Protesters crash new anti-immigration party launch
Published 23/07/2015 | 02:30
The launch of a new right-wing political party descended into chaos after anti-racism demonstrators staged a protest.
Identity Ireland - which is seeking to bring an end to mass immigration and multiculturalism - held a press conference in Buswells Hotel in Dublin to announce it had officially become a political party.
However, members of Anti-Racism Network Ireland accused the party of knowingly holding the launch on the fourth anniversary of the massacre of 77 people by far-right Anders Behring Breivik.
Identity Ireland denied it was racist or that it held the event to coincide with the anniversary of Breivik's attack in Norway.During the demonstration, a protester laid a wreath for the victims of the mass murder beside members of the party.
Identity Ireland members clashed with the protesters, accusing them of harassing their fledgling political movement.
A member of the political party then called hotel staff and asked them to remove the protesters.
Speaking to the media after the demonstration, an Identity Ireland member insisted there was a difference between people who are ethnically Irish and Irish citizens.
Party Leader Peter O'Loughlin, who is an unemployed primary school teacher, said 90pc of immigrants seeking asylum in Ireland were "bogus" and were instead economic migrants.
He said mass immigration - which Ireland engaged with "in gusto" - was putting a "huge strain" on our health and social welfare system.
The group is opposed to the European Union in its current form and Mr O'Loughlin said the euro was a "political tool used to rob us of our sovereignty".
He said the group would run a "handful" of candidates in the next election but admitted it was hard to get people to engage with the party because they feared being called racists.