Identity Ireland (Irish: Aitheantas Éire[6]) was a minor anti-immigration political party in Ireland.[7] A right-wing to far-right party, it never achieved electoral representation at local or national level. It was launched in Dublin on 22 July 2015. Its founders were Gary Allen, Peter O'Loughlin and Alan Tighe. O'Loughlin, the party's national spokesperson, contested the 2016 Irish general election and 2019 European Parliament election.[8] As of 2023, the party is defunct.

Identity Ireland
Aitheantas Éire
LeaderPeter O'Loughlin
Founded22 July 2015
Dissolvedc. January 2023
Irish nationalism
Right-wing populism
Hard Euroscepticism
Political positionRight-wing[3] to far-right[4][1][5]
Address27 Pembroke Street Upper, Dublin 2

Policy edit

Identity Ireland favoured Irish sovereignty by leaving the European Union and a return to the Irish pound.[9] The party supported a controlled border policy in order to curtail the immigration that, it said, was putting strain on the Irish welfare system.[10] It also supported more careful vetting of incoming asylum seekers.[10] It supported the Irish branch of Pegida, and joined the Fortress Europe coalition.[11] It advocated the introduction of a two-strike law for serious offences, as well as the re-introduction of penal labour.[12] It supported keeping Ireland's neutrality. It also advocated in favour of Brexit.[13]

Elections edit

Before founding Identity Ireland, Peter O'Loughlin unsuccessfully contested the 2014 European Parliament election for the South constituency, with 1.0% of the first preference votes.[14] He also unsuccessfully contested the 2015 Carlow-Kilkenny by-election, receiving 1.4% (930) of the first preference votes.[15][16][17][18]

O'Loughlin also ran in the 2016 Irish general election in the Cork North-Central constituency as an independent, where he came last with only 0.36% (183) of first preference votes.[19][20][21] O'Loughlin later contested the 2019 European Parliament election in Ireland,[22] receiving 0.5% (3,682) of first preference votes in the Ireland South constituency.[23]

Another party member, Ted Neville, was unsuccessful as an independent candidate in four previous elections in the Cork South-Central constituency.[24] He has appeared on television to discuss immigration, both as a member of Identity Ireland and as a member of the Immigration Control Platform group.[25][26]

Status edit

As of 14 May 2018, Identity Ireland was recorded in the Oireachtas Register of Political Parties,[27][1] though as an organisation that had "not yet responded to commission's enquiries" by the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO).[28]

In 2017, SIPO stated that no statements of accounts had been received from Identity Ireland, in breach of the Electoral Act.[29] In November 2020, SIPO announced that Identity Ireland were one of five political parties who failed to provide them with a set of audited accounts for 2019, in breach of statutory obligations.[30]

In July 2022, the Gardaí announced that Identity Ireland chairman Peter O'Loughlin was missing from his home in Cork.[31] Renewing their appeal for information in tracing his whereabouts in early August 2022, the Gardaí and O'Loughlin's family stated that they were "concerned for his welfare".[32] O'Loughlin was found safe and well in October 2022.[33]

As of January 2023, the party was no longer included on the Dáil register of political parties.[34] The party's website has not been updated since 2016. Its social media presence was erased in approximately late 2022/early 2023.

Reception edit

Identity Ireland was often accused of being racist. Some of its press conferences and meetings, and its launch, were disrupted by protesters.[35][36]

The day after its launch the party claimed that membership increased by 25%, and that before the launch it had 115 members.[9] Party leader Peter O'Loughlin was invited to speak at the first Pegida rally of 2016 in Dresden, Germany.[37] In January 2016, the party was criticized for suggesting a local Muslim community leader be thrown into the Irish Sea. A spokesperson for Identity Ireland subsequently stated that it did not intend to advocate violence, and that the phrase "fuck him into the Irish sea" was intended as a euphemism.[38]

Election results edit

European Parliament edit

Election year # of total votes % of overall vote # of seats won
2019 3,685 0.2%
0 / 12

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Dublin hotel cancels launch of new extreme right-wing party which had been planned for tomorrow". 16 November 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  2. ^ Moloney, Mark (7 March 2016). "Far Right tries to capitalise on immigration fears". An Phoblacht. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  3. ^ Ryan, Philip (22 July 2015). "Launch of controversial right wing political party descends into chaos in Dublin". Irish Independent. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  4. ^ Murphy, Glen (12 July 2016). "Do You Know Your Far-Right Parties?". Hot Press. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Why the far right brurns bright elsewhere, fizzles in Ireland". Dublin Inquirer. 29 November 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Aguisín 1 Páirtithe Polaitíochta Cláraithe". Archived from the original on 8 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Register of Political Parties" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 May 2018.
  8. ^ "People - Peter O'Loughlin". Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  9. ^ a b "Identity Ireland sees 25% increase in membership since yesterday".
  10. ^ a b Catherine Healy. "These men tried to launch a new party … but anti-racism protesters gate-crashed their event".
  11. ^ Roche, Barry (30 January 2016). "Anti-Islamic group Pegida Ireland to be launched at Dublin rally". The Irish Times. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Law and Order". Identity Ireland. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. Prisoners work while incarcerated
  13. ^ "Anti-immigration group calls on Irish in UK to vote for Brexit". Irish Times. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2022. Anti-immigration group, Identity Ireland has called on Irish people living in the UK to vote Leave
  14. ^ "European Election:23 May 2014 South European Parliament".
  15. ^ "The New Vision of Peter O'Loughlin and Identity Ireland". Archived from the original on 13 January 2017. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  16. ^ "By-Election: Carlow–Kilkenny". RTÉ. 23 May 2015.
  17. ^ Moloney, Mark (1 June 2015). "Sinn Féin big winners in Carlow/Kilkenny by-election". An Phoblacht.
  18. ^ Ó Cionnaith, Fiachra (23 May 2015). "FF look set for by-election win after Aylward pulls ahead to 28%". Irish Examiner.
  19. ^ "RTÉ General Election 2016 - Peter O'Loughlin". RTÉ. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  20. ^ " 32nd Dáil - Cork North Central First Preference Votes". Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  21. ^ "Cork North-Central". RTÉ. Archived from the original on 28 May 2016.
  22. ^ "Total of 59 candidates declare for European Parliament elections". Irish Times. 15 April 2019. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  23. ^ "Elections 2019 Constituency: Ireland South". Independent News & Media. Archived from the original on 28 May 2019.
  24. ^ " Ted Neville".
  25. ^ Ted Neville of Identity Ireland discusses immigration on the Late Review. TV3 (Ireland). 30 July 2015. Archived from the original on 13 January 2017 – via YouTube.
  26. ^ "Ted Neville - Immigration Control Platform -Cork South Central". Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  27. ^ "Register of Political Parties" (PDF). Office of the Registrar of Political Parties. 14 May 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 May 2018.
  28. ^ "Register of Third Parties". Standards in Public Office Commission. Archived from the original on 17 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  29. ^ Burke, Ceimin (29 November 2017). "Nearly half of Ireland's political parties failed to submit accounts to watchdog". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  30. ^ McDermott, Stephen (26 November 2020). "SIPO 'very concerned' about failure of Aontú and Renua to submit statements of their annual accounts". Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  31. ^ Moore, Jane. "Gardaí and family concerned for welfare of man (37) missing from Cork". Retrieved 9 July 2022.
  32. ^ "Cork Gardaí renew appeal for man missing since early July". The Echo. 9 August 2022. Retrieved 23 August 2022.
  33. ^ Griffin, Caitlín (9 August 2022). "Update: Cork man missing since July found safe". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  34. ^ "Register of Political Parties (4 January 2023)" (PDF).
  35. ^ Duffy, Rónán (15 March 2015). "Gardaí probe assault at meeting of party that wants "proper border control"".
  36. ^ Ryan, Philip (22 June 2015). "Launch of controversial right wing political party descends into chaos in Dublin". Irish Independent.
  37. ^ "Head of controversial Irish group addresses far-right rally in Germany". Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  38. ^ Leogue, Joe (20 January 2016). "Political group Identity Ireland clarifies comments about senior Islamic figure". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 24 December 2016.

External links edit