Ireland | 01/16/2022

Ireland 2022 January

Infamous Antrim neo-Nazi dies of Covid

Mervin Shields, from Bushmills, Co. Antrim, died on New Years day of “Covid complications”. The guitarist and bassist, who is reported to have not been vaccinated because he considered the pandemic to be a “Jewish plot”, died at the age of 59. Shields was a significant figure in the international ‘Blood and Honour’ music network known for promoting neo-Nazi ideology and Loyalist politics. Tributes went out to Shields from London UDA leader Frank Portinari, Loyalist Defence League and neo-Nazi’s across Europe.

Hermann Kelly in Brussels with Croatian & Romanian MEPs

Hermann Kelly appeared in Brussels this month with Romanian MEP Cristian Terhes and Croatian MEP Mislav Kolakušić. Kelly, who previously worked for Nigel Farage and is president of far-right organisation the Irish Freedom Party, has recently taken on a new role as press officer for Terhes. Both Terhes and Kolakušić remain focused on their conspiratorial anti-vaccine cert platform and should be watched carefully for connections to far right themes.

White Lives Matter’ neo-Nazi propaganda distributed in Dublin

• ‘White Lives Matter’ neo-Nazi propaganda was distributed in Dún Laoghaire, Landsdowne road, Grand Canal Docks, Dublin this month. It was hastily removed by local antifascists. Content included “White Lives Matter, we must secure our existence” and linking to the international network ‘White Lives Matter’ on Telegram. The Irish WLM channel, currently with 70 subscribers was set up April 2021 and has maintained low traction.

• For further reading on rise and fall of the US WLM groups and their neo-Nazi connections see the SPLC report.

• Outside of the US, the ‘White Lives Matter’ slogan functions as banner content, hashtags and handles as opposed to clearly signifying a defined network. See banner drops by Patriotic Alternative.

Coordinated crowd funding for Keith Woods

• Coordinated donations totalling over 6000 euro to Keith Woods were made over a period of days in January 2022 on Antifascists have brought this to the attention of managers of the crowd funding site but it remains unclear what action, if any, they will take.

• Originally from Roscommon, Keith Woods has a growing international fan base for his non-stop anti-Semitic bile, overtly neo-Nazi imagery and Third Positionist ideology. A You-tube video uploaded January 1st reached 30,000 viewers in 3 days.

• Woods appears 9 times in the Unicorn Riot leak of white nationalist Patriotic Front internal chats.

Escalation of violent misogyny and racist hate attacks

• The 12th January murder of 23 year old teacher, Aisling Murphy, in Tullamore, Offaly dominated news headlines this month shedding light on escalating violent misogyny across Ireland. While agencies have maintained a high alert over the shadow pandemic of domestic violence throughout Covid, reports of street violence against women in BallyfermotCorkKilkenny and elsewhere this month shifted the public into action. Vigils in memory of Aisling Murphy were disrupted across the country by ‘Mens Rosary’ and anti-lockdown groups. A Zoom vigil was disrupted by a man exposing himself appearing to masturbate on camera while hate group, the National Party, whose members have a long history of misogynistic abuse, exploited the murder of Aisling Murphy to push their racist agenda at her graveside. Many of these marauding misogynists have long standing connections with international far right networks including Generation Identity and Patriotic Alternative. ISD analyst Aoife Gallagher describes the gendered far right playbook, “They ridicule the genuine responses of those who see this crime for what it is – the senseless murder of a young, innocent woman – and show their true colours by calling women “bitches”, “libtards”, “freaks” or “unhinged”, or implying that there is a conspiracy at play to coordinate a response.”

• A man was stabbed on 14th January in North Belfast in what the PSNI are describing as a racist hate crime. Masked men armed with knives forced a Dublin family out of their home fleeing the racist attacks in Tallaght. This month a Galway man was sentenced to 3 months for racial abuse of Cork woman in August 2020. Cast and crew of the Lion King musical report being subjected to racist and homophobic abuse and threats of violence during their time in Dublin.