- 13 Jan 21
"It would be churlish of me to comment on white nationalist and neo-fascist activity in the US when Ireland has its own active elements organising only last week to spread lies about the late George Nkencho," the Co. Wicklow musician states.
Hozier has released a statement about "the growing threat of neo-fascism and white supremacy" on a national and a global level, in the aftermath of both the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, and the spreading of misinformation about George Nkencho, who was fatally shot by Gardaí in Dublin on December 30.
Taking to Twitter in the early hours of this morning, Hozier acknowledges that the violent attack on the Capitol building was undoubtedly "a painful display of a very real and very toxic political force making its presence felt" – before noting: "It would be churlish of me to comment on white nationalist and neo-fascist activity in the US when Ireland has its own active elements organising only last week to spread lies about the late George Nkencho, a man with documented mental health difficulties who lost his life at the hands of a Gardaí response."
Although Hozier states that the "criminal investigation into the death of George Nkencho is welcomed", he nonetheless stresses that "this man was completely and utterly failed in his need for help. My heart breaks for his family and the loved ones he leaves behind."
The Co. Wicklow musician goes on to issue an appeal to his "fellow members of Ireland's white settled community to take very seriously the efforts that were made online to spread lies about George Nkencho and attack his family in the aftermath of this horrible event."
"Elaborately constructed false info was spread by a committed group of racist agitators for the purposes of provoking tensions along the lines of ethnicity and race," he continues. "Until we as a national (and global) community take seriously the growing threat of neo-fascism and white supremacy and bring ourselves to investigate our own unobserved ethno-nationalistic sentiments this problem will only worsen with time. It can't be left to Ireland's black citizens and people of colour to fend off the injustice of racial hatred. It's something that is enabled by, takes roots in, and is enacted by elements within our own community, and it is that very community which has the political representation and collective power to address and disassemble it."
"We all want to live in a country we can be proud of, and we all have a role to play in that," he concludes. "I fear something dreadful is coming if we can't bring ourselves to address this issue."
Read Hozier's full statement below:
I’ve removed Twitter from my devices for the moment but while I’m here, I know it’s been an awful couple weeks and if I was to say anything pic.twitter.com/YycUEj3PwG
— Hozier (@Hozier) January 13, 2021
Revisit our 2020 interview with Hozier here.