#IdentityIreland: The anti-immigrant party that accidentally launched on the anniversary of the Utoya massacre

Time for Ireland’s new anti-immigration party to answer difficult questions about its members

Anyone tweeting criticism of Identity Ireland will find out pretty quickly who – and what – their supporters are. And boy, don’t they like their St Brigid’s Cross swastika avatars.

St B Swastika

MY IRISH IDENTITY is about as Irish as Irish identities get and I can tell you Identity Ireland’s biggest identity crisis is its own.

Identity Ireland, an anti-immigration party, was launched nearly two weeks ago now on 22 July, a hugely significant date. It is the anniversary of the murders of seventy-seven people by the far-right Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik.

Four years ago, on the 22nd of July, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik set off a car bomb outside government buildings in Oslo, killing eight people. He then travelled – disguised as a policeman – to Utoya Island where he shot dead 69 young people.

On the morning of the attacks, Breivik laid out online a sprawling manifesto of hatred which encompassed his extreme nationalist views, his Islamophobia and his opposition to immigration, feminism and multiculturalism.

Breivik is, by any sane evaluation, a monster. He languishes now in prison, likely for life.

In one of those inevitabilities which would leave you despairing for humanity, he has – naturally – become a hero to the worst extemes of far-right politics. He is reported to be in receipt of large amounts of fan-mail from all around the world.

Launching an anti-immigration movement on the anniversary of the Utoya massacre, though? All a pure coincidence, according to Identity Ireland, who say they hadn’t realised the significance of the date.

You would have to imagine that anyone launching a right-wing anti-immigrant political movement on the anniversary of the Utoya massacre could only choose to do so for two possible reasons.

Either they are deeply sinister individuals bent on showing solidarity with racist extremists whilst sending a not-very-subtle message of terror to immigrants; or else they are profoundly stupid people lacking any sense of history or self-awareness. Those possibilities are, of course, not mutually-exclusive.

Please read on in my column on TheJournal.ie http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/identity-ireland-anti-immigration-party-members-2246645-Aug2015/

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