A member of the far-right National Party who attacked LGBTQIA+ activist Izzy Kamikaze last year has plead guilty during his arraignment in Dublin Circuit Court today. Gardaí arrested Michael Quinn, with an address in Malone Flats, Ardee, Co. Louth, in October last year after he assaulted Kamikaze during a National Party anti-mask rally outside the Dáil the previous month.
Kamikaze, a long-time LGBTQIA+ campaigner, was in the area of the Dáil with a small group of other activists to observe the anti-mask rally on 12 September last year. But protestors quickly surrounded Kamikaze and the group. And it was then that Quinn struck her over the head with a piece of wood draped in the Irish flag. She was forced to seek hospital treatment as a result of the injury.
Footage of the assault went viral with people posting videos and images of a bloodied Kamikaze across social media.
Gardaí initially charged Quinn with assault causing harm during an appearance in the Criminal Courts of Justice in October. But in February the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) brought a further charge against the National Party member. It directed that he be charged with use of a weapon under Section 11 of the Firearms and Offensives Weapons Act, 1990. Both carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine upon conviction.
Authorities were to put Quinn on trial for the assault. He will now instead face sentencing, with Judge Melanie Greally adjourning the case until October.
In the aftermath of Quinn’s arrest in October, Kamikaze told The Beacon she was “pleased that an arrest has been made”. But she pointed out that far-right activists had set up hundreds of Twitter accounts to spread a conspiracy theory claiming that she faked the attack. At the time she called it “ludicrous” and “a ridiculous narrative”.
The National Party has yet to issue a statement in relation to Quinn’s arrest and prosecution.
In the last week the party’s leader, Justin Barrett, has announced his intention to run in the Dublin Bay South by-election. During a livestream launching his campaign he described his party as “much maligned”.
In his 1998 book The National Way Forward Barrett, whom activists previously linked to German neo-Nazis, advocated for an Irish state ran along dictatorial lines underpinned with conservative Catholic ideology.
Gardaí are also currently investigating Barrett for alleged breaches of COVID-19 legislation.
Featured image via Twitter – The National Party