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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 15 December, 2018
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These men tried to launch a new party ... but anti-racism protesters gate-crashed their event

Demonstrators made themselves heard at the launch of Ireland’s newest political party.

First published 2.48 pm

ANTI-RACISM PROTESTERS were thrown out of the launch of a new anti-immigration party this afternoon, at a hotel just across the road from Leinster House.

Identity Ireland – which favours stricter border controls, EU withdrawal and a return to “full Irish sovereignty” – will formally register as a political party today, activists present at the Buswells event claimed.

Party leader Peter O’Loughlin, an unemployed primary teacher, said that mass immigration undermines workers’ rights, and puts too much strain on education and health services.

He claimed that 90% of asylum seekers in Ireland are “bogus” and rather economic migrants.

The group – founded by O’Loughlin, Alan Tighe (its treasurer) and Gary Allen (its secretary) – also wants to see a return to the punt.

Escorted out

Two demonstrators who read out statements opposing the party’s policies were escorted out of the launch by hotel management shortly after the event began.

“Your party’s euphemisms about immigration controls are nothing but thinly-veiled masks that attempt to hide the beliefs at the core of your political party,” one woman said, before she was led out of the room.

Another protester laid a wreath at the top of the room in memory of the victims of Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in a far-right massacre in Norway on this day four years ago.

The remaining demonstrators handed out literature with information on members of the party.

They claimed two people associated with the group are involved in an anti-Islam group on social media.

General election

Identity Ireland said it currently has some 115 members and intends to run two to three candidates in the next general election.

O’Loughlin, who ran as a candidate in the recent Carlow-Kilkenny by-election, told TheJournal.ie that it will look to contest seats in areas like Cork and Dublin, where he said party support is strongest.

Read: Gardaí probe assault at meeting of party that wants ‘proper border control’ >

Read: ‘I was aware that I could have easily died at sea. But I had to leave, I had no choice’ >

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Catherine Healy

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