Paul Murphy has taken to Twitter to reveal he was allegedly assaulted by a far-right mob outside Leinster House yesterday. The People Before Profit (PBP) TD said he was making his way to a housing rally on 14 September when he was surrounded by a small group of far-right protestors. He went on to allege that the group begun to shout at him with one of them apparently kicking him.
Last month US-based anti-racism group voiced its concern about the ongoing presence of the far right in Ireland.
A group of around 30 far-right protestors gathered outside the Dáil early on Wednesday morning as part of a “Lock Them Out” rally aimed at the politicians inside. There was a noticeably heavy garda presence as they removed the protestors from the gates of Leinster House. Scuffles also broke out between the gardaí and protestors as a result of the removal, with at least one of the assembled mob asking them if they’re “proud” of what they did.
Also present at the rally was Graham Carey who accused gardaí of being drugged and eager to beat the protestors. Carey has previously said he’d “take over” Dublin Airport “with a rucksack”. During one livestream last year he argued “We need to wipe the Jews out”.
Senator Sharon Keogan voiced her support of the mob. Taking to Twitter she posted a video in which she described the presence of barriers gardaí erected for the “protection for those that are inside” as “absolutely disgraceful” and “absolutely wrong”. She also wrote that the gardaí were “#Wrong” and that the protestors had a “#RightToProtest” and to “#FreedomOfSpeech”.
Reacting to the events anti-racism group Le Chéile said, “Yesterday well known far-right actors disrupted the Cost of Living announcement of the demonstration in Dublin on September 24th. Students, political parties, unions and advocacy services were targeted and a sitting TD was assaulted”. Going on, the group argued that “Like COVID-19, the housing and healthcare crisis, the far right are exploiting the Cost of Living crisis, and intimidate the most vulnerable in our society. The far right are fractured and unorganised but on the streets they unite. We will not be intimidated. We are joining the Cost of Living Coalition on the streets, to push back. Fighting poverty starves the far right of oxygen when they have no one to scapegoat.”
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Murphy is not the first politician whom far-right agitators have focused on in recent months. Elements of the same mob have targeted Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Health Minister Stephen Donnelly at their homes, labelling them as “traitors” to Ireland for their stance on the COVID-19 measures the government introduced and since revoked. Others whom the assembly of conspiracy theorists and far-right activists have taken aim at include Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, and the now former head of the National Public Health and Emergency Team (NPHET) Dr. Tony Holohan at his home. Carey has also been a common fixture at these protests.
In August the Global Project Against Hatred and Extremism (GPAHE) warned of the far-right presence in Ireland. In a report on the state of extremism in Ireland the group insisted that although the far-right in Ireland is relatively small the conditions for its growth are present in the country. The report was widely criticised by mainstream commentators. But in an interview with The Beacon GPAHE co-founder Heidi Beirich said they “stand by our reporting” and that “the Great Replacement’ conspiracy theory is just as inspiring to Irish extremists as it is to Americans and others around the world”.
This article was updated on 15 September to include footage of the confrontation and alleged assault and a statement from Le Chéile.
Featured image via Facebook – Paul Murphy TD