“The Irish state will undoubtedly have one of the most extensive, if not the most totalitarian, hate speech laws in Western Europe if the bill becomes law, despite the government’s insistence that it contains a provision to ‘protect genuine freedom of expression.'”
believed once to have said, “There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t met yet.” Locals in McNeill’s Pub become best friends after a few pints of Guinness, as glasses and bottles clink to the cries of Sláinte! If recent events are any indication, though, one is more likely to see those bottles smash into a police officer’s riot shield.he Irish are renowned for being amiable and welcoming, said to be among the world’s friendliest people. Consider the capital, Dublin. One of its most well-known residents, the poet W.B. Yeats, is
The streets of Dublin City center looked like Gaza last month. In what has been described by journalist Sarah McCammon as “the worst public disorder in decades,” a violent mob battled with the police for more than three hours. The most riot police in Irish state history were drafted in to restore order after up to 500 people reportedly took to the streets. Numerous buses were destroyed, cars—including police cars—were set on fire, and more than a dozen stores were broken into and looted. The police made 48 arrests in total.
Anyone familiar with the recent wave of violence in France, Belgium, Sweden, and Germany would have to admit that the country’s ruling class’s decision to carry out a radical experiment made the riots in Dublin inevitable. In recent years, Ireland has effectively lowered the drawbridge and opened its borders to unrestricted immigration.
The cause of the unrest is believed to have been a knife attack outside a primary school, where three children and an adult were injured, two of whom remained hospitalized. Among them are a five-year-old girl, said to be in a critical condition, and a teaching assistant who “used her body as a shield” to help protect children from the stabbing.
The police confirmed the suspect is an Algerian man believed to be in his late 40s who has spent the last 20 years living in Ireland. After more investigation, it was discovered that he should have been deported 20 years ago. After being arrested in 2003, the man was given a deportation order. But in 2008, following a High Court judicial review, it was revoked, and the Department of Justice gave him permission to remain. He was then granted Irish citizenship and a passport. Still, the warnings were there. The Daily Mail reported that earlier this year he had been arrested on suspicion of possessing a knife, but nothing was done by the police.
This is not the first violent foreign-related attack that has drawn attention in Ireland. An Iraqi immigrant murdered two gay Irish men last year, decapitating one of them. Meanwhile, a Slovakian Romani immigrant was recently found guilty of Ashling Murphy’s murder. The young woman was out jogging one evening when she was stabbed in the neck eleven times. These tragic events are a new reality for the Irish people, who, until recently, were known for living in high-trust communities in their country.
Yet, rather than focus on the reasons for the unrest, the authorities seem more concerned with people expressing opinions about the riots online. Specifically, Conor McGregor. The former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) world champion took to social media, venting his frustration with the government and paying his respects to Murphy with the hashtag #ForAshling.
McGregor is currently the subject of an investigation by the Irish police as part of an inquiry into the dissemination of so-called online hate speech. What crime has McGregor committed? He condemned the violence and criminal behavior of the rioters and expressed an opinion shared by the majority of Irish people about the problems associated with mass migration. In a recent survey, 75% of respondents believe Ireland has taken in too many refugees.
Ireland receives more asylum applications from Algeria than any other nation in the European Union. Crime has increased as a result of this. In Germany and Spain, suspect rates of Algerian immigrants are ten times higher than their native born counterparts and 17 times higher than native Italians. Almost a quarter of all individuals sent to prison in 2022 in Ireland were non-Irish nationals. However, this does not seem to be a cause of concern for the government. Instead, the government seems more concerned with going after people who post edgy memes. “Irish lives matter” was written on a wall in West Belfast, across the border, following the riots. At this point, this is being treated as a serious hate incident. According to Gerry Carroll, a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, it is a “racist slogan.” Irish lives do matter. Just not to the Irish government.
No matter how often its citizens express their disapproval, nobody listens. Alternatively, they are dismissed as “far-right” conspiracy theorists if they do. Many logistical problems arise as the population increases. The foremost one is accommodation. The Irish people are already experiencing a severe housing shortage of more than a quarter of a million homes. When new properties do come on the market, queues stretch around blocks. As many as 150 people have been reported waiting in line to view a house in Dublin.
Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar has proposed new laws to prosecute those responsible for the riots that followed McGregor’s remarks. In particular, Taoiseach Varadkar has promised to “modernise laws against hatred” on social media. It might entail putting their frankly terrifying new hate-speech laws into effect. The Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Bill 2022 would update and expand Ireland’s existing hate speech laws to include incitement to violence or hatred against persons or groups on the basis of protected characteristics, such as sexual and racial minorities. Simon Harris, the former Minister of Justice, considered adding migration status to this constantly expanding list of “vulnerable” groups.
According to Section 7 of the bill, the mere possession of material the state deems “hateful” could result in citizens being sent to prison for up to five years if his or her actions are judged to be “likely to incite violence or hatred” against a person with protected characteristics. Put another way, people in Ireland risk prosecution if they report that immigrants or refugees are being placed in large numbers in tiny villages and towns. These folks are merely concerned with maintaining social cohesion; they are not “far-right.” This legislation aims to keep the Irish people silent. It criminalizes thought. The Irish state will undoubtedly have one of the most extensive, if not the most totalitarian, hate speech laws in Western Europe if the bill becomes law, despite the government’s insistence that it contains a provision to “protect genuine freedom of expression.”
Its citizens have every right to express their opinion. Ireland has imported a large number of migrants at an unprecedented rate in the past few years. Those who moved to Ireland within the last year now make up 2.8 percent of the total population. To put that in perspective, one in every 35 people one encounters on O’Connell Street are newcomers.
The conflict in Ukraine served as the catalyst. On a per-capita basis, Ireland took in six times as many Ukrainian refugees as Britain. In total, 141,600 immigrants entered the Republic of Ireland between April 2022 and April 2023—the largest number since immigration peaked in 2007. (An estimated 42,000 were from Ukraine.) Ireland’s population has increased dramatically over the past 30 years, from 3.5 million to almost 5.3 million. With nearly 100,000 new people settling in the country in 2022, it is the biggest increase since 2008. A formerly homogenous society has completely transformed. Nearly one million people in Ireland are foreign-born, making up 18% of the country’s total population. This percentage is higher than the large wave of immigrants that came to the United States in the 19th century. According to demographer Paul Morland, no country has ever successfully integrated more than 15% of its foreign-born population.
County Dublin now has a population of approximately 1.45 million for the first time, and around 28% of all people living in the Republic of Ireland reside in the capital region. The demographics of Ireland are changing rapidly due to the cumulative effect of bringing in so many people. Today, Dublin is another major European city with a majority-minority population. The percentage of white Irish people living in the center of Dublin was 64.8%, according to the 2006 census. It is currently down to 43.1%. In the city of Galway in 2022, Muhammad was the most popular boy’s name—not Noel, not Conor, not Cormac.
Ireland has essentially evolved into a progressive liberal outpost for Western ideology. The problems brought on by mass immigration are not something the luxury belief class has to deal with. Our ruling elite does not have to battle to find a school for their child, a doctor’s appointment, or to queue for hours to view a new property. They will have a home in the countryside, far away from the crowded estates and banlieues housing all these people. No doubt with plenty of security, to add a touch of irony.
As recent events in Dublin demonstrate, the general public is beginning to grow tired of multiculturalism, despite the government’s embrace of this fashionable shibboleth. After all, the public has to deal with the consequences. Mass migration is a failed experiment in Ireland. It must be stopped. Politicians must listen to its citizens instead of demonizing them as far-right hooligans. If they do not, riots similar to this one will happen again. It will ultimately come down to a zero-sum game between an enraged electorate and an increasingly disconnected elite who, in all actuality, appear willing to do whatever it takes to avoid having to face the harsh realities of mass immigration.
Noel Yaxley is an independent journalist in the United Kingdom. He writes regularly for The Spectator Australia and City Journal and has also contributed to numerous other publications, including Quillette and Compact.