A report in the Sunday Times has revealed a new far-right group called Na Ridirí which encourages members to take weapons training and practice hand to hand combat. And what’s more, the group appears to have a soldier in the Irish Defence Forces amongst its members. Video on the group’s Instagram page also shows a member at a gun range firing an assault rifle.
Earlier this year a far-right planning document discussed the importance of having contacts within the gardaí and military. It’s argued that contacts within both organisations needs to be used “strategically”.
Creating a “network”
The name of the group is Na Ridirí, which translates as “The Knights”. On its now private Instagram page, the group describes itself as a “Youth Organisation” which encourages mental health, “Physical Fitness and Local Volunteering”.
It goes on to say that it is an “apolitical group” that is “aimed at giving young men purpose”. The group said it wants to “create a network of young men from all across Ireland” who want to “better themselves, mentally and physically”.
But Na Ridirí, which also appears to be linked to the far-right National party, also encourages weapons training.
In one video on the group’s Instagram one member can be seen firing an assault rifle at a firing range in the US. After critiquing their own technique the poster goes on to say that this is “why I encourage you to train with one”. They opine that citizens have a “fundamental right” to such weapons because they are “locked in a disadvantage” against criminals and the state.
According to Na Ridirí,
This is not acceptable in my opinion, as why should he who is lawful and good suffer disadvantage under laws that to do not affect criminals such as terrorist groups and gangs?
Given this, the group recommends to those interested in gaining access to assault rifles “enlisting for the military or police”. Enlistees will be “professionally shown the maintenance and operation of a variety of firearms”. And they will get “very beneficial and disciplined regimented training”.
Footage of the members sparring was also uploaded to the Na Ridirí Instagram page.
In the video one of the group’s members can be seen wearing a t-shirt with the Sonnenrad logo on it. Also known as the Black Sun, the symbol is widely used by the far right and neo-Nazis.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC), one version of the logo was used by head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, during the reign of the Third Reich. The Christchurch terrorist also used the symbol in their manifesto they uploaded to the Internet before they murdered 51 people in March 2019.
Far-right links to the Irish military
A spokesperson for the Irish Defence Forces told The Beacon that all applicants to the Defence Forces undergo “security vetting”. This is done “to identify anyone who may be a security threat”.
What’s more, the spokesperson highlighted that members of the Defence Forces “are required to maintain an apolitical stance”. Any members found in breach of this will be “subject to disciplinary action in accordance with Military Law”.
Earlier this year a far-right planning document pointed to the importance of using garda and military contacts. In the document it’s written that far-right activists must use such contacts “strategically”.
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