Irish anger shouldn’t be underestimated but channel it at the ballot box, says Hermann Kelly

By Thomas Brooke
8 Min Read

On Thursday afternoon this week, a vicious stabbing attack occurred on Parnell Square in central Dublin. Although precise details are yet to be confirmed, five people are in hospital including children, with one in a critical condition.

The attacker is believed to be a foreign national, possibly from Algeria, who has lived in Ireland for some time. It is just the latest high-profile crime that has occurred in Ireland in recent times at the hands of a foreign perpetrator.

In April 2022, two gay Irish men, Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee, were murdered in the most gruesome fashion by Yousel Palani. Apparently, they were targeted because they were Irish and homosexual. Palani came to Ireland with his family when he was six, and his family are known to be devout Muslims.

In January 2022, a teacher and talented musician Ashling Murphy was murdered as she went out for a jog at the Grand Canal near Tullamore, County Offaly. She was stabbed in the neck eleven times by Jozef Puska, a Slovakian Roma who had been living in Ireland for 10 years. He had never worked or contributed anything to Ireland, was allowed to claim disability benefits and received a free house from the Irish government. He was allowed into Ireland because of EU open borders.

Ashling represented the best of Irish people, and her murder sickened the whole nation.

The violence and riots that we witnessed in Dublin this week are rare, but their significance should not be underestimated. They are the result of pent-up anger that has built up over a period of time. They are a sign that people are at breaking point and are convulsed with anger at a government that has steadfastly ignored their concerns around immigration and asylum policy for a long time.

The anger should be channeled to exert political change at the ballot box. The Irish Freedom Party opposes any type of political violence by either individuals or the state. 

Between 2012 and 2022, Ireland’s population has grown by around 10.3 percent — the EU average in that period is around 1.7 percent. Ireland is generally a welcoming country, but we are at breaking point and our hospitality is being abused. Despite being the furthest European country away from the conflict, Ireland has taken in more Ukrainian refugees per capita than any other Western European country.

A recent study showed that the rate of increase in Ukrainians arriving in Ireland over the past 12 months was 10 times higher than the average increase in numbers across the EU — there has been a 72.1 percent increase in the numbers over the past year. They are attracted to Ireland because the government decided to hand out stacks of Irish taxpayers’ money to them as an incentive to come. 

The Irish Freedom Party has been highlighting this problem for many months, and it is only now that the government has decided that our analysis is correct and is looking to change the package on offer.

The modus operandi of this government in relation to asylum and immigration has been clear for some time. They dump busloads of unvetted male asylum seekers into unsuspecting communities, sometimes late at night. They do not consult with the local population or address their concerns about a lack of services and security. They simply dismiss them as “far-right” or “racist,” and these tactics are echoed by their friends in the media.

Last week, over 1,000 people marched in Rosslare, County Wexford, in opposition to plans by the Department of Integration to impose another 400 asylum seekers in a hotel that was meant to be used for elderly people. In Killarney, which is a prime tourist town, hundreds of people turned out to oppose plans to dump more asylum seekers in the town — already around 40 percent of the tourist accommodation in Killarney is allocated for asylum applicants.

Roderic O’Gorman, the minister responsible for integration and asylum, sent out tweets in multiple languages inviting people from all over the world to apply for asylum in Ireland. He played an active role in the crisis we find ourselves in today. This is all happening during the middle of a massive housing crisis, which has essentially locked generations of Irish people out of the possibility of owning their own home.

The Irish Freedom Party wants to totally reform Irish immigration and asylum laws. Firstly, we will seek to push back on frivolous applications from designated safe countries — this will immediately cut down on the numbers applying. We will end the ridiculous and ineffective policy of self-deportation and ensure that every deportation order is activated and carried out. Third, we will put a stop to the endless legal appeals process and ensure that decisions are made in a timely and efficient fashion. 

The Irish Freedom Party will use existing laws to ensure that anyone entering the country without a passport or ID will be immediately returned to their country of origin.

In terms of regular immigration, we will drastically cut the numbers coming and reform the welfare system to make sure it does not act as an incentive to come to Ireland. We want an immigration policy that is based on our national needs in terms of filling employment vacancies and skill gaps.

The Irish people are entitled to have a system that they can have confidence in and feel benefits the country and society in general. The Irish Freedom Party is the only party committed to reform in these areas. We are the only party listening to the Irish people and standing with them as they oppose a New Plantation of Ireland. 

Hermann Kelly is the founder and president of the Irish Freedom Party. He is from the Bogside in Derry and once edited an Irish Catholic newspaper before becoming a columnist at the Irish Examiner and Irish Daily Mail. He worked as a press officer for the Eurosceptic EFDD group in the European Parliament for 10 years and currently works as a press officer for Romanian ECR MEP Cristian Terheș.

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