- 17 Feb 23
Islamophobic far-right figure Tommy Robinson claims to be in Dublin to "document" far-right anti-refugee rallies.
Infamous far-right campaigner Tommy Robinson just arrived in Dublin to "document" the anti-immigration movement and their demonstrations. The Gardaí are currently monitoring him.
Tommy Robinson gained notoriety for being a far-right "activist" in the UK. In 2009, he co-founded the English Defence League, a white-supremacist and Islamophobic organisation. Also a previous member of the British National Party, he retains ties with the British Freedom Party, two far-right political parties.
In 2010, Searchlight magazine revealed that "Tommy Robinson" was a pseudonym, one of several. The discovery of his real name, Stephen Christopher Yaxley, connected his far-right profile with a criminal history which includes assault, contempt of court, drug possession, and stalking.
In 2021, he lost a high-profile libel case after encouraging harassment of a young boy and the promotion of violence against Muslims.
The 40-year-old recently released a video from what appears to be a hotel in Dublin. In it, he said he had been in the city "saying hello to family members."
While Robinson claims his mother was an Irish immigrant to Britain, on the Anything Goes With James English podcast, he says he has a disconnect from his Irish heritage "I've never been to Ireland...I don't feel a connection there." He is well-known to be a British loyalist.
"I'm a loyalist, I love the royal family, I've never felt a connection with Ireland or felt Irish, I went out on Paddy's Day wearing an England top!"
This is who the #IrelandIsFull brigade are entertaining in our country this week. pic.twitter.com/YqrZ3MaFrW
— An Páirtíneach (@Irish_Partisan) February 14, 2023
Robinson has reportedly been in contact with anti-immigration activists prior to and since his arrival. Some, like the far-right conspiracy theorist, Dee Wall, have been involved with organising anti-immigration demonstrations and have been encouraging of Robinson's arrival.
Banned from major social media sites, for violating their terms and guidelines for hate speech and/or harassment, he took to the Telegram website to announce he invited himself to Ireland.
"I invited myself to Ireland. I'm a journalist. I'll go where I want."
Between his history of criminal conduct and his tendency of hate speech, the Gardaí have been monitoring his movements after concerns that his presence could further encourage anti-immigration protests.
"He claims he is here to make a documentary. That likely means whatever he produces will not be neutral or objective," Ciaran O'Connor, a senior analyst at the Institute of Strategic Dialogue, told Newstalk.
Whatever documentary Robinson makes, he says, "is likely to be something that targets or demonises asylum seekers... that promotes false or misleading claims about supposed asylum seeker criminality, or fosters fear and distrust against migrants."
The anti-immigration movement has been growing restless over the past few months. The Gardaí and politicians have worked to contain the situation as rallies and anti-refugee continue.
A statement was released last month denouncing the anti-refugee rallies, signed by politicians like the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Caroline Conroy, as well as locals. The statement was in response to an increasingly alarming series of rallies outside asylum seeker accommodations.
Counter protests supporting immigration and the #IrelandForAll movement have been organised to help raise awareness, support, and funds for those struggling after seeking asylum in Ireland. Organisations like MASI, the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, and Coalition 2030 Ireland, an alliance of 70 civil organisations, have been supporting the movement.
MASI has previously criticised the government's handling of the asylum seeker situation as they left many homeless, citing capacity issues. It was a failure of their obligation and responsibility to the asylum seekers and a violation of the European Court of Human Rights' rulings.
Tomorrow on Saturday, February 18th, #IrelandForAll will be hosting a solidarity march in Dublin at 1PM promoting "a better, fairer and more inclusive Ireland."
#IrelandForAll. On the 18th Feb 1.30pm Parnell Square we come together to stand against hate and march to celebrate the rich diversity in Ireland and build on a country grounded in a shared vision of love, respect and equality. We are Stronger Together! pic.twitter.com/johUItrFFv
— Ireland / IrelandForAll (@ireland) February 13, 2023
- Film & TV
- 01 Jun 23