Anti-immigrant party hopes to capitalise on emergence of the Irish far right

Support us and go ad-free

Over the weekend, the formerly defunct far-right party Renua seemed to re-emerge in Ireland. At its AGM on 2 February, it announced that 20 candidates would be contesting the local elections in May.

After losing its three seats in parliament in the 2016 general elections, the party seemed to have fallen apart. But considering its intention to run 20 candidates in May, it appears it has decided that now is the time to attempt a comeback.

Renua was founded in 2015 after a number of ministers were expelled from Fine Gael for disobeying the party whip. Some of its main principles consisted of being ‘pro-life’, pro-business, and anti-immigration. At the time of its emergence, NGO Anti-Deportation Ireland (ADI) described Renua as “the Irish equivalent of UKIP”. This has not changed.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free
Renewal of Renua

On Renua’s website, it says:

Renua Ireland believes in the nation state, we will defend Ireland’s Constitution and Sovereignty and will place Ireland’s interest first against all others.

For Renua, this means strict immigration controls and quotas. In the same section, it writes that it wants to limit the amount of asylum seekers allowed into Ireland. Only 1,000 per year would be given entry. Any asylum seekers who have their application rejected would either be detained or electronically monitored.

Renua also wants to reduce taxes on businesses and business owners. As well as this, it wants a reduction of public spending by the government. And it wants the reintroduction of the measures proposed in the McCarthy Report. Published in 2009, the report was drafted in response to the economic downturn, subsequent recession, and the bank guarantee. It recommended that public spending be substantially reduced. Large cuts to social welfare were also suggested. Many of these recommendations were implemented and Renua wants a return of such measures.

It also suggests rewarding public servants “who propose the best ideas for reducing costs and/or improving services to end users”. It wants a type of neoliberal market discipline that even the current right-wing government would be unlikely to pursue.

Given the above, you would think there’s no appetite for such policies in a supposedly liberal Ireland.

But with the recent emergence of a previously unseen far right in Ireland, Renua likely sees an opportunity.

The emergence of the far right

Over the previous six months, the far right has made its appearance known. A government that enriches landlords and leaves people unable to afford rents has made people angry. Add to this the failure of the mainstream left in Ireland with the betrayal by Labour of its core.

Because of this, anti-government anger is now turning into support for the far right. Talking heads for the latter have emerged which push racist conspiracy theories. For them, anyone to the left of UKIP is suspect. Far-right activists have visited Ireland and been greeted warmly by these same talking heads. Meanwhile, hotels that were earmarked as housing for asylum seekers have been set on fire; and one of the hotels was attacked during a visit of these same activists.

Peter Casey, a candidate in the presidential elections in October, whose platform consisted of pro-business and racist slogans, came second. This came as a surprise and shock to many.

An Irish version of the Yellow Vest movement, but co-opted by the far right, has also emerged. They say they want to give people “the power to hold the establishment to account”, but their leadership and prominent supporters are on the far right.

Planning for May

Renua has taken note. Given its disappearance over the last few years, its plan to run 20 candidates in the elections in May is telling. The level of support shown for the far-right version of the Yellow Vests and Peter Casey probably means that Renua believes its candidates will be successful.

With that in mind, its re-emergence must be watched closely. If the far right gains any kind of political foothold in Ireland, it would be disastrous. Renua is a part of this frontal assault. And its reappearance on the political scene should not be easily dismissed.

Given the anger towards the main political parties in Ireland, Renua could very likely succeed. With the surprise success of Peter Casey in October, a scenario where Renua is victorious is not unbelievable.

Featured Image via YouTube/Gage Skidmore

Support us and go ad-free

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. The UK without migrant workers would be an awful place to live. The migrating crisis is a shame we in Europe easily absorb several million migrants, it would be good for our physical and mental health and also we would be less racist which is a plague in a Norway. The UN estimates that the population of Africa will increase by 335 million over the next ten years. European countries can “easily absorb several million migrants”. Each?

      A lot of people are quick to forget just how the UK and Europe became so rich in the first place. They did through the exploitation of countries such as Africa India and the Middle East. If we lived in a more equal planet all these arguments would be obsolete. The reason Europe is so rich is because they keep everyone else poor. Europe is still exploiting workers from these countries right this very minute. Whether they are working in their own country or working in Europe. The way people in EU can afford to live with food and clothes so cheap is because people are being exploited for you to afford these items at unrealistic prices. Think about that the next time you bang on about how they will make the EU a 3rd world country full of terrorists. Try living in the real world for a change instead of in your silly bubble.

      During 1800s Europeans came to Africa illegally,they unlawfully occupied African land using weapons,they massacred many Africans for them to settle,they even illegally looted African resources to build Europe,until today many remained and their asses and stomachs are feed from African soil,yet we Africans still welcome them,so this is the time for Africans also to enter Europe illegally and they must occupy land too peacefully,if Europeans don’t consider that then we will declare world war. It’s ok for you to invade, settle in and steal from others but not the other way around… I guess…

      The people who make me the most ill are the people who decry immigration, then employ immigrant cleaners on crap wages. Yes, it’s much like the Republicans in the US, who stoke hostility against Latino migrants, while all the time depending on them as nannies, cleaners and gardeners. Well of course, they will support any policy that will strengthen their own position whilst damaging the rights of indigenous people and any politician wanting to retain British Values and Liberal values will fall by the wayside. So, the banker from Germany the cleaner from Colombia who cleans his/her office will all vote to strengthen their ‘own’ position, because of course their interests precisely coincide. Its almost as if you think they are all the same. And what on earth are ‘British values”? If you are talking about the kind of crap spouted by UKIP and the Tories.

      The debate in Britain is becoming more and more polarised on the issue of immigration. Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats are all vying with one another to appear more and more anti-immigrant. Yet it is clear that immigrants are vital to the life of this country, and have been instrumental in creating much of what we now value most. Much of what the big parties are doing is to distract from the real threat to people’s standard of life and to our culture – the capture of our state by the interests of the wealthy and big corporations.

      Your car is German. Your vodka is Russian. Your pizza is Italian. Your kebab is Turkish. Your democracy is Greek. Your coffee is Brazilian. Your movies are American. Your tea is Tamil. Your shirt is Indian. Your oil is Saudi Arabian. Your electronics are Chinese. Your numbers are Arabic, your letters Latin. And you complain that your neighbour is an immigrant? Pull yourself together!

      Most of Brits do not want immigration on this scale. That is shown by every poll. But at the same time they want someone to serve them in a bar and clean their hospitals and make cheap clothes. They want someone to drive them across town. Birth rate is declining and old population is on the rise. Migration is on the rise. Mass immigration has caused problems, but it is the fault of the politicians. In education, migrant communities should have their own state funded schools with their own teachers so that native teachers could concentrate on their own children. It is never too late to set up schools for different communities. Muslim community suffer more than others in the field of education.

      Team GB had great success in the Olympics. A good portion of Team GB were immigrants (e.g. Mo) or children of Immigrants (e.g. Jessica) or the coaches were not British or the training was not in the UK. Many trained in the US. So immigrants are essential to Britain. This is but one example. They bring new idea, help the gene pool. Almost everyone in the UK can trace their origins to immigrants.

      So immigration is essential to the future of Britain. All controls on immigration should be removed NOW.
      And by the way millions of former British residents live abroad. If other countries allow the British in why cannot we do the same?

      However only a complete idiot would believe that stopping ALL immigration is desirable or even possible. How would companies like Rolls Royce, ARM, JCB, Jaguar Land Rover, Honda UK, Shell, Glaxo SK or HSBC operate in the face of such a ban? UKIP’s flawed immigration policy was main reason why I parted company from it.

      It is overwhelmingly positive for the economy, keeping inflation down and expanding our knowledge base. Immigration is at record highs despite Coalition promises to slash the number of arrivals. Figures released yesterday show that net migration in the first nine months of last year stood at 252,000 – the second highest level ever. The total, which is the number moving here less those going abroad, is higher than in the year before David Cameron took power. The Government has found that it is very difficult to reduce immigration to the UK without imposing significant costs on the economy. The truth is immigration is a global issue and is not confined to the UK. There is no way the UK can go it alone without immigration. That’s the truth like it or not. How can people embrace globalisation but detest immigration. Stop living in the past and smell diversity.

      Vince Cable & the CBI want to bring in more foreign workers as they claim skills aren’t available in this country. He quoted a firm which needed 250 workers, out of a country with 2.5 million unemployed they couldn’t find 250. Foreign graduates & workers are better qualified & trained than ours.

      There is a lot of evidence that if allowed, migrants would be very productive and tax paying. The problem is, that governments do not allow them to work for fear they will “steal jobs” Europe and the US have played an important role in those conflicts. The least they can do is to provide shelter for their victims.

      Anti migration people act as if native born people commit no crime. A Muslim kills 3 people and its all immigrants, and especially Muslim immigrants are terrorists, going to kill us all if we don’t stop the invasion. But, what’s the reaction when the much more common native born person kills his wife? Nothing at all. No problem there?

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.