January 19, 2023 | Virgin News

Aoife Gallagher on how far-right language is playing into anti-asylum seeker sentiment

ISD analyst Aoife Gallagher joined The Group Chat,  a weekly broadcast show and podcast where three correspondents from Virgin Media News get together to discuss the week’s news. During her interview, she talked about the recent spike of anti-asylum seeker protests that have been taking place across Ireland. Although these protests have existed to some level in recent years, she explains how the Irish far right has changed their own tactics and language to get more people to the streets.

The rhetoric being used to rile people up is becoming more extreme, she said. Back in 2019, the far-right was “playing on the very real concerns that people have about how people (immigrants) were being treated in direct provisions, kind of pull people into these Facebook groups. They would then litter the Facebook groups with, you know, conspiracy theories about multiculturalism and different kinds of things to kind of spur on this kind of anti-migrant sentiment.” Since then it seems “that narrative about inhumane direct provision is gone. That is completely you know, it seems that they don’t even pretend to care about that anymore.”

“The language that has been used to describe them (asylum seekers) is very deliberate. So they use words like invasion,” Aoife said.

Further in the interview, Aoife talks about controversial influencer Andrew Tate and his role in the ‘manosphere’, the role of algorithms in promoting his content and how he has been able to exploit the real concerns of boys and young men.

The broadcast interview begins at 1:07.

The podcast begins at 14:05.

Aoife recently co-authored an op-ed for the Irish Times focussing on the anti-asylum seeker protests, analysing how language and grievances have been weaponised against immigrants