Hackers have revealed over 160 payments originating in Ireland that donors made to a fundraiser on GiveSendGo for the so-called Freedom Convoy in Canada. According to a data set non-profit and data archivist group Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoS) provided journalists and researchers, thousands of donations have been made to the anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination movement.
While the vast majority are from the US and Canada, Ireland ranks amongst the top ten countries where donations to the movement have come from.
The Irish donors
Activists posted information about the hack on social media in the early hours of Monday morning. It marks the third time that GiveSendGo has been hacked in the last 12 months. Although touted as a Christian fundraising website, extremist elements have come to also use it as an alternative to GoFundMe. Notably, supporters of Kyle Rittenhouse used it to raise money for his defence.
The file DDoS made available is just over 33.5mb in size but contains details of almost 93,000 donations. Included in this are self-reported full names, email addresses, Eircodes, ZIP codes, and the amount donated. Of the thousands of donations 162 originated in Ireland. This makes the country the seventh-most common supporter of the fundraiser, with the UK coming third behind the US and Canada.
The Beacon found that the largest donation originating in Ireland was for $336, while the average amount donated comes to $44.60. In total, Irish contributors raised $7,226 for the Canadian anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination movement
Taking a random sample of the list of donors, they appear to come from a cross section of Irish society. Amongst them are engineers, a “Business Development & Human Behaviour Specialist”, a refloxologist, a psychotherapist, the managing director of a currency and equity asset management company, an IT consultant, a doctor of neuroscience, and a contributor to alt-right website Gript. Also included in the list of donors appears to be anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination doctor Pat Morrissey who made a donation of $50.
Morrissey is a board member of Tracey O’Mahony’s anti-lockdown group the Irish Council for Human Rights (ICHR). He’s described PCR tests as “dogsh1t” and after speaking at an anti-lockdown rally in October 2020 medical authorities removed him from his position on the board of an out-of-hours GP service. Morrissey has also admitted to prescribing patients hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to his patients. Neither medication has been shown to combat COVID-19. More recently the Irish Times platformed Morrissey, where he declared the pandemic is ”the greatest power-grab ever, the greatest consolidation of power and wealth ever”.
Although Morrissey didn’t write a message of support with his donation many others did. One person wrote “Love, from EU-occupied Ireland”, while another commented “I support the trucker for FREEDOM against marxist totalitarian left”. Others encouraged the truckers to “Keep fighting” or “Hold the line”. Many suggested that the truckers are involved in a war.
On the surface truckers started the Freedom Convoy in order to protest against the vaccination requirements when travelling back and forth over the border with the US. But in actuality the convoy is an anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination movement heavily infiltrated by elements of the Canadian far right.
In response to the increasingly hostile protests, Canadian premier Justin Trudeau has introduced emergency powers. During a press conference called to announce the measures on Monday 14 February, Trudeau said “The federal government has invoked the Emergencies Act to supplement provincial and territorial capacity to address the blockades and occupations”.
Earlier the same day authorities in Alberta arrested a number of people involved in the protests who were prepared to use violence. According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, they also seized a number of guns and “a large quantity of ammunition”.
Parts of the European far right and anti-vaccination groups have also begun to arrange their own similar convoys. So far they’ve failed to take off, with the Belgian government banning a copycat protest from taking place.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons – ΙΣΧΣΝΙΚΑ-888