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'This will bring us back to the dark ages': Anti-racism group hits out at National Party

National Party leader Justin Barrett was on Today FM this afternoon and said he’d like to see all immigrants leave Ireland.

Justin Barret Nice Treaty National Party leader Justin Barrett Source: PA Archive/PA Images

THE IRISH branch of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) has warned of the dangers of the new National Party.

The new party, which is headed by Justin Barrett and which describes itself as being the “true spirit of the Republic”, confirmed that the Merrion Hotel in Dublin cancelled their event yesterday. The party has not yet rescheduled its launch date.

ENAR Ireland’s director Shane O’Curry said the decision to block the launch of the party was “appropriate, proportionate and legitimate”.

Barrett was interviewed by Matt Cooper on Today FM this evening and said he would like to see all immigrants deported from Ireland. He claimed cheap labour from Eastern Europe ruined the Irish economy.

Barrett told Cooper he should have been more careful deciding which events to go to after he was pictured an extreme right-wing event in Germany in 2002. At the time, he was campaigning on the No to Nice campaign and was the guest of honour at the rally.

Dublin anti-racism demonstration Garda Public Order Unit clash with with protesters in Dublin last year as anti-Islam group Pegida tried to demonstrate. Source: Niall Carson/PA

The founding of the group has been strongly criticised on social media.

ENAR Ireland boss O’Curry said it is easy to see what this party stands for.

He told TheJournal.ie: “I think if you look into the personality behind the so-called 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 decision to block his party launch was appropriate, proportionate and legitimate. As a society, we value freedom of speech but all freedoms have limits.

“Matt Cooper and the Last Word have been foolishly irresponsible in allowing him on. This is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.This will bring us back to the dark ages.”

O’Curry said there has been an increase in reports of racist incidents since Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. However, he said it was still too early to say if these can be linked.

Very little is known about the new party, which registered with the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) as a Third Party on 9 August of this year.

Justin Barrett and James Reynolds, who is identified as the party’s deputy-president, are the only two people identified with the National Party since the announcement of its launch on Tuesday.

ENAR Ireland runs a webpage where incidents of racism can be reported online. You can find it here.

With reporting by Sean Murray

Read: SIPTU has authorised its 60,000 members to ballot on industrial and strike action >

Read: There’s trouble between Fine Gael and the Independent Alliance again… this time it’s over alcohol >

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