the UK.

Conspiracy theorist suspected in connection to New Year’s Eve arson attack on Freemasons Hall, Dublin

• Gardaí are investigating a fire that broke out in Dublin’s Freemason Hall, New Year’s Eve, as an arson attack. A Dublin man is his thirties, is suspected in connection with the fire. Graffiti outside the building accused the Freemasons of being part of a hoax-pandemic global conspiracy. The graffiti read “ “Burn for the children you destroy: 33A Nucleotides”. News of the fire spread throughout conspiracy and extremist themed social media channels with commentary celebrating the arson attack.

Mark Nolan, British far-right terror suspect, is charged in Ireland

  • Mark Nolan, British far-right terror suspect, sought in the UK for terrorism charges and possession of 250,000 indecent images including images of children, has been charged with five new offences in Ireland relating to possession of firearms and possessing material contrary to the Offences Against The State Act. These new charges have postponed Nolan’s extradition to the UK. Nolan, who uses aliases ‘Mark Peppard’ and ‘Mark Wolf’, resided at Britannia Street, Camden, London before moving to Ireland earlier this year. He was arrested in Dublin on 16th June 2021. It is unknown what connections Nolan has to Ireland or Irish far-right. Nolan is suspected to be involved with the proscribed neo-nazi groupNational Action. See Red Flare tweet report on National Action.

Continued public and political pressure forces tech giants to act against hate

  • Twitter and Facebook have suspended the social media pages of key far-right figures in Ireland following years of sustained public and political pressure on the tech giants to act against hate.
  • Twitter account of Keith Woods/O’Brien, 23K+ followers, and his LinkTree account, have been suspended. Woods is social media influencer who has been pushing anti-Semitic, neo-nazi content since his emergence early 2019. He continues to produce content on Telegram to his 16K followers and Youtube to his 39K followers (with 41k views on his January 1st 2022 video.
  • Facebook account of Dolores Cahill has been suspended as part of new measures in Facebook, “aggressive steps to fight harmful Covid-19 misinformation on our platforms,”. Cahill’s followership doubled to 130,000 followers in 2021 according to ISD. It has emerged that Facebook lacks the local knowledge necessary to act against hate on its platform. Facebook’s representatives at a meeting with civil society groups said “…lots of hateful content doesn’t get reviewed because the reviewers have no local context…Automated moderators likewise have no context – they work off keywords”. It remains unclear why the tech giant did not take action to develop local knowledge or whether it intends to do so.