A Longford women has accused far-right agitators of targeting her and her family after they erected a National Party poster close to her home. Aneta Safiak drew attention to the incident on her Twitter account last week. Safiak, who’s originally from Poland but living in Ireland with her husband since 2005, highlighted that no other posters were placed in the area. And given that the National Party and other far-right activists have previously targeted her, she believes the location of the posters is no coincidence.
Safiak is currently fundraising for treatment for her son Jonatan whom doctors recently diagnosed with a rare neurodegenerative disease called Ataxia-telangiectasia (AT).
It appears that a National Party supporter put up the poster in question around midnight on Monday 20 June. The poster calls for the government to “House the Irish! Not the World”. Members of the party regularly demand the government “House the Irish!” and declare that “Ireland Belongs to the Irish” with activists in the past highlighting National Party leaflets with the same slogan on them.
Safiak believes National Party members intentionally targeted her and her family. Their home has previously had eggs and dog faeces thrown at it after she confronted far-right extremist Gemma O’Doherty in May 2019. The grave of Safiak’s daughter was also defaced. After drawing attention to the posters she again faced abuse from far-right agitators online.
Amongst her attackers was former member of the Defence Forces Mike Connell, aka Satirical Soldier. Gardaí have previously attempted to question him in relation to alleged threats he made against politicians. Connell has a YouTube channel where he attacks individuals and groups he perceives as being Marxist liberals. His videos typically end with the sound of a gunshot.
Writing on her Twitter account Safiak insisted “There’s no place for racism in Longford”.
Fascist history and electoral failures
The National Party has long attempted to make electoral gains on the back of ongoing housing crisis and the pandemic. Thus far it’s been unsuccessful, with party leader Justin Barrett only receiving 183 first-preference votes in last year’s Dublin Bay South by-election. In his long out of print 1998 book, The National Way Forward, Barrett described migrants to Ireland as a “quiet menace”. He also called for the implementation of a Catholic dictatorship in Ireland to solve the problem of the “potential for tyranny at the heart of the democratic idea”.
Anti-racism activists initially covered up the poster with anti-fascist stickers before Longford County Council removed the poster entirely. It’s understood that Longford gardaí are currently investigating the incident and that a statement has been taken. Longford County Council is also looking into the matter. The Beacon contacted both the gardaí and Longford County Council but has yet to receive a response.
Donations to the fundraiser for Jonatan Safiak’s medical expenses can be made here.
Featured image via Twitter – Aneta Safiak