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Who is National Party leader Justin Barrett?

The pro-life, anti-immigrant activist attempted to launch a political party this week.

JUSTIN BARRETT NICE TREATY AFTERMATH YOUTH DEFENCE PORTRAIT UPRIGHT Justin Barrett Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

JUSTIN BARRETT HAD disappeared from public life in the early 2000s after a number of political campaigns.

Now, the Tipperary man is back and has registered the National Party, an extreme right-wing political organisation which says, as part of its manifesto, that it wants to deport all of the immigrants living in Ireland.

He also wrote a book called The National Way Forward, which advocated the creation of a “Catholic Republic” which would greatly restrict immigration and put a total ban on abortion.

Barrett has been a member of anti-abortion group Youth Defence and spoke for the No to Nice campaign, a group which lobbied against the Nice Treaty in 2001. The treaty was a vote to expand the European Union to more countries.

He also campaigned for the abortion referendum in 2002. It asked the people whether they wanted to remove the threat of suicide as a grounds for legal abortion in the state.

It was defeated by a margin of just 10,500 meaning that the threat of suicide remained grounds for a termination.

Barrett also admitted attending rallies held by Nazi-sympathiser group the NDP and Italian fascist organisation Forza Nuova.

ITALY PARMALAT Forza Nuova activists stage a protest in Milan, 2005. AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Barrett ran for European Parliament in 2004 as an independent finishing with just 2.4% of first preference votes in the Ireland East constituency.

His manifesto included:

  • Putting Ireland’s employment needs first
  • Ending abuses of welfare structure by ‘bogus asylum seekers’
  • Restricting mass immigration
  • Irish people to be given priority on all new jobs

According to Indymedia, Barrett was prevented from speaking at a debate in UCD by an anti-fascist group in 2004.

Anti Fascist Action said they prevented Barrett from speaking at an immigration debate. The group said they had a ‘no platform’ policy and would disrupt any gathering where extreme right-wing views would be aired.

A year later, he gave a presentation on family issues to an Oireachtas committee on the constitution.

During the committee, he was asked whether a woman’s place was in the home.

He responded:

 They are capable of performing employment tasks, with the exception of heavy manual labour, in equality with men but it is unquestionably the case — I can never understand why feminists have a problem with this — that women are much better at minding children than men. In that sense, women are superior.

Anti-racism activists have described Barrett as “the real McCoy” when describing his right-wing credentials.

Shane O’Curry of ENAR Ireland said: “I think if you look into the personality behind the so-called National Party and the rhetoric and the track record of people involved, you can see what kind of people they are. Without a doubt, this is a fascist party and I think that should be the term reserved for organisations which meet certain criteria and this one does.”

The National Party intended to launch in Dublin’s Merrion Hotel on Thursday. However, the hotel cancelled the day before the event.

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