Tensions at Croke Park as far right gathered to protest against Eid celebration

Tensions at Croke Park as far right gathered to protest against Eid celebration

Far-right protestors gathered outside Croke Park today to demonstrate against its use by Muslim people celebrating Eid Al Adha. Around 60 protestors were outside the park claiming its use by the worshippers was a form of desecration and inappropriate.

Anti-fascist and anti-racism counter-protestors were also present.

“New World Order”

Present at the demonstration were far-right group Síol na hÉireann and its leader Niall McConnell. The Donegal farmer and failed politician has a history of Islamophobic and racist comments. Earlier this year he told a meeting at the EU Parliament that the “Zionist elite” are bringing “jihadi Islamists” into Europe to target nationalist such as himself.

Also present was former journalist and failed politician Gemma O’Doherty. She has claimed that the use of Croke Park is a form of “creeping Sharia” in Ireland. 

QAnon believers were seemingly in attendance. One such supporter could be heard telling those gathered that wearing of face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 “signifies to everybody that you have submitted to the New World Order”.

Locals as well as anti-facist and anti-racism activists gathered to counter the far-right protest. Around 40 could be heard chanting “Racist scum off our streets”. The event was largely peaceful but there were visible tensions on occasion.

Gardaí confirmed to The Beacon that three people were arrested for public order offences. They have since been released without charge and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Celebrating diversity

One local woman who came to the counter-protest contended that it is important for “people of any faith, or creed, to be able to celebrate their faith”. She also said she was “embarrassed” that the far right were protesting the event.

In a letter Irish president Michael D. Higgins wrote that he was sending his “very best wishes” to those celebrating Eid in Croke Park. The celebration “is an important moment in Ireland’s narrative”, he wrote. What’s more, it highlights

the richly diverse community we have become and the enormous contribution that you, our new communities, have made and continue to make to Ireland.

And Higgins also thanked the Muslim community for their “valuable contribution to our shared society”. 

Featured image via Twitter – Razan Ibraheem

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