Aoife pointed out how these riots didn’t happen in a vacuum: “It was coming from prominent figures, those who have been promoting anti-migrant sentiment in recent times, and it was a clear incitement to hatred.”
She continued: “Anti-immigrant sentiment started [Thursday’s disorder]. It descended into a mob mentality. It also points to the ability of these groups to root themselves in communities to mobilise and exploit wider social issues and tap into the disaffected youth.”
Aoife concluded that anyone paying attention to the Irish far-right movements could have anticipated the riots that followed the stabbings in Parnell Square, north of the city centre: “They are really good at seizing on tragedies for their own agenda (…) Filling them with rumours and speculation even when nothing is confirmed.”
“And it points to a massive failure in the Gardaí approach to these movements. It’s a serious failure when it comes to their intelligence-led policing,” she said.
Aoife is the co-author of Uisce Faoi Thalamh, a 3-part series on the mis- and disinformation ecosystem in Ireland ISD published last week.