Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Myself on radio years ago. "Claire Byrne: Now new CSO figures show that ten percent of the Irish population are foreign nationals. Officially we have 63,000 Poles, 52,000 Asians and 35,000 Africans in the country, and Ireland is fast becoming a diverse and multicultural society. But our reporter Niell Brennan witnessed the other side to Ireland’s multiculturalism when he went canvassing in Limerick with a new extreme right-wing group whose mission is apparently to “save Ireland.” Good morning Niell. Niell Brennan: Good morning Claire Claire Byrne: Thanks for joining us. Who are the Movement to Save Ireland, this group that you have been speaking to? Niell Brennan: Well, we first discovered the Movement to Save Ireland, it’s an online blog, but, they set up about a year ago, but at the moment they are looking to make it a very much political group. Brian Wallace would be the main organiser behind the group. They are operating out of Limerick, he is originally from Cork himself, comes from a scientific background having studied at UCD. He is now a full time activist. We went down to Limerick to meet up with him to see what the group gets up to. At the moment its very much at the early stages. They are delivering posters and leaflets around the city, looking for to drum up some support, but he says support is growing and this lead to a complaint made against them [to] the Gardai and subsequent raid. RECORDING Brian Wallace: I came home at five o’clock and saw a Garda van around the corner so I said “ah nothing” and I walked up to my door, and as soon as I go in the door, the Guards come up, they come in, search warrant, and they come in and talk to me in the kitchen for a while, and then they go in and they kick in the door to my bedroom and they take my computer and other things they find. [Recording is edited here] I feel like the individual Gardai don’t believe in the system either though but they’re stuck in it ‘cos they’re to get their promotions or whatever so they just go along [with] whoever is paying their wages, you know? They- I feel they would prefer to have me as their boss than Bertie, you know? RECORDING ENDS Claire Byrne: OK, that’s a fairly wild assumption there. We’re going to be speaking to Superintendent Kevin O’Donoghue who is head of Garda Press and Publisity in just a couple of moments in relation to that particular situation and also to the wider issue I suppose of these groups and whether they are something they are keeping an eye on in the Ireland of today. Now, coming back to the Movement to Save Ireland and Brian Wallace and the people who support him, what exactly do they believe, and who are they targeting when they are looking for support? Niell Brennan: Sure, well, what they would say is they are against mass immigration. They want to protect Irish culture and Western culture in general. So it would be very much- They are against the islamification as they call it, of Ireland, they would be against immigration that wouldn’t come from European backgrounds. They would say that the immigrants themselves are tools of the system that is trying to oppress Irish people, and kind of take away from the native culture that is here. Now, they are very careful, they are very media savy. They talk of undesirables coming into the country without ever really directly saying who they are referring to. Their- Instead they talk in abstract terms about the system, about elites, very very media savvy. We went out handing out- Claire Byrne: Hang on a second, because we have to be careful here because these people aren’t talking about having a controlled immigration system whereby we don’t let people in who perhaps have a criminal conviction in another. Are you absolutely certain that this is a white supremacist group,which is what I think you are saying to me they are? Niell Brennan: It is, very much so but they are very careful how they say it, they couch it in very careful terms, but they are very much in favour of a native Irish population, of what he calls a background level of immigration, but the controls he is asking for would be very very strict, basically he is against any kind of immigration that isn’t white. Claire Byrne: OK, lets have a listen to how they got on I think you were out canvassing with him, weren’t you? Niell Brennan: We went out handing leaflets in Southill, now as we know, Southill would be a disadvantaged area in Limerick and it’s very much one of the areas they’re targeting. They believe that this could be a core area for support. Most people we bumped into ignored them or were polite and took the leaflets, looked at them, but they were leaving stuff in shops and places like that, but as we will hear from the next clip, there was some support for them RECORDING Southill Resident : What are ye? Brian Wallace: The Movement to Save Ireland. Have you seen our stuff around? Southill Resident: I haven’t actually no Brian Wallace: Basically we are just getting our group going you know, doing a bit of recruitment like. Southill Resident: Ye just want all Irish here is it? Brian Wallace: Well Southill Resident: Like myself Brian Wallace: We don’t want mass immigration like Southill Resident: No, no, no, no, I totally agree with ye. Brian Wallace: And we were raided by the Guards and everything because this Jewish one in Dublin didn’t like my stuff Southill ResidentDid she? yeah yeah, now, as the old saying was, the only mistake Hitler made was he didn’t kill all the Jews. Brian wallace laughs RECORDING ENDS Claire Byrne: Ok so that was one person who was canvassed by this Movement to Save Ireland but Niell I suppose I would have to say that as you said earlier on most people were polite to them but weren’t interested. Niell Brennan: Yeah exactly but there was a minority who would have picked up the leaflets, would have looked at them, would have agreed and would have told Brian that even if it came to an election they would vote for a party along similar lines to these guys. Claire Byrne: OK, now they are also canvassing in another very interesting area and they are targeting the Eastern European population. What’s the connection there because you would imagine if they wanted a native Irish population that would include ruling out the Eastern Europeans? Niell Brennan: Sure, well this is where the idea of the western culture comes in as they put it. The MSI is very busy canvassing for support from the Eastern European immigrants, now, what they are basically doing at this stage is, is just looking for as much support as possible, so they are targeting the Polish community, now they say a lot of Poles are right-wing and would agree about the need to preserve this western culture that they speak of. So that is where they are getting a lot of support at the moment, and there have been a number of incidents where Poles have been involved in a number of racist attacks, and graffiti attacks and things like that. We went to leave some leaflets in a church, and we stopped outside a Polish shop where some of the staff support the group and Brian explained to me where their support is coming from. RECORDING Brian Wallace: We’re just leaving our bilingual leaflets inside in the shop like, just to- you know- as part of our outreach to the Polish community like you know. At the end of the day, our fate will be the same as theirs in as much as we’re all Europeans and If Ireland goes down, and Poland goes down, we’ll all go down like. RECORDING ENDS Claire Byrne: Now one of the things you felt most disturbing about the time you spent with Brian Wallace and his Movement to Save Ireland and the theory behind it was his opinion in relation to the holocaust and Jewish people. Niell Brennan: Sure and again it is important to say that Brian is very media savvy. He is aware of how as he would say it, the media could twist things against him. but the most troubling aspect would be his view on what he called Zionists. Zionism was a movement to set up Israel in the 19th Century It’s now viewed as a conspiracy. It is a term these right-wing groups use. It could be viewed as anti-semetic in many cases. Brian is careful not to say Jews. He is aware of the negative response that could spark to the group. But I asked him several times for his views on the holocaust, now he wouldn’t give me a direct answer but he did refer to the holocaust as a myth and a story and later on he told me it was what he described as a money spinner. RECORDING Brian Wallace: The media describes that some lives are valuable and some lives are not valuable you know, it makes propeganda. It’s been a big money spinner for some states you know. The eh Niell Brennan: The Holocaust? Brian Wallace: Yeah, for example it is out of your pocket this money comes from, the German are paying billions every year, that must damage the entire European Union’s economy. Why should we pay for this monster state of Israel which is responsible for so much of the ecstasy manufactured, so much of the child pornography, which is a state of pure evil which needs to be confronted like RECORDING ENDS Claire Byrne: All right, that is Brian Wallace of the Movement to Save Ireland, our text number is 53106 at a cost of 30 cent if you want to get in touch to comment on what the Movement to Save Ireland are saying it’s 8:15 I am joined in studio by Niell Brennan our reporter who was in Limerick canvassing with Brian Wallase and the organisation, Movement to Save Ireland, now as I mentioned earlier, the movement came from a blog which was set up a number of years ago. Tell us about that and how it works. Niell Brennan: Yeah the blog was set up about a year ago, now online is where these groups are active at the moment, now if you talk to people they will tell you there is not really a problem, but they are very active online, and the MSI would be the most public of these groups and they would blog every so often, every week, every month maybe on issues that might arrest their attention. but there are other groups like Stormfront which is very active. It doesn’t seem to have crossed over to actual violence so far but posted on this site- the stormfront forum are the contact details of those who- to put it mildly hold opposing views to these right-wing groups. So these would be left-wing groups, anti racism spokespeople, and we have been speaking to some of them over the past 24 hours and and alot of them have received messages, letters, emails that are abusive, that are threatening, that are intimidating, one saying AIDS is the best thing to happen since Hitler, so that kind of line, really offensive stuff. Some refused to come on the show for fear of making themselves targets, marking themselves out to these groups, and I’ve now been identified on the sites as well, so we will see what happens in that regard. Claire Byrne : OK Niell, thanks for bringing us that story this morning. Let’s go to our phone line now because we are joined by Superintendent Kevin Donoghue, Good morning to you Superintendent. Kevin Donoghue: Good morning claire Claire Byrne Thanks for joining us, This guy Brian Wallace mentioned there to a number of people he was canvassing in Southill in Limerick that his computer had been seized by Gardai, what information do you have in relation to that? Kevin Donoghue: Well, I think Claire, in keeping with our normal policy we try not to comment on specific individual cases, but I can tell you that we did receive a complaint some time ago culminating in an investigation in the middle of June where we made an arrest and seized some property, and in that regard, a file is currently with the Director of Public Prosecution. I suppose our key law in this case is the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act which is on the statute books since 1989 and while everybody has a democratic right to assemble lobby groups or political parties or whatever, they must do so within the law. And within that Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, you cannot publish or distribute material whether it’s written or it’s video images or recordings that’s insulting abusive or threatening and in all it’s circumstances is likely to stir up hatred. Claire Byrne: What’s the Garda policy on this stuff, do you have to wait for a complaint to come to you before you act or are you actively monitoring the potential i suppose of racially motivated crime in this country? Kevin Donoghue: I suppose like in a lot of things we can take action in two regards, first of all if we have a complaint, which we had in one specific case and that- I won’t say makes it easier but is one avenue we can go down. But obviously, the Garda Siochana like most police services throughout the world, not only provide the policing service to the country but are also responsible for state security. So, certainly from a state security point of view, we would monitor through various units, the activity of groups whose aims might affect state security or whose aims are to undermine the workings of democratic society."