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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020
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Ireland's newest political party says racism accusations are "nonsense"

We asked the party leader some questions, here’s what he had to say.

THE LEADER OF Ireland’s newest political party Identity Ireland has answered some questions TheJournal.ie put to him about the party’s policies and beliefs.

At the launch of Identity Ireland yesterday, anti-racism campaigners held a protest before being escorted out.

Leader Peter O’Loughlin, an unemployed primary teacher, told us he believes the party will take votes from people across the board and that accusations about the party being racist are ‘nonsense’.

“We don’t tailor our message to particular groups or demographics like most parties. Our message is for all voters,” said O’Loughlin.

1. What does Identity Ireland believe is the solution to the direct provision situation?

Peter O’Loughlin: An overhaul to ensure that genuine asylum seekers are catered for and bogus asylum seekers are refused and deported. An initial application plus one appeal is fair.

2. What’s the basis of your claim that 90% of asylum seekers are bogus?

From the Department of Justice and Equality website, Irish naturalisation and immigration service. “Most asylum applications (more than 90%) are found not to meet the criteria for refugee protection.”

3. What proportion of asylum seekers arriving in Europe do you believe are terrorists?

Without proper border checks it’s impossible to know, a highly irresponsible attitude by EU and government leaders.

4. If Identity Ireland had the power to, what specifically would it change in Ireland regarding border control and immigration policy?

Proper border controls to vet those who wish to enter the country, similar to the Canadian or Australian models which Irish people must go through. The number of Visas on offer would be based on Ireland’s economic and social needs for the benefit of the Irish people.

5. How would the party deal with the situation in the Mediterranean?

If people are picked up in the Mediterranean they should be returned to point of departure. It may also be a good idea to set up vetting centres in North Africa to distinguish between genuine refugees and economic migrants.

6. Given our membership of the EU, how specifically do you plan to change or limit immigration into Ireland?

We stand for EU dismemberment and the creation of a co-operative Europe of sovereign nation states, similar to the EEC, where Ireland would control these issues.

7. Would the party propose changing EU open border rules? Does it think Irish people would support tighter restrictions given that it would probably also limit our movement within the EU?

We would not be part of the EU. Movement should be based on bilateral treaties between individual countries instead of catch-all free movement areas. In terms of support, we will see in the future.

8. How does the party square its anti-immigration stance with Ireland’s history of emigration?

Very easily. The nations which Irish people have emigrated to generally have strict criteria in terms of entry requirement and demand that people are working. Social assistance would not be available. Ireland is perfectly entitled to insist on the same standards.

9. What do you say about the accusations that your immigration policy is racist?

Nonsense.

10. How would you respond to protesters’ claims that several of the party members have posted anti-Islam content on social media?

I have no idea what members do in their own time. Also what constitutes anti-Islam in the eyes of the extreme left? These are people who believe calling for proper border controls as practised by most nations of the world is somehow “racist”.

11. How many immigrants do you actually know? Are you friends with any?

I’ve worked with a lot of immigrants over the years. I’ve always gotten on well with the vast majority.

racism Identity Ireland founders Alan Tighe, Peter O'Loughlin and Gary Allen. Source: Catherine Healy via TheJournal.ie

12. “Immigration control” parties often subscribe to right-wing policies. Does your party? What are the party’s specific views on same-sex marriage, women’s rights/feminism, abortion, law and order, the role of Catholicism in Irish society, repealing the 8th amendment?

No. Our party is concerned with issues relating to sovereignty. These issues do not relate to regaining our sovereignty. Therefore we have no position on them barring law and order due to the very worrying level of crime.

13. What specifically are some of the party’s economic plans?

Regain our economic sovereignty and regain control of our natural resources. These resources should be worked for the benefit of the Irish people. For example we would hope that a 25% tax on our fishing grounds which are fished mostly by European fisherman who pay nothing to the Irish state would raise circa a billion per annum. This money could be invested to restart our sugar industry for example without the need to borrow or increase taxes, creating positive economic conditions. These type of actions can only be taken outside the EU.

14. Identity Ireland wants to disband the euro and return Ireland to the punt. Has it done an economic and social analysis of how exactly that could take place, how it could play out, and what the various possible consequences could be?

The Euro is a political tool designed to help create an European superstate. It is economically unviable. It needs to be voluntarily disbanded. Otherwise it will be torn apart in a crisis situation which will have disastrous economic consequences for all European nations.

Many European economies are on the brink. Unless decisive action is taken these economies will eventually succumb to their massive economic problems such as debt and record unemployment. Greece is only a few years ahead of the rest of us.

15. What party would Identity Ireland most like to be in a coalition with?

There is no other party which advocates for Irish sovereignty. They all support the European project and mass immigration. We could not go into coalition with any of them unless perhaps they radically altered their policies.

16. Which political leader or party, from history or today, do you most admire?

Michael Collins. He gave everything he had for Irish freedom.

17. How similar to Ukip would Identity Ireland consider itself?

Fairly similar. Our party is based in the Irish tradition of fighting for our freedom from oppressive forces. Our parties would have broadly similar policies though.

18. Why did you leave NIP?

Didn’t work out.

19. Why did NIP fail? It was the same thing.

Different people. Different thing. Why did it fail? Because it didn’t succeed.

protester Protester being escorted out of Identity Ireland launch. Source: Catherine Healy via TheJournal.ie

20. Can you explain what this statement from your website means? “Zero tolerance approach towards demands to alter national life, culture and traditions to accommodate minority held beliefs and cultures.”

If anyone demands that we alter our culture in order to practise their culture instead we give a polite but firm no. For example if someone were to demand that only males be allowed teach boys and females teach girls in certain Irish schools. This is not compatible with our culture. It’s a protective policy, just in case.

21. Can you explain what the “two strike rule for the most serious offences” in the party’s law and order policies means?

If you are incarcerated for committing a serious crime such as rape or murder and after you serve a sentence you re-offend in a similar manner you should be incarcerated for life.

22. Has it been brought to the party’s attention that “Aitheantas Éire” isn’t actually correct Irish?

The English language does not always translate directly into Irish. There can be different ways of writing something and it can still be correct. We have a number of very strong, fluent Irish speakers in the party and they have raised no objection.

Read: These men tried to launch a new party … but anti-racism protesters gate-crashed their event>

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