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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 6 April, 2020

Gardaí probe assault at meeting of party that wants "proper border control"

The meeting was stopped by protesters who call the party “fascist”.

Image: Facebook/Ireland Identity

GARDAÍ WERE FORCED to intervene at the meeting of a political party that seeks tighter controls on Ireland’s immigration policy.

Yesterday’s meeting of Identity Ireland  in Jury’s Inn in Parnell Street was halted when protesters accused contributors of racism and scuffles broke out in the room.

Founder Peter O’Loughlin was speaking when the disturbances took place.

Former MEP candidate O’Loughlin told that hotel security intervened in an attempt to halt the disruptions before gardaí were called.

Gardaí have confirmed that they are investigating an alleged minor assault that took place at the hotel at about 6.44pm.

O’Loughlin says there were about 40-60 people in the room at the time made up of three party members, members of the public, and protesters.

When he began speaking the protesters started asking questions before singing and refusing to stop, he claims.

“They were making accusations that are absolutely unfounded, calling us racist and fascist,”O’Loughlin says.

“I tried to ask them a question, ask them why are we fascist. These are part of a group called Anti-Fascist Action Ireland but they decided to put a stop to free speech. Something which is itself a fascist action.”

On their Facebook page, Anti-Fascist Action Ireland confirm that some of their supporters were present at the meeting and succeeded in preventing it from going ahead.

“The latest attempt by the far-right to organise in Ireland developed into yet another farce yesterday as about eight people including the organisers showed up for their public meeting in Jury’s Hotel, Parnell Street, ” the statement read.

“A large group of assorted anti-racists shut down the event using a mixture of song, eggs and sheer numbers.”

O’Loughlin says he personally felt “uncomfortable” by the situation and saw “what seemed to be a very minor fracas down the back with a bit of pushing and shoving”.

The meeting was stopped when hotel managers requested that it finish.

O’Loughlin, who has previously likened his policies to that of Ukip, says that Identity Ireland are “a pro-sovereignty party” who “believe in proper border control”.

“Every immigrant should be treated on their own merits,” he says.

O’Loughlin says that he hopes Identity Ireland can organise further meetings and engage with the public to develop policy.

Read: Migrants rally to urge Taoiseach not to forget about them >

Read: Ireland should ‘embrace’ a population of 10 million >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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