Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: 1°C
Alamy Stock Photo

Holocaust group writes to Helen McEntee about 'anti-Semitic' newspaper edited by Gemma O'Doherty

The Irish Light regularly was the subject of concerns by Holocaust Education Ireland.

AN IRISH HOLOCAUST education group has written to Justice Minister Helen McEntee over its concerns about a conspiracy theory newspaper linked to Gemma O’Doherty.

Holocaust Education Ireland, an independent group which promotes awareness and remembrance of the Holocaust, contacted McEntee over the summer to highlight the spread of anti-Semitism in the newspaper.

The Irish Light regularly contains conspiracies about Covid-19, vaccines, asylum seekers and migrants, as well as the Great Replacement theory, a white nationalist, far-right conspiracy which claims white citizens are being replaced by non-white populations.

The newspaper is edited by O’Doherty, and has a UK equivalent called The Light from which it is editorially independent but which spreads similar conspiracy theories.

In July, Holocaust Education Ireland chairperson Thomas O’Dowd wrote to McEntee about the newspaper and his concerns about the dissemination of hate speech.

“In recent months, The Irish Light appears to have gained traction in Ireland,” O’Dowd wrote.

“Although many people have emailed us excerpts, it is when one is confronted with the actual publication ‘in the flesh’ so to speak, that the shock of it hits home. Hence the enclosed copy.

“Several people we know have had this ‘newspaper’ delivered unsolicited directly into their home post boxes (causing huge upset).”

He enclosed a copy of what he described as the “scurrilous and hate-filled newspaper” for the minister, in the hope it could assist her in formulating Ireland’s hate speech legislation (which has already made its way through the Dáil).

“In several European countries, this sort of publication is forbidden by law and the penalties are substantial,” he contined.

“Surely in Ireland, printing and circulation of this kind of hate-filled publication needs to be eliminated from circulation and those responsible penalised?”

O’Doherty, a former newspaper journalist and election candidate, has in recent years become one of Ireland’s most well-known conspiracy theorists and far-fight figures.

The Irish Light previously made headlines this year when the newspaper and O’Doherty were subjected to a High Court injunction by the mother of a teenager who died by suicide who claimed she was the subject of a campaign of harassment by O’Doherty.

Edel Campbell claimed that after her son Diego Gilsenan’s death in August 2021, O’Doherty used Diego’s image to wrongly claim that he died as a result of side effects from a Covid-19 vaccine.

O’Doherty was asked to stop using the picture of Diego in the newspaper, which it is claimed was taken from the website used without consent. However, the High Court noted that she refused to do so.