The man driving the VW Passat has the passenger window rolled down, and when he’s level with the young man he slows and calls out: “You speak English?”
The young man, tall, wearing a blue wool hat, is unsure what’s happening.
“Just a bit,” he says, and continues walking.
The car keeps pace with him. The driver’s camera catches it all. Without the video, we wouldn’t know this happened or how deliberate it was.
How it got online, I don’t know. The guy seems proud of his actions.
“Are you an immigrant, are ya?”
“What?” The young man stops.
“Are you Ukrainian?”
It’s Church Road, five minutes’ drive from the Blanchardstown Centre. Past the Mulhuddart Community Centre and St Luke’s Catholic Church.
Across the road, beside a string of about a dozen houses, there’s no one around, just the now-stationary car and the young man, trying to mind his own business.
“You fresh off the boat, are ya?”
The young man doesn’t know what’s happening. He stands there, confused — on a strange street, far from home, his world overturned.
“You fresh off the boat, yeah?”
The car, which has been level with the young man, now reverses a few feet, so it’s facing him, several yards back.
It seems to dawn on the young man that he might be in danger. He looks around, takes a couple of steps, like he’s about to seek refuge in the garden of the nearest house.
There’s now no doubting the threat in the driver’s voice. “Hey, I’ll stick you over the bonnet!”
That’s the first threat to kill.
“Get outta here! Get outta here!” screams the racist. “Get outta here and don’t come back here ever again! Yeah? Get outta here! I’ll stick you over the bonnet, handy!”
That’s the second threat. The young man begins walking, faster this time.
The driver steers the car up on to the pavement. He accelerates towards the young man, clearly intent on running him over.
The young man jumps over a garden railing, the car misses him by a couple of feet. The car drives on. Welcome to the new Ireland.
Ireland, as you know, is top of the charts for the number of immigrants we have taken in. We’re snowed under with immigrants, so we are.
Wait now, that’s slightly untrue. In fact, it’s totally untrue.
Ireland is not top of the charts for generosity to those fleeing harm. In fact, Ireland isn’t even on that chart.
We take so few refugees that we don’t even make the bottom of the list of the top 25.
Ah, yeah, but Ireland is full.
Well, I saw it in a hashtag.
Oh, then, it must be true.
Ask any of the Ireland-Says-No people if they’ve ever heard of the Great Famine. The population declined by a couple of million — the dead and those who fled. It permanently affected this country’s demographics. And does so to this day.
Uniquely in Europe, we’re still underpopulated.
Look at the figures for population density: in Ireland, we have 78 people per square kilometre. Pick a country, any country. Let’s say Denmark, a similar country. Population density: 138 per square kilometre. Nearest neighbour, the UK: 270 per square kilometre. Next nearest, France: 121. Belgium: 376. Country chosen at random: Poland: 122.
Ireland is full? Yeah, it is — full of eejits.
While we’re on the subject of the Famine: a million people fled — they were welcomed by those who took them in. And they amply repaid the welcome in hard work.
And I’ll bet, from France to Canada, from the North Pole to Sydney, anywhere those refugees from our Famine arrived, there was another Irish gobshite pointing at them and whining: “They’re not vetted. Why wasn’t I consulted?”
Mate, I wouldn’t consult you to know if I should scratch my whatsits.
We used to understand there are times when we need the support of others. And times we ought to give such support.
For some years, the Irish racist right has been small but intense. These people hate black people, they hate brown people, they hate Jews. In their sickness, they hate all of us unless we share their hatred. They believe frightened people are easily led, and they’re right.
There are people who escaped from Islamic State — the lads who chant prayers as they slowly cut your head off. There are people whose apartment building was bombed by Vladimir Putin.
Such people need shelter. They are desperate for some normality.
The racist right demand the right to “vet” such people, they demand to be “consulted”.
But this isn’t about vetting, it’s about control. Not controlling migrants — controlling us.
They want to use fear of others to force us to abandon our humanity and support their politics of hate.
In recent days, decent people from decent communities have danced to the tune of the racists.
They’ve been told whatever lies might deceive them.
And now, incredibly, the decent people have been patted on the back by a number of well-known Dublin gangsters, who support the Ireland Says No crew.
The actual people whose criminality can so easily wreck the lives of our young people are patting us on the back and telling us how brave we are to scream at migrants.
Here’s a question: who “vetted” those criminal bastards? Who decided they, of all people, should be “consulted”? Who vetted the grimy, sick racists who tell us to buy shotguns, who urge us to acquire machetes in case the bad guys come for us?
They are the bad guys. They’re the people who tell us that gangsters are our friends.
Perhaps we might demand that all gangsters should “consult” us on the price our kids are charged for heroin?
When the racists and the gangsters patted us on the back, no one from Ireland Says No told them to bugger off.
We once told ourselves Ireland was where decent, friendly people reached out a hand.
We are now supposed to accept that we must reject those who speak a different language or have a different skin colour. And we must accept as our brothers the white Irish gangsters and fascists.
We Irish have always prided ourselves on our street-smart approach to life. You won’t pull the wool over our eyes.
In recent days, we’ve been played for fools by racists and their gangster mates.
I grew up in Cabra West and spent the first half of my life there. It was understood in the bad old days that you’d have trouble getting a job when you gave your address — despite the fact it was a community of outstandingly decent people.
Over the next few years, I wouldn’t like to be a young person from, say, East Wall, applying for a job. These days, the stink of gangsters and racism hangs over too many areas of Dublin.
What gets me is the gullibility. Gangsters and racists pointed fingers at decent immigrants and said: “Strangers, strangers, different language, some of them have a different colour skin — be afraid, be afraid, drive them away, shout insults.”
And the more gullible among us did. The gullible are not wicked or monstrous, they’re just easily duped.
How do you dupe decent people? You tell them there’s something wrong and shady happening. You point towards the alleged bad guys. And that’s it, job done.
The gullible will then scream abuse at those they’re told are the bad guys.
Soon, the actual racists are screaming at young men who have no idea why someone in a car wants to run them over.