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Ireland’s populist insurgency Dublin’s marchers have to convince a silent majority

A placard from Monday's march (Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A placard from Monday's march (Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


May 8, 2024   7 mins

The first thing that strikes you about Dublin is how different the political stickers on lamp posts are: while in Belfast the overriding theme is either pro-Palestine or Irish unity, in Dublin’s central O’Connell Street, it is  “Defund The NGO Maggots” and “Mass Deportations Now” that strikes the foreign observer as novel. Beneath a gloomy Irish sky, one anti-immigration protestor scraped antifa stickers off a lamp post while a small boy holding his father’s hand stuck an “Ireland is Full” sticker on another. Others affixed tricolours and green harp flags to fishing rods as Gardaí in their day-glo uniforms looked on.

This was to be the largest demonstration yet for Ireland’s nascent anti-immigration movement, hyped on social media as a countrywide show of force. While the inchoate movement has already changed the tenor of Irish politics, putting the country’s fragile coalition government on the back foot, it so far has no electoral representation. The Bank Holiday Monday protest aimed to change that, channeling a disparate set of local protest groups, fuelled by social-media anger, into a national electoral force for next month’s European and local elections.

“We’re expecting quite a big protest here today, all right,” Andy Heasman, the tweed-capped Dublin European election candidate for the Irish People party, an umbrella coalition of populist independents, told me. “There’ll be a lot of people here from the inner city. So we’ve a message to give them today that we’re ready to stand up for the Irish people, whether it be for immigration, housing, the indoctrination of children that’s happened, the NGOs, which have captured our media, and politics and government policy
” As I spoke to Heasman, his colleague filmed me on her mobile phone — perhaps the most marked trait of the activists on the march was a suspicion of journalists bordering on hostility, derived from the belief that the Irish press is working to marginalise them as extremists. “We wouldn’t talk to [state broadcaster] RTÉ,” an older woman, who had been loudly condemning what she called “Sharia FĂ©in” told me: “Sure, if I said the sky was blue they’d say I said it was red.”

As the crowd assembled to march through the city centre, the delegation from Newtownmountkennedy, the rural Wicklow village where protestors clashed with GardaĂ­ over the bussing in of migrants from central Dublin, shuffled to the front behind their banner to loud cheers. Maybe two or three thousand protestors had turned up, the Garda officer overseeing the demonstration told me: the organisers placed the figure at far more, and the Irish press at far less. As they marched through central Dublin, waving Irish tricolours and shouting “Get Them Out” and “You’ll Never Beat the Irish”, bemused tourists watched on from pub terraces. Working-class Dubliners were heavily represented, along with older couples from the provinces and a remarkable number of populist influencers, their selfie-sticks wavering in the air. Outside the GPO, the site of the Easter rebellion that eventually created the modern Irish state, GardaĂ­ Public Order units in body armour separated the thousands of marchers from a few dozen Left-wing counter-protestors, waving Palestinian and Spanish Republican flags and chanting “Refugees are welcome here” through loudhailers. Sinn FĂ©in, previously a staple of pro-migration activism, was notable for its absence: with the anti-immigration movement cutting into its support base in working-class Dublin, Ireland’s largest party has begun to pivot on its previous pro-migration platform, now voicing opposition to “open borders” and the new EU migration pact.

But that wasn’t enough for the protestors, loudly shouting “Sinn FĂ©in traitors” and booing every time the party leader Mary Lou McDonald’s name was mentioned. There was something of a pantomime atmosphere as the folk villains of the moment were named from the podium, to loud boos from the crowd massed outside Dublin’s grand neoclassical Custom House. Taoiseach Simon Harris, Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman, Justice Minister Helen McEntee were all met with boos and shouts of “Get them out!” from the crowd, as a speaker vowed to “clear that cesspool of a DĂĄil out”. So did GardaĂ­ head Drew Harris, a controversial Northern Irish appointment “who learned his craft well with the RUC”, as the independent MEP candidate Malachy Steenson, a Dublin solicitor and former candidate for the Republican-Socialist Workers Party, told the crowd. “We are the risen people,” he declared, “and we have it within our power to change this society forever. And if we don’t take this opportunity in June, well then it’s over. Don’t come back whinging and saying ‘we should have done something’. Get out in June and make that change.”

Yet it is unclear whether the widespread popular dissatisfaction over migration will actually make an electoral impact. Recent polls show that Sinn FĂ©in’s support has grown in recent weeks, while the different parties presenting themselves for popular acclaim in Dublin are competing for the same enthusiastic but not necessarily large voter base. The Midlands-Northwest constituency for the European elections alone is running 10 different anti-immigration candidates, while Dublin shows an equally crowded roster for a narrow vote share.

“Recent polls show that Sinn FĂ©in’s support has grown in recent weeks.”

Insofar as the Irish press has covered these parties — which is not very far at all — very little effort has been made to analyse their platforms outside the immigration question. Yet while sharing the same podium, and making a show of unity against what they see as a hostile matrix of government, media and NGO lobbies, the parties competing for the popular anti-immigration vote represent a wildly differing policy mix, from the libertarian and anti-EU stance of the Irish Freedom Party, the largest party in attendance, to the continental-style Identitarianism of the National Party, standing on a “remigration” platform and railing against “global capital” from the stage. The Sinn FĂ©in breakaway party, AontĂș, the only immigration-sceptical party with a seat in the DĂĄil, and standing on a socially conservative, social-democratic platform, was not in attendance. Significantly more Left-wing than the Right-wing parties with which Irish leftists often bracket it, AontĂș is perhaps the best positioned for an electoral breakthrough, and is now a regular staple for soundbites on the Irish television news.

“I’m sure that once this election is out of the way, there will be a reconfiguration, an amalgamation of various parties,” Hermann Kelly, the sharply-suited leader of the Irish Freedom Party told me. In Kelly’s eyes, the opportunity is there for the taking: “Within the last six months, there’s been an absolute sea change in that a nationalist consciousness has started to rise again in Ireland,” he said. “Look at the polls, 79% of Irish people have had enough of mass immigration. So the political class are still mouthing the same words, but the people out there on the doors are all telling them we’ve had enough. Hey, we never consented to be colonised. Ireland is different from Britain in that we were never a colonial power, never colonised anyone else’s country, and we don’t expect it to be done to ourselves.”

Standing on a diametrically opposed platform to the Irish Freedom Party’s long-term goal of leaving the EU is the radical-right National Party, whose new leader, the farmer James Reynolds, recently ousted its unsettling founder Justin Barrett. Barrett, given to approvingly quoting Hitler and wearing an SS uniform at protests, has in turn created a new, more or less openly fascist party, Clann Éireann, while running against Reynolds in the Midlands constituency on the same National Party ticket due to a convoluted internal feud. “We’re not pro-Brexit, we have a very different outlook to the British,” Reynolds told me. “And I think that Hermann Kelly’s outlook is as much fixated on leaving the European Union as it is on doing anything disruptive to change it from within, which is my intention. I believe there’s going to be a huge Right-wing surge in the next European elections. I want to be part of it. I think I can achieve much more within the European Parliament than if we were outside.” Citing his links with Estonia’s Conservative People’s Party and Hungary’s Mi HazĂĄnk, Reynolds’s National Party represents the Irish wing of a European Right-wing political strand quite absent from Britain.

Yet even still, Irish liberals and Sinn FĂ©in activists are wont to describe the nascent Irish Right-wing as a British plot. While the tortuous logic of this claim does not bear much scrutiny, what was instead most striking was the degree to which the protest was framed within the language and symbolism of Irish nationalism — indeed, it arguably represents a Rightward shift in the long and historically very politically diverse Irish nationalist tradition, which has in recent decades tilted the other way under Sinn FĂ©in’s leadership. “We fought the Brits for 800 fucking years, and we beat them,” one speaker bawled at the microphone to loud cheers, “and we’ll beat these fucking cunts too.” Protestors waved the Irish Republic flag of the Easter Rising and sang along to Sinead O’Connor’s rendition of the rebel song “The Foggy Dew”, as speechmakers quoted Patrick Pearse, alluded to the ancient Irish tradition of aisling poetry, lamented the loss of the Irish language, and referenced the rebel justice mechanisms of the Civil War period: one speaker declared his wish to “appoint local people as justices” to “arrest all the traitors”.

At the same time, Steenson declared that the Irish government’s recent attempt to blame the migration crisis on Sunak’s Rwanda plan was populist misdirection. “They’re “trying to play on the old prejudices against the British government,” Steenson told the crowd. “They’re trying to get us to blame the Brits for the immigration problem in this country. The British government are doing what the Irish government should be doing
 What they should be saying to Rishi Sunak is: when your plane takes off from whatever airbase in England, keep a few seats on it, land it at Baldonnel [airbase near Dublin] and we’ll fill the rest of those seats.”

After the protest, Steenson, a Eurosceptic, described to me his hope to “reunite our country as a sovereign state — the sovereign Irish Republic
 free from all imperialist powers, whether it’s Britain, Europe or the United States or anywhere else. We will determine our own destiny.” But asked whether he saw the protest movement translating into electoral success, Steenson was more equivocal. “I suppose we’ll know the answer to that on 8 June. There are a lot of people standing, and I think that the stronger candidates will prevail, hopefully,” he told me. “We know who stood with us, and we know who stood against us.”

Yet Monday’s protest, while large, was perhaps smaller than the organisers had hoped. While a significant majority of Irish voters support immigration restrictions, the degree to which the energy of the largely social-media-based protest movement can actually make an electoral impact remains, until next month, an open question. Some candidates, such as social media influencer Gavin Pepper and radio talk-show host Niall Boylan, command large audiences, yet as Reform’s performance in Britain’s council elections shows, an outsized media platform does not necessarily translate into electoral success.

The Euroscepticism of candidates like Steenson and Kelly’s Irish Freedom Party is also a marginal position in Ireland, a country whose urban economy has rocketed as the European tax home of American corporations, and whose sizeable farming constituency is largely dependent on European subsidies. To British eyes, more radical parties such as the National Party are remarkable for the degree to which their slogans are accepted by the essentially “normie” crowd — yet they are so far without any electoral representation. If Monday was an attempt by the aspiring leaders of the movement to gauge the turnout they can command, June’s elections will provide the answer as to whether it can reshape Ireland’s political system, or remain a loud and angry voice shut outside power. While Dublin’s anti-immigration marchers vastly outnumbered the pro-migrant counter-protestors, it is Ireland’s voting majority, sitting quietly at home, who will determine the country’s political future. And for all that Monday’s protestors revile them, Sinn FĂ©in remain by far Ireland’s most popular party — and seem destined for power.


Aris Roussinos is an UnHerd columnist and a former war reporter.

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Sean McGabriel
Sean McGabriel
19 days ago

As an Irish man, living in the South West of Ireland, may I add something to ArĂ­s insights. I live and work within a fairly typical medium sized town. In the last 18 months, migrants have been moved into this town to such a significant degree that it is true to say that their presence now dominates the centre of the town most days. These are not only Ukrainians, we have Somalis, Georgians, Algerians, Nigerians, Congolese, Pakistanis, and Indians. These are overwhelmingly young males, and stay in hotels once the backbone of our tourism sector. One of these hoteliers, last year received €1.1 million for housing migrants for 6 months, from public funds. We have numerous young people in our town, who can not afford to move away from their parents homes, we have lengthy waiting lists for GP’s, and the local hospital in a larger nearby town is under severe pressure.
Up until 9 months ago, it was deemed impolite and socially unacceptable to discuss the many issues associated with migration, the “woke” values of our media and political elites held sway. Now the Overton window has opened and people are talking more freely, about the consequences of a migration settlement in our town that represents now over 10% of the towns population. If we were the only rural town so affected, it could be seen as an outlier, but mass illegal migration to Ireland has reached such a pitch that it is now impossible to ignore. Whether or not these populist parties do well is not really the issue, Irish people’s patience has reached its limits, and this cultural shift will have political outcomes. This shift in openly discussed opinion has only just started, as recently as 18 months ago an anti migration march COULD NOT have happened, because of it being over run and assaulted by antifa, this situation no longer pertains, and the mood change is I feel irreversible.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean McGabriel

I’m an American living in Florida, one of the four biggest states illegals are deliberately being flown into by our government. I understand the Democrats want to be permanently in control and illegals will change the population power of each state. What I don’t understand is why the rest of the West is doing this to themselves.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
15 days ago

In Europe there is a class dimension to all this. If mass immigration meant collapsing house prices and rents and rising wages instead of the other way around most of my property owning neighbours would be down on the beach with guns instead of patting themselves on the back for their ‘outward looking and welcoming’ stance.

Kat L
Kat L
13 days ago

It’s racism, radical chic.

Stuart Maister
Stuart Maister
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean McGabriel

As a Brit watching this I have to mention the irony of this. A country whose main export was people until very recently, and who rightly moaned about the prejudice faced by Irish immigrants
do I need to complete the sentence?

David Ryan
David Ryan
19 days ago
Reply to  Stuart Maister

Irish immigrants did not replace the populations of other countries to the tune of 10%-20%, as far as I’m aware. I doubt they got any free money either.

Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright
18 days ago
Reply to  David Ryan

9.5% of Americans, the same percentage of Australians and over 13% of Canadians claim Irish descent. They therefore represent those percentages of the overall non-indigenous population which has in each case been more or less 100% replaced.

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
17 days ago
Reply to  Oliver Wright

Are we comparing relatively stable “historical heritage” percentages on one hand, to a point in time snapshot of a relatively rapid change involving recent and ongoing cultural differences on the other?
What will be the ratios in 10 or 20 years, in terms of Americans, Australians, Canadians and Irish immigrants?

Ana Cronin
Ana Cronin
16 days ago
Reply to  Oliver Wright

Being of Irish descent does not make you Irish. If an American persons great-grandfather was Irish they would have zero understanding of what it means to be born and raised in Ireland. In fact I, the Irish mother of British children, can categorically tell you that even children who do not share the cultural context of ones upbringing do not understand it, even the one who spend a few years in the Irish education system. I have lived all over the world and I now know that where you are born shapes you, for better or worst, but that is another topic.

jane baker
jane baker
17 days ago
Reply to  David Ryan

Or free houses.

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
19 days ago
Reply to  Stuart Maister

Yes you do

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
19 days ago
Reply to  Stuart Maister

We are not Africans or Muslims. We assimilate well and benefit the countries we go to. The UK is a third world country today because of your apathy and tolerance 
 parts of it could be the Sahel or the Subcontinent 
 we don’t want that here.

jane baker
jane baker
17 days ago
Reply to  Stuart Maister

It is funny.

Ana Cronin
Ana Cronin
16 days ago
Reply to  Stuart Maister

It takes 4 hours to travel from the most southerly part of ROI to the north of Donegal (less if there was a decent road) It takes 3 hours to travel east to west. Contrary to the constant refrain of “Ireland is a wealthy country” which it most certainly is not, the country was already in deep trouble prior to this period of immigration. On the other hand there are I believe 193 countries in the world and I agree and would bet that you would find at least 1 Irish born person in each of them. However 193 into 1 rock on the edge of Europe does not go. In the 100+ years since 1922 should we have been exporting people? absolutely not, but we have failed on every level in this state. One fact that keeps getting missed here is that we are still exporting Irish people, 63,000 I think last year. There were 10,000 homeless mostly Irish prior to all this and that figure has grown. Have compassion yes but if you can’t ‘feed’ so to speak your own family should you be inviting the neighbours to dinner? that is cruel. Fix your own situation then see what you can do.

Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean McGabriel

You have “Antifa” in Ireland?! When and where did they come from?!

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
18 days ago
Reply to  Sean McGabriel

I’m an American who reads a lot of the British press, What I’ve noticed is that the majority of the immigrants are Muslim, and that leads to a clash of cultures. I think that some non-Muslim Africans also can lead to a cultural clash. Although most of British and European people no longer attend church, they are still products of a Christian culture. Muslim people seem more militant than they were in the early Seventies when I lived in Turkey, which was then a secular society. In the U.S., where we are also being inundated by migrants, the difference is that they are Christian. We don’t have a clash of religions. I’m not sure how our countries will stop the endless flow of desperate people, but it’s a problem that will eventually overwhelm us.

David Brown
David Brown
18 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

They are not desperate if they are coming from France. They are attempting to enter the UK illegally and should be picked up and taken back there, as allowed for by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. If that had been done at the start we wouldn’t be in this mess now (and people wouldn’t have drowned in the Channel). ‘Human rights’ is nonsense on stilts

Ciaran Rooney
Ciaran Rooney
15 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Turkey is still by and large a secular state; less so as you move from the larger conurbations, which is to be expected.
Seeing as no one has any real oversight or control of USA’s borders, it would be very difficult to determine the religion of the immigrants, and your president’s difficulties with Muslim voters in the swing state of Michigan would suggest they’re not all Latino Christians.
Ireland has a very large community of Nigerians, who are very active Presbyterians, which has led to a resurgence of Christian practice in Ireland.

Micheal MacGabhann
Micheal MacGabhann
19 days ago

Varadkar used Brexit to play the power game, and ended up with the Marxist manifesto. Ireland should be strengthening its ties with the UK. The anti-Brit message is outdated. The day we put the Union Jack on the Tricolour is the day we grow up and acknowledge who we are on the Island of Ireland.

p3rfunct0ry 4p4th3t1c
p3rfunct0ry 4p4th3t1c
18 days ago

While I’d agree with you that’s still a bit too ‘revisionist’ as solutions go!

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
19 days ago

The Irish need to get their act together. It’s one thing to ban immigration, it’s another thing to actually have the babies you need to maintain and expand your population. A nation that aborts itself into oblivion while simultaneously importing millions of new citizens is too foolish to exist.

Neiltoo .
Neiltoo .
19 days ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Is that not what most western countries are doing?

R Wright
R Wright
19 days ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

What you have said applies to every country in the West, as well as South Korea and Japan. Having children is downstream from good working conditions, pay and home ownership. Until you fix those issues few white European people will have kids and the business lobbyists will keep demanding higher immigration to compress wages.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
19 days ago
Reply to  R Wright

By working harder, both on an individual and national level, one can help create these better conditions for family formation.

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
19 days ago
Reply to  R Wright

Having children is downstream from good working conditions, pay and home ownership

If I had to invent a phrase with the least possible amount of evidence from Irish history, I think that would be it.

Arthur G
Arthur G
18 days ago
Reply to  R Wright

That’s daft. When Europeans were poor, living in slums, and working in the “Satanic Mills” or farming, they had lots of children.

R Wright
R Wright
17 days ago
Reply to  Arthur G

This isn’t the 18th century. Industrial society has flipped the old rules on their head. Statistically you are now more likely to be married and have children if you are wealthier, the opposite of the historical position which you refer to.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
19 days ago

Everyday the world seems to be moving closer to Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’.

R Wright
R Wright
19 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

“Daddy, what’dyou leave behind for me”

Harry Phillips
Harry Phillips
19 days ago

I would have gone to this if I’d known about it.

My own suspicion is that the silent majority are furious about immigration levels – particularly that of unvetted male migrants from culturally incompatible (and peaceful) areas. People look nervously at what has happened to Paris and London.

As the article correctly points out, the sheer number of diverse candidates is in danger of diluting and wasting the anti-immigration vote. We have a month to sort this out. Somebody needs to take charge – difficult when mainstream media is silent or misreprents the above people as far-right.

I very much hope this happens as we don’t have long left.

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
19 days ago
Reply to  Harry Phillips

My suspicion is that the silent majority are suspicious of large scale immigration, but absolutely repelled by a working class Dub shouting “we beat the effing Brits and we’ll beat these effing c***s as well.”

Harry Phillips
Harry Phillips
19 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

Fair point, although people do tend to swear quite a lot here. I imagine American visitors must be quite shocked.

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
19 days ago
Reply to  Harry Phillips

Some people in Ireland do swear a lot, that is true. But the silent majority don’t (they wouldn’t be silent if they did). If you went to a typical Church social in Port Arlington and talked about the “effing Brits” it would go down very badly.

Kieran P
Kieran P
19 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

Like anyone goes to church / mass now?

Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
19 days ago
Reply to  Kieran P

May I ask you why you think so many Irish have stopped attending Mass?

p3rfunct0ry 4p4th3t1c
p3rfunct0ry 4p4th3t1c
18 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Vavuris

Honestly I have no idea other people stopped.
Personally I just found it tedious as a teenager.
Weird to find that many years on I find myself attending the traditional Latin rite.
Arguably I’m a cliche!!

Stephen Feldman
Stephen Feldman
18 days ago

Who really believes in literal transubstantiation?

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
18 days ago

Me.

Maurice Austin
Maurice Austin
18 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

And me.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
18 days ago

I’m just curious, but why do you attend a church when you don’t understand a word they are saying?

Maurice Austin
Maurice Austin
18 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

You do understand what is said in the Ordinary and other parts that are the same for every Mass (such as the Eucharist) through sheer habit. Other parts are in the daily Missal and can be read concurrently in translation. The homily is in the vernacular.

jane baker
jane baker
17 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

It’s better that way. An unchanging liturgy is better than a load of old toffee every Sunday.

Ciaran Rooney
Ciaran Rooney
15 days ago

The Pope won’t be pleased

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
19 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

Interesting observation about swearing and silence. I mean, swearing may be unnecessary, but sometimes an aversion to it is found amongst those with a similar aversion to truth, when that is uncomfortable.
Apparently, the Ukrainian Civil Service allows some swearing, which allowed a Captain’s response to a Russian warship, “Russian Warship, go f**k yourself!” to be commemorated on a postage stamp.
Just saying.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
19 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I disagree that swearing is unnecessary. It’s a human trait, and anyone who’s offended by a word just needs to get out more.
A well-chosen swear word can add far more emphasis to a particular point than a dozen other words (as your example illustrates!) It’s also an outlet for such things as pain and anger, i.e. things that human beings feel.
The concept of “blasphemy” is also ridiculous. Banning a word that’s seen to blaspheme is no better than trying to ban the Satanic Verses. We either live freely, or we don’t.
I’d agree that swearing in every sentence just out of habit isn’t necessary, but it at at least tells us something about the inability of the speaker to articulate any better.

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
19 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

If it were a human trait it would be in Shakespeare. But leaving aside whether it is necessary or even common, the silent majority in Ireland do not care to hear the term “effing Brits.” Partly because of the swearing, but mostly because the majority of Irish people have British relatives and don’t care to hear that term in public.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
19 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

The reason no swearing appears in Shakespeare is because blaspheming was liable to have the play closed down in that era; but thanks for the update about our bloody history.
(P.S. my grandfather was Irish.)

Gerry Quinn
Gerry Quinn
18 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

And as a genius wordsmith, Shakespeare could easily achieve the effect of swearing without resorting to the more demotic constructions of the time.
In any case, while “effing Brits” might not be too often heard in the UK, I think the prevalence of swearing does not differ too much – it is mostly the polite classes in both countries who avoid it.

Point of Information
Point of Information
18 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

There’s a ton of swearing in Shakespeare. And blasphemy.

‘Zounds (God’s wounds)! ‘Sblud (God’s blood)! Unherd commenters just fell through several circles of BTL.

p3rfunct0ry 4p4th3t1c
p3rfunct0ry 4p4th3t1c
18 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

‘effing Brit’s’ can convey a range of emotions just like ‘effing’ itself. Love through hate.

jane baker
jane baker
17 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

Lots of swearing in Shakespeare but in archaic words we don’t use now.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
16 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

You have a very strange conception of the spectrum of human traits if you think only those exist that were captured in the works of a 17th century male English playwright and poet, who was operating under a regime of extreme censorship.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
19 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

I am fully in favour of a few well-placed swear words. The “c” word in particular must be dropped most judiciously.
And by a “few”, I mean “few and far between”. Sat behind a bloke from Blackpool in a pub in Vienna a few months ago who was f-ing and blinding to such a degree I had to listen carefully to follow the basic gist of what he was saying. And I couldn’t not listen, he was foghorn loud – I couldn’t enjoy my IPA. So uncouth and unnecessary.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
19 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

You’re a fan of IPA? You’ve just gone up even further in my estimation!

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
19 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

I LOVE a good bitter brew! Hazy ones are best.

Philip Stott
Philip Stott
18 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Agreed with you on ‘less is more’ when it comes to swearing.
I worked with a bloke a few years back, who I only heard swear once in about 18 months.
When he dropped the ‘c-bomb’ one day the effect was magical – the whole canteen stopped what they were doing and stared open mouthed, wondering what on earth could have have driven him to it!

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
19 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

My favourite Irish phrase is “scarlet for your ma”, I like that alot.

Stevie K
Stevie K
17 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

In polite terms, what does that phrase actually mean?

Ciaran Rooney
Ciaran Rooney
15 days ago
Reply to  Stevie K

I’m embarrassed for your behaviour on your mother’s behalf.
and/or
Your mother raised you.

Stephen Feldman
Stephen Feldman
18 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

Dave the swears for the migrants who could care less about Irish history

Stephen Feldman
Stephen Feldman
18 days ago
Reply to  Harry Phillips

Not if they go to bars or schools in US

Stephen Feldman
Stephen Feldman
18 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

What is wrong with the comment of resistance? Who will die for “Europe”?

jane baker
jane baker
17 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

Say it straight out. Let me know right from the start.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
19 days ago
Reply to  Harry Phillips

I would have too. The MSM totally shut all news of it down. The State is terrified.

M M
M M
17 days ago
Reply to  Harry Phillips

I do wonder sometimes if the writers are leaving things out there intentionally. The writer mentions a “marked hostility of … suspicion of journalists”… And a couple of paragraphs later mentions that the media are consistently underestimating the size of anti-mass-immigration protests. The feeling is quite mutual, and the protestors are correct to note that the media is hostile to them.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
16 days ago
Reply to  Harry Phillips

I live in London.

What, precisely, do you think has “happened” to it?

It remains a city of high productivity, impressive economic growth, and enormous innovation (see, for example, the most recent data from NIESR).

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
19 days ago

Justin Barrett, Malachi Steenson and Hermann Kelly are utterly marginal political figures, who have been standing in elections for years and getting virtually no votes in any of them. They get a disproportionate amount of what Irish media attention the oppositional candidates do attract, purely to discredit the rest. Irish people are not generally racist, fascist or far right, and they don’t hate immigrants. They are just concerned that the level of immigration has greatly outpaced the capacity of Irish social, healthcare and housing infrastructure to absorb it. And they profoundly resent the costly parking asylum seekers into hotels outside Dublin, strangling the life out of the tourism sector and exposing their communities to any associated risks.

p3rfunct0ry 4p4th3t1c
p3rfunct0ry 4p4th3t1c
19 days ago

100k Ukrainians changed the ecosystem.

Victor James
Victor James
19 days ago

Sorry, these are anti-colonisation sentiments ‘not anti-immigrant’. Anti-immigrant is another way of attacking the Irish people.
The colonisation of Ireland is anti-Irish. The racist anti-Irish NGO’s who want open borders are the problem. But still, the colonisation itself must be stopped.

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
19 days ago
Reply to  Victor James

The Irish are obsessed by the stupid colonisation meme, mainly because they think they are the good guys. It’s stupid and ahistorical – for a start plenty of Irish, like the Governor of Punjab Michael O’Dwyer, were colonisers. Worse, it leads to ridiculous decisions when it is projected onto modern situations, like the temptation to recognise Hamas-run Palestine as a state, or the idea that some raggle-taggle Nigerians living in tents are “colonisers.” I can’t believe anyone can say that with a straight face.

I think what is really going on is the power of the NGO brigade in Ireland. Ireland’s fatal flaw is that its elite always feel the need to be part of something bigger than Ireland. It used to be that the elite would go off to be Papal nuncios or Archbishops, but at least there was mass popular approval of that. Now the NGO brigade want to be part of the global movement to increase abortion and change Constitutions, but these are concerns so far from ordinary people’s instincts that they risk becoming a ruling tribe that is viewed in the same way as the rulers in Dublin Castle were in 1916.

Kieran P
Kieran P
19 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

So are you saying that the Irish ‘elite’ are basically sheep always needing a new master?
That’s surely rather a feature of ‘post colonial’ societies. Oh and I don’t think I’m obsessed with any ‘colonial’ narrative. I’ve lived in a few post colonial countries and always found the similarities to Ireland quite hilarious but rather useful in understanding how ‘things’ worked.

O'Driscoll
O'Driscoll
19 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

The “colonisation meme” is just another manifestation of the current word-mangling trend. Driven by the absolutes on social-media – typical of young adults who tend to see everything in black and white – immigration is now “colonisation”, death in war is “genocide”, anyone right of Jeremy Corbyn is a “fascist”, and Jews who support Israel are “white supremacists”.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
19 days ago
Reply to  O'Driscoll

You forgot that anyone left of Ron De Santis is a ‘marxist’ ‘communist’ or ‘socialist’.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
19 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

The native Americans thought the same of a raggle taggle bunch of Europeans trying to survive a New England winter, to the point that they gave them food to help them survive. And they all lived happily ever after.

jane baker
jane baker
17 days ago
Reply to  Benjamin Jones

That episode in history fascinates me now. The chief and his council wanted to kill this raggle-taggle band of strangers immediately and with historical hindsight that would have been the right decision. But they listened to that one man preaching kindness,that one Indian. And they learned the lesson that kindness kills.
Or it bites back.

Victor James
Victor James
18 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

‘for a start plenty of Irish, like the Governor of Punjab Michael O’Dwyer, were colonisers’
This is an absurdly racist comment. A ‘blood libel’. There is a planet sized difference between colonialism and colonisation. How Irish is India?
Second, you are basically condemning the Irish people, collectively, because one person had a job over a hundred years ago. Collective guilt is the foundation stone of genocidal thought.
Oh look, an Irish man did this, therefore , the Irish people must suffer as a whole. You are the problem.

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
18 days ago
Reply to  Victor James

A libel? What makes you think I disapprove of colonialism? It had its pluses and minuses, and Irish people (not just O’Dwyer, but a lot of the Army in India were Irish) were involved in it. My point is that Irish people have a cartoon idea of colonialism that they overlay on every modern problem, and the way you laid an egg at the idea proves me right.

Paul T
Paul T
19 days ago

There are more and more of these articles presented for the readers to comment against; almost like our commentary is being farmed. These are the same sort of writers you get in the Guardian but the readers are different; but its still the same voices saying broadly the same things.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
19 days ago

It is locked out syndrome. A vast if mainly silent majority (80%) in Ireland are opposed to the State/EU enforced ideology and practice of open border multiculturalism. It is a credo and system defended not just by the state law and mainstream media. Fear of being labelled a Racist Discriminator and socially ostracised has for 2 decades been the crude but best defender of an enforced unmandated system – and the reason political opposition has been so hard to form. No one wants to look nasty. Maybe a tipping point has been reached in Ireland. But the locked out syndrome Aris describes still rules in the UK despite all the Rwanda fuss. 750000 legal. Not a new house or reservoir or railway or school in sight. And a weasly Labour Party wedded to the System and ready to take us into a third stormy decade.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
19 days ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

There’s at least one new reservoir in sight, Walter, Havant Thicket.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
19 days ago

Thanks DU! Stand corrected IF it delivers. Though given it will be first since 1989 & will have to cope an unexpected extra 10 million, we should maybe hold off celebrations…

Jacqueline Walker
Jacqueline Walker
19 days ago

I don’t blame them for not wanting to talk to the establishment media though. This morning RTE opened its radio news bulletin with a story of how racist and “anti-natonality” hate crime are now the two main categories and up 12% (they are referring to actual crimes eg assault or criminal damage that are being categorised as “motivated by hate”) and according to the report fueled by the “far right on social media” spreading misinformation and disinformation (I have come to the conclusion that the main reason for two terms is to make it sound more “expert”). Somehow RTE overlooked the three reports released on its own misbehaviour with regards to financial management.

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
19 days ago

Sounds like BBC, CBC, ABC….it’s almost like national-state broadcasters are prone to this kind of thing

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
19 days ago

I’m surprised these ‘official’ media outlets have any audience at all outside the ‘bubble’.

Pete Marsh
Pete Marsh
19 days ago

One reason for this backlash in the RoI is the very high recent rate of change of the population. Here in England it’s been going on for over 25 years and is now impossible to ignore. It’s the old boiling the frog too fast rather than more slowly as in the UK.
It’ll be interesting to see if the same resistance happens in Poland now that Tusk has committed it to taking ‘their share’ of non European economic migrants. They must be slated for several million, even if the EU would never publicise the actual number.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
19 days ago

Administrators: there is something very strange about the voting system on this article. I have voted on a number of comments, with the result that previous votes (up or down) instantly reduce by a large number or disappear altogether.

NB: I am not talking about the multiple increase of votes that can occur (presumably a new vote causing latent votes to register), but the disappearance of votes.

Dennis Roberts
Dennis Roberts
19 days ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

At the mo there is only a single downvote on any of the comments, which considering some comments are directly contradicting others is very unusual.

Nanumaga
Nanumaga
19 days ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

I’m new here, but have noticed that my upticks frequently increase the number by two rather than just one, and occasionally by three. Is this usually the case?

p3rfunct0ry 4p4th3t1c
p3rfunct0ry 4p4th3t1c
18 days ago
Reply to  Nanumaga

Crap technology.

Gerry Quinn
Gerry Quinn
18 days ago
Reply to  Nanumaga

The copy of the page on your computer only refreshes when you do something like click it. So if you’ve been reading and scrolling for ten minutes before you click, any changes made over that period will happen at once.

R Wright
R Wright
19 days ago

“a few dozen Left-wing counter-protestors, waving (…) Spanish Republican flags”

Has anyone told them…?

Arthur G
Arthur G
18 days ago
Reply to  R Wright

That the “Republicans” were Stalinist thugs, and Franco saved them from a generation of slaughter and ruin? Nah, they can’t handle the truth.

R Wright
R Wright
17 days ago
Reply to  Arthur G

I still laugh about how the Soviets stole all of the Spaniards’ gold. The sheer balls.

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
19 days ago

We are looking at the symptoms of failed political decisions ( or incompetence, or both!).

Eamonn Abbott
Eamonn Abbott
19 days ago

The irony, of a country that has had millions of emigrants, now not wanting emigrants, when it has become rich and successful, can’t be ignored.

Sean McGabriel
Sean McGabriel
19 days ago
Reply to  Eamonn Abbott

This trope is often thrown up. When the Irish went to the UK and the USA, and elsewhere, let me assure you, they had to work to survive, and there were no NGO’s and government departments providing them with free accommodation, much less any form of monetary assistance. Yes they were economic migrants, but they received no handouts, and, unlike our hundreds of thousands of uninvited guests to Ireland, neither did they expect to receive them.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean McGabriel

Well said. The smarmy wielders of ‘irony’ have no idea what the word really means.

Eamonn Abbott
Eamonn Abbott
18 days ago
Reply to  Sean McGabriel

The irony of not wanting outsiders in any numbers. Is still there

p3rfunct0ry 4p4th3t1c
p3rfunct0ry 4p4th3t1c
18 days ago
Reply to  Eamonn Abbott

A lot of those ‘outsiders’ who came 20/30 years ago are ‘quietly’ very keen to enforce ‘legal’ immigration. They came worked the three jobs, paid their bills, educated their kids without state handouts. Kind of like the Irish in other countries.

Eamonn Abbott
Eamonn Abbott
18 days ago

Dress it up any way you want. Ireland doesn’t want incomers, in the same way other European countries have accepted them for decades.

jane baker
jane baker
17 days ago
Reply to  Sean McGabriel

Yes,and the new migrants,they are admirable,they are mopping up all those low pay,unpleasant and anti-social hours jobs that we Brits JUST WONT DO,and they’re paying shed loads of TAX. And as their legal job is way below the actual tax threshold we must presume they are altrustically paying all these high volumes of tax voluntarily. And of course that goes for all the ones hiding out in “their communities”,in the black economy. Just because you’re working for.Uncle Ahmed and off the books doesn’t stop.you.posting a big cheque to HMRC every month.

jane baker
jane baker
17 days ago
Reply to  Eamonn Abbott

When my Nan arrived in London in 1950 all she saw was cards in windows saying No Irish,and it made her cry. You heartless racist bastards. Now I’m out on the street rioting and shouting abuse at niggers but I’m Irish so it’s impossible for me to be racist. And that what you did back there was way worse.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
19 days ago

I’m starting to think that the repetitive use of “populist” to describe anything that deviates from the standard progressive orthodox is becoming another dog whistle to paint the people described as somehow beyond the pale.
The consequences of unfettered immigration were foreseeable to anyone who bothered to consider them. Being foreseeable also makes them intentional. Are the people who are affected not supposed to notice?
It often seems that “populist” is a substitute for calling folks racists and xenophobes, as if being concerned about the mass importation of people with no knowledge of the local customs, and often hostility to them, can only be motivated by a moral failing.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
19 days ago

“Ireland is different from Britain in that we were never a colonial power, never colonised anyone else’s country” … Well, they certainly ‘colonised’ chunks of Scotland with their completely separate schools breeding endless ‘them and us’ social friction.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
18 days ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

And populated/invaded Scotland in the Dark Ages.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
15 days ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

This is true and we’d like to apologise for that, and the enslavement of the young St Patrick as well. We were a brutal lot back then.. but we’ve improved a bit since. And you do have us to thank for Billy Connolly don’t forget!

jane baker
jane baker
17 days ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

Wasn’t Scarlett O’Haras Dad a red faced apoplectic slave whipper Irishman and after he’d whipped em his saintly wife would go and run herbal cream on. Weren’t a lot of slave estate managers Irish. If they weren’t Highland Scots. The latter,one contemporary observer records made the best slave whippers because they were so malign and vindictive. That’s misty Celtic twilight for you.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
15 days ago
Reply to  jane baker

Yeah but they hardly represented the entire nation did they? Don’t forget Cromwell* enslaved 50,000 Irishmen and exported them to the Carolinas where they died like flies unable to take the heat unlike their African brothers.
*Of course Cromwell had already massacred tens ofthoudands of Irish men, women and children as well.. and he’s YOUR hero!
Look, it was a long time ago.. I think we should forget it now… okay?

James Kirk
James Kirk
19 days ago

Like here in UK, the EU funded Left have successfully taken over the TV, the Press, Police, Armed Forces and Education. Once subtle, they quietly organised and are now the Establishment. At least the non Left seem to have some fire in their belly unlike ours who immediately apologise if we’re walked over or pushed in the street. if Sinn Fein are as popular as said we’ll be looking at reunification which won’t end well. If civil unrest continues then the big American businesses will move elsewhere. I hope the EU knows what soup kitchens are because we’ll be too busy ourselves and we owe Ireland nothing.

p3rfunct0ry 4p4th3t1c
p3rfunct0ry 4p4th3t1c
18 days ago
Reply to  James Kirk

Most of the initial funding came from the ‘Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave’.

Jeff Dudgeon
Jeff Dudgeon
19 days ago

Good article that wouldn’t be written in the Dublin media. The demonstration of nationalism outwith party political control is especially troubling.
RTE’s coverage of the march was internally revealing.
On its main news bulletin at 9 pm it gave the march cursory coverage but used very blurry moving images obviously pulled off the internet. Plainly a decision had been made (or a refusal) not to film the event which was later superseded by an editor saying we need some pictures.

Anthony Roe
Anthony Roe
19 days ago

Don’t fret about the young men. They will soon be joined by their children, wives, girlfriends, brothers, sisters, parents, aunties and uncles not forgetting grandma. Those with the most complex and intractable medical and mental health issues should obviously have priority.

Leon Brnstein
Leon Brnstein
18 days ago

The elites are the same everywhere. Here in the US, its the same. It immigration and many other issues that negatively impact the middle class: we do not want woke in schools, we are for legal immigration only, we do not support Hamas or the Arabs who selkf identify as Palestinians, and we want less not more government interference in our daily lives. The one shock for me is how many Irish support the Arabs who self identify as Palestinians given their horrid tgrack record of murdering innocents. October 7th was just the latest genocidal act by them. Tethering yourself to them sullies the names of Irish history.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
15 days ago
Reply to  Leon Brnstein

Your ignorance is mind blowing.. Israeli terrorism, from its outset in 1948, murdering the UN representative and attempting to murder British diplomats in the King David Hotel (and even Churchill himself), to the Nakba murdering and ethnically cleansing a million Palestinians, to ongoing murder of West Bank and Gazan citizens at 28 times the kill rate of Hamas. That’s until recently.. not the Zionist genocide kill rate is nearly 50 times the kill rate of Oct 7th (if you exclude those killed by IDF tank fire and Apache helicooter strafing).
The USUK murdered a million Iraquis and Πmillion Afghans and you call Arabs terrorists??? Do you include the 25,000 women and children in that? It is Israel, USUK and to a lesser extent the EU nations that are the real terrorist. Their under rate over the kast 30 years is 8 million according to US University research figures.
Your ignorance is boundless isn’t it? ..and still you feel qualified to comment and display that ignorance for all to see. Have you no shame?

Leon Brnstein
Leon Brnstein
18 days ago

Also, what genius came up the diversity is better? In fact many nations are rippsed assunder by diversity: look at most African nations where different tribes have murdered each other way before the white man came. Same is true in the US: the Indian tribes could not live w each other. In many nations, Muslims are at war w the rest of the population.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
15 days ago
Reply to  Leon Brnstein

Your education is sadly lacking in the Afruca studies dept. It seems to be entirely based on comics and propaganda..

John O'Sullivan
John O'Sullivan
18 days ago

When I was a young man if I swore my grandmother would chide me for ” poverty of language”. She was correct.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
18 days ago

Combing through this lengthy article if you had the patience, the take-away is the Irish have had it with immigration but it hasn’t registered fully with the elites. Oh, and the press is as useless as their US counterparts.

David L
David L
18 days ago

We can’t vote ourselves out of this catastrophe.

Roger Inkpen
Roger Inkpen
18 days ago

They claim Irish Right-wing populism is “a British plot”. Nonsense, it’s the CIA.

jane baker
jane baker
17 days ago

That old “silent majority” schtick. They don’t exist mate. They are a figment of your right -on imagination to justify your position. I’m saying this for the silent majority. They’re Irish for God’s sake,(good Catholics) they’re can’t be a silent majority. Never been in an Irish pub,or at a family sing along. No such thing as an Irish silent majority. Them out on the streets. They are the majority,and they ain’t silent. Send Shammi Chakrabati to face that crowd and preach to them,like she gobs off in the safety of a TV studio.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
15 days ago
Reply to  jane baker

Incorrect assessment on your part.. the crowds on the streets are largely uneducated, ignorant, nationistic, racist xenophobes.. that is NOT the majority, silent or otherwise. The occurr in every country.. the less they know the louder they become.. listen to the interviews and you see what I mean..

Leon Brnstein
Leon Brnstein
9 days ago

Can someone explain to me–non Irish American–why the Irish seem so infatutaed with the Palestinians who for decades now have rejected living in peace and engaged in wanton terror?