Justin Barrett

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Justin Barrett
Justin Barrett, 2017 Ard Fheis (cropped).jpg
Leader of the National Party
Assumed office
16 November 2016
Deputy James Reynolds
Preceded byNew office
Leader of Youth Defence
In office
2000 – 2004[1][2][3][4][5]
Personal details
Born (1971-04-13) 13 April 1971 (age 48)[6]
County Cork, Ireland
NationalityIrish
Political partyNational Party
EducationAthlone RTC
Known for
Other namesJustin Slevin[7][8][9]

Justin Barrett (born 13 April 1971) is an Irish politician who has served as the leader of the far-right National Party since 2016.[10] A nationalist, he initially began activism in the 1990s/2000s leading the pro-life campaign group Youth Defence. He campaigned against the Treaty of Nice in 2002, and founded the National Party in 2016.

Barrett founded the Abortion Never campaign in 2018 to advocate for a No vote in the abortion referendum.[11] Abortion Never presents itself as "an Irish nationalist anti-abortion campaign."[12]

His early activism focused mostly on far-right nationalism, pro-life and anti-immigration activism.[13][14][15]

Early life[edit]

Barrett was born in Cork city in 1971 and was adopted when he was five years old by a family in Borrisokane, Co Tipperary. Slevin was his adopted parents' name so he identified as Justin Slevin for a period but eventually settled on Barrett, his biological parents' name.[7]

Early activism, 1987-1991[edit]

In 1991, he was involved in Young Fine Gael[16] but left because of what he called the cynicism of the party.[7]

Youth Defence, 1992-2004[edit]

From 1992 he became actively involved in the Irish pro-life movement, becoming the leader of Youth Defence,[2][3][4][5] and as a student in Athlone RTC he unsuccessfully contested the election for the Presidency of Union of Students in Ireland. During the 1995 divorce referendum, he was spokesman for the Youth Against Divorce campaign, however this did not prevent him from obtaining a divorce some years later, having dropped his opposition by then.[17] He was also involved in the campaign against the 2002 abortion referendum. He left Youth Defence in 2004 because he thought their methods of campaigning and interacting with people were becoming increasingly extreme and counterproductive.[1] By 2016, Youth Defence were claiming to have never heard of Justin Barrett, or ever had any dealing with him.[18]

Neo-nazi and fascist links[edit]

German Neo-nazi link[edit]

Barrett has spoken at events organised by the neo-nazi National Democratic Party of Germany several times, and was the guest of honour at a NPD rally in Passau, Germany in 2000, in which anti-semitic speeches, peppered with quotes from Adolf Hitler were given, alongside claims that "Germany was the biggest victim of the second World War". Hundreds of skinheads gave standing ovations to elderly Nazis.[19][20] [21][22][23] The NPD confirmed that they have been in contact with Youth Defence for at least 6 years before.

Justin Barrett was an honorary guest at our event in Passau. I invited him. He sat with the delegates. We have been in contact with his group since 1996. We are friendly with his Youth Defence organisation.

— Holger Apfel, then deputy leader of the NPD

He attended two conferences, in October 1999 and 2000, organised by the youth wing of the NDP, the JN, alongside American white nationalist William Luther Pierce. The JN has spoken about how Youth Defence were an important part of their network.[24]

Of particular attraction was the participation of... the leader of the National Alliance from the USA, Dr William Pierce and, last but not least, the leader of a noteworthy Irish anti-abortion group, Justin Barret (sic) from Youth Defense (sic).

— Young National Democrats (JN) report on the 1999 conference

The National Party and Barrett have stated that he addressed meetings all across Europe in his capacity as a pro-life speaker. He has stated that he regrets "not being more careful" regarding his attendance of events held by the NDP in Germany.[25]

A leading far-right politician in Germany has described the anti-abortion group Youth Defence as "an important part of our international network". Youth Defence is the backbone of the No to Nice Campaign, whose chief spokesman is Mr Justin Barrett. ... Mr Sascha Rossmüller, leader of the Young National Democrats (JN), youth wing of the extremist National Democratic Party (NPD), told The Irish Times: "share many important interests." The German authorities say the JN began to take on neo-nazi characteristics in 1996.

Italian fascist link[edit]

The Forza Nuova website, in June 2001, reported that Justin Barrett had attended many Forza Nuova events in Italy (in Milan, and Bologna).[26] He attended and spoke at a Forza Nuova meeting in Milan in November 2002. Barrett shared a platform with Roberto Fiore at a rally of flag-waving Italian fascists at the Hotel Miramar on 20 and 21 July 2001 in the Italian city of Civitanova. At the rally, Barrett was joined by Mario Di Giovanni, Youth Defence's representative in Italy. A group of Forza Nuova students, led by the then 25-year-old Marco Gladi, visited Ireland in 2001 to 'study' with Youth Defence. In an editorial on the Forza Nuova website, the movement calls itself a "friend" of Mr Barrett and praises his efforts to defeat the Nice Treaty.[27][28][29][30]

As part of the dirty war waged by "liberals" against "nationals", the greatest exponent of the nationalist front Justin Barrett, he was attacked in a press campaign of the kind to which we were accustomed us in the past. FN and NPD are, in the mind of the accusers, friends whose Barrett should be ashamed[31]

— Forza Nuova website in October 2002

No to Nice Campaign[edit]

In 2001 a referendum was held in Ireland to approve the Treaty of Nice, however the Treaty of Nice was rejected by 54% of the Irish people in what is known as the Nice I referendum. The following year a second referendum was held on the Treaty of Nice, known as the Nice II referendum. Justin Barrett campaigned against the Nice Treaty in both referenda. Barrett, then 31 years-old, established the No to Nice campaign with Rory O'Hanlon, a retired High Court judge.[32][33]

During the second Nice campaign, Barrett became the centre of a controversy over his participation in neo-fascist events in Germany and Italy. Barrett initially denied, and subsequently admitted that he had spoken at an event organised by the NPD,[34][35] a far right, ultranationalist political party. Justin Barrett has always claimed that he spoke at these events in a pro-life capacity.[1]

European Parliament election, 2004[edit]

In 2004 Barrett announced his independent candidacy for the European Parliament election of the same year for the East constituency. He set up his headquarters in Drogheda, an area which had experienced a large influx of non-nationals.[36] Gerry McGeough, a former Provisional IRA volunteer and Sinn Féin national executive member, defected to Barrett's campaign.[37] Barrett also supported the Citizenship referendum which was held on the same day as the European Parliament election.[38]

Barrett's campaign focused on immigration, euroscepticism and abortion. Barrett employed nationalist rhetoric during his campaign and stated his intention to "put Ireland first" in the European Parliament.[39] Barrett had previously led the No to Nice campaign during the Nice Treaty referendum in 2002. Barrett campaigned alongside his wife Bernadette and their son Michael.[40]

He achieved 10,997 first preference votes or 2.4% of the total vote in the East constituency and failed to be elected.

Later that year, while attending an immigration debate at University College Dublin's Literary & Historical Society, Barrett was assaulted by attendees allegedly belonging to an Irish anti-fascist group. The debate was chaired by popular RTÉ radio presenter Joe Duffy, and featured Áine Ní Chonaill of Immigration Control Platform.[41][42]

National Party (2016-present)[edit]

In a press release in November 2016, Justin Barrett announced that he was President of the newly founded National Party, a political party that will oppose multi-culturalism and abortion. While Barrett had previously promoted the idea of a "Catholic republic",[43] the National Party states that it is a secular party.[1] The party was due to be publicly launched in a press event on 17 November 2016 at the Merrion Hotel in Dublin. However, after a public backlash, the hotel cancelled the event.[44][15][43][45] Barrett called for a complete ban on Muslims entering Ireland and for the introduction of racial profiling.[10][46]

The party formally registered with the Clerk of Dáil Éireann in early April 2019.[47]

Irish abortion referendum, 2018[edit]

Barrett founded Abortion Never as a No campaign in March 2018 to contest the Irish abortion referendum, 2018[48]. Abortion Never presents itself as "an Irish nationalist anti-abortion campaign."[49] At the launch of the campaign, Barrett stated that if the abortion referendum passed, it would lead to euthanasia for the elderly; “It doesn’t just begin with abortion and stop there. It ends in euthanasia, because they already have a plan. You see discussions in the newspapers sometimes, ‘What are we going to do about the pensions crisis?’”.[50] At the same event, he called for the abortion referendum campaign to be "as divisive as possible".[51] Ultimately, the referendum was approved by 66.4% of voters, with a 64.1% turnout.[52]

In April 2018, Jim Jefferies featured Barrett on a segment of The Jim Jefferies Show. Jefferies had Barrett travel to London for a short interview on abortion (despite already being in Ireland to interview Tara Flynn), "so he could endure the same kind of bullshit every Irish woman has to go through if they want an abortion."[53]

Personal life[edit]

In 2004, Justin Barrett had a wife, Bernadette and children.[54][55] As of 2016, he was seeking an annulment of this marriage.[1] The breakdown of his relationship has changed his mind on divorce.[17]

Publications[edit]

Barrett self-published a book putting forth his political principles, entitled The National Way Forward! (2003).[56] In its text he described immigration as "genocidal", and cited Hilaire Belloc, G. K. Chesterton and Arthur Penty as having been influential figures in his philosophical development.[57] He also promoted the work of Father Denis Fahey.[57]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Frequently Asked Questions". The National Party. Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b Millar, Scott (12 January 2010). "Irish far right groups remain on the margins of political life". Irish Examiner. ...former Youth Defence leader, Justin Barrett.
  3. ^ a b Killilea, Gayle (7 October 2001). "The man wired to fight abortion". Independent.ie. ...Justin Barrett, Youth Defence's chief spokesman and mastermind.
  4. ^ a b Hannon, Katie (16 May 2004). "Confessions of a Polcorr". Sunday Independent. p. 117. Fianna Fail researchers also dug up information about the Youth Defence leader Justin Barrett's trips to neo-Nazi events in Germany
  5. ^ a b Sheehan, Aideen (21 August 2009). "Treaty opponent no stranger to politics". Irish Independent. p. 12. Mr Reynolds has also strongly backed the pro-life cause, and he was closely associated with Youth Defence leader Justin Barrett
  6. ^ Coyle, Colin (20 November 2016). "Justin Barrett By: Brexit and Trump". Sunday Times.
  7. ^ a b c de Bréadún, Deaglán (5 October 2002). "Taking on the big boys". The Irish Times. p. 41. He was born in Cork city in 1971, fostered when he was two and adopted at the age of five by a family in Borrisokane, Co Tipperary. Barrett was his mother's family name and the one on his birth certificate, but his adoptive family's name was Slevin, so for years he was known as "Barrett Slevin", as though Barrett were a Christian name. He eventually opted for Barrett, and dropped the Slevin.
  8. ^ "The Persuaders". Irish Independent. 12 October 2002. p. 31. who changed his name from a few years ago from Justin Slevin
  9. ^ O'Donnell, Francis (29 September 2002). "Fascist Link of 'No to Nice' Chief". Sunday Mirror. Archived from the original on 19 November 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016. People first became aware of Barrett's nasty views when he ran for a Union of Students in Ireland election in 1992 as a candidate from Athlone RTC. Barrett at this time was called Justin Slevin; he changed his name some years later
  10. ^ a b Clarke, Vivienne (18 November 2016). "Ireland's National Party in favour of racial profiling, says leader". The Irish Times. Justin Barrett says there needs to be complete ban on Muslims coming into the country
  11. ^ Coyne, Ellen (21 March 2018). "You're next if abortion law repealed, far-right tells elderly". The Times (Ireland edition).
  12. ^ "Abortion Never". AbortionNever.ie. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  13. ^ Millar, Scott (12 January 2010). "Irish far right groups remain on the margins of political life". Irish Examiner. ...former Youth Defence leader, Justin Barrett.
  14. ^ Gable, Gerry (November 2009). "Jim Dowson: How a militant anti-abortionist took over the BNP. Part 1 of a three part investigation". Searchlight. His luck changed when he formed an alliance with Justin Barrett, a far-right Catholic lawyer and leader of the notorious Irish anti-abortion group Youth Defence, which had previously stormed buildings in Dublin in their crusade against a woman's right to choose.
  15. ^ a b D'Arcy, Ciarán (17 November 2016). "Merrion Hotel cancels launch of anti-immigration political party". Irish Times. Retrieved 17 November 2016. The Merrion Hotel in Dublin has cancelled an "information meeting" on an anti-immigration and anti-abortion political party for Ireland which was due to be staged there. The National Party had circulated a short press release earlier this week informing the media of an event due to take place at the five-star hotel
  16. ^ "Borrisokane Branch Young Fine Gael". Nenagh Guardian. 16 March 1991. p. 2. The following officers were then elected for the coming year ... P.R.O.: Justin Slevin, Gortnagraun, Borrisokane
  17. ^ a b Coyle, Colin (7 May 2017). "Barrett denies hypocrisy over divorce U-turn". The Sunday Times.(subscription required)
  18. ^ "Dublin hotel cancels launch of new extreme right-wing party which had been planned for tomorrow". TheJournal.ie. 16 November 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2017. a call was placed to pro-life organisation Youth Defence with whom he had previously worked. However the spokesperson who replied said they had never heard of Barrett, nor had had any dealings with him.
  19. ^ Scully, Derek (11 October 2002). "Far-right rally had welcome for Irish No activist". The Irish Times. p. 11. Brown shirts and skinheads, elderly Nazi heroes with memories of the good old days... and Justin Barrett, honoured guest from Ireland. Derek Scally reports from Berlin on the German extreme right group and the No to Nice campaigner
  20. ^ Humphreys, Joe (12 October 2002). "Barrett admits he attended far-right meeting". The Irish Times. p. 9. Mr Barrett, who earlier this week declined to confirm or deny to The Irish Times his attendance at the meeting in the Bavarian city of Passau in May 2000, yesterday admitted he attended the conference, as well as an estimated two other events linked to the NPD.
  21. ^ Scully, Derek (11 October 2002). "Extreme-right group confirms Barrett link". The Irish Times. p. 1. Justin Barrett was an honorary guest at our event in Passau. I invited him. He sat with the delegates," said Mr Holger Apfel, the deputy leader of the NPD. "We have been in contact with his group since 1996. We are friendly with his Youth Defence organisation.
  22. ^ "Barrett campaign to go full term despite poll". Irish Independent. 25 May 2004. p. 6. Mr Barrett (33) became caught up in controversy during the Nice Treaty campaign when it was revealed that he had close contact with an extreme right-wing party in Germany. Authorities there believed the party displayed "Nazi characteristics""
  23. ^ McKittrick, David (12 October 2002). "Irish 'no' spokesman tied to neo-Nazis". The Independent. Justin Barrett, who fronts the "No to Nice Campaign," was said to have attended a fascist-style rally mounted by a party that German authorities believe has "Nazi characteristics".
  24. ^ Scully, Derek (12 October 2002). "'Neo-Nazis' affirm links with Youth Defence". The Irish Times. p. 9. A leading far-right politician in Germany has described the anti-abortion group Youth Defence as "an important part of our international network". Youth Defence is the backbone of the No to Nice Campaign, whose chief spokesman is Mr Justin Barrett.
  25. ^ "National Party Q&A". Archived from the original on 2016-11-30.
  26. ^ "Benvenuti al sito ufficiale di Forzanuova" [Welcome to the official website of Forza Nuova] (in Italian). Archived from the original on 18 June 2001. Justin Barret leader di Youth Defence, il movimento antiabortista irlandese, che e' stato presente di persona ripetutamente a convegni e manifestazioni di Forza Nuova (Milano, Bologna...).
  27. ^ O'Donnell, Francis (29 September 2002). "Fascist Link of 'No to Nice' Chief". Sunday Mirror. Archived from the original on 19 November 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  28. ^ "The Persuaders". Irish Independent. 12 October 2002. p. 31. The Sunday Mirror reported last month that Justin Barrett had attended rallies of ulta-nationalist organisations in Germany and Italy
  29. ^ de Bréadún, Deaglán (21 October 2002). "Business, the parties, FitzGerald and forum all played key roles". The Irish Times. p. 4. The story originally surfaced in a Sunday Mirror report drawn from left-wing and anti-fascist sources. Despite a threat of legal action from Mr Barrett's solicitors, The Irish Times succeeded in confirming, without any assistance or prompting from Fianna Fáil, that he had indeed attended meetings of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) in Germany and Forza Nuova in Italy.
  30. ^ "F.N.: Bollettino 04.07.2001" (in Italian). 5 July 2001. Friday July 20 conference on The powers and freedoms of peoples at the Hotel D'Azeglio in Via Nazionale in Rome. Speakers Mario Di Giovanni, Gianni Correggiari, Giacinto Auriti, Roberto Fiore. Confirmed the participation of Justin Barrett, Secretary of the Irish Youth Defence and main promoter of the victorious initiatives for NO the referendum on the Nice Treaty. Beginning at 15:00. Saturday, July 21 at 17:30 at the Hotel Miramare Civitanova Marche (MC) held 'a lecture entitled "Survey on globalism and the powers that be. Speakers: Mario Di Giovanni, Justin Barrett (Youth Defence) Gianni Correggiari
  31. ^ "Forza Nuova homepage" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 16 October 2002.
  32. ^ "The Persuaders". Irish Independent. 12 October 2002. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  33. ^ "The man wired to fight abortion". Irish Independent. 7 October 2001. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  34. ^ De Breadun, Deaglan (12 October 2002). "Barrett admits attending far-right party meetings in Italy, Germany". Irish Times. p. 1. The chief spokesman of the No to Nice Campaign, Mr Justin Barrett, has admitted speaking at a meeting of the far-right Forza Nuova party in Milan but says he did not know it was widely regarded as a neo-fascist organisation.
  35. ^ Donaghy, Kathy (12 October 2002). "Campaigners on both sides of treaty lash out at Barrett". Irish Independent. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  36. ^ "Politicians united in oppositionto Barrett". 14 May 2004. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  37. ^ Williams, Eoghan (23 May 2004). "IRA man defects from SF to Euro hopeful Barrett". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  38. ^ "Barrett confirms he intends to run for Europe". The Irish Times. 29 April 2004. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  39. ^ "Justin Barrett (Independent)". Irish Independent. 22 May 2004. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  40. ^ Sheehan, Aideen (15 June 2004). "Rumours of Avril's demise were a little premature". Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  41. ^ "Justin Barrett 'Attacked' while attending UCD debate". Indymedia Ireland. 14 October 2004. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  42. ^ Holland, Kitty (15 October 2004). "Barrett to decide action over assault at UCD". The Irish Times. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  43. ^ a b Leahy, Pat (17 November 2016). "National Party leader espouses creation of 'Catholic republic'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 17 November 2016. A former activist with the militant anti-abortion group Youth Defence, Justin Barrett … He is described as the president of the National Party, whose nine principles espouse a nationalist, anti-abortion, anti-EU, anti-immigration platform.
  44. ^ Brennan, Cianan (16 November 2016). "An extreme right-wing party is planning to launch itself in Dublin tomorrow". TheJournal.ie.
  45. ^ Larkin, Laura (17 November 2016). "Far-right party's launch is cancelled". Irish Independent. Retrieved 17 November 2016. The new National Party were due to unveil their party to the media in the Merrion Hotel. However, following a public outcry online, the hotel postponed the event.
  46. ^ Dineen, Kieran (18 November 2016). "New National Party leader Justin Barrett wants ban on Muslims entering Ireland". The Sun. There should be an immediate ban on Muslims coming here, says the leader of the new National Party. He added that those already living in Ireland should be deported if they fail a vetting test. In his first interview in ten years, Justin Barrett likened the burka to a "balaclava", said gay marriage was a "sham" and "not natural" and claimed abortion was the same as "murder"
  47. ^ "Iris Oifigiúil - Number 28 - Friday, 5th April, 2019" (PDF). irisoifigiuil.ie. Government Publications Office. 5 April 2019. I propose to approve the application for registration in the Register of Political Parties of 'The National Party – An Páirtí Náisiúnta' [.signed.] Registrar of Political Parties 5 April 2019
  48. ^ "Yes and No campaigners register as 'third parties' with watchdog". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  49. ^ "Abortion Never - Abortion Never". Abortion Never. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  50. ^ Coyne, Ellen (21 March 2018). "You're next if abortion law repealed, far-right tells elderly". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  51. ^ O'Neill, Rachel. "An Australian comedian made an Irish anti-abortion campaigner travel to the UK to interview him about abortion". The Daily Edge. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  52. ^ "RTÉ News - Live results of the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment".
  53. ^ "An Australian comedian made an Irish anti-abortion campaigner travel to the UK to interview him about abortion". The Daily Edge. 25 April 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  54. ^ Brennock, Mark (19 May 2004). "Runners name their stand-in choices". The Irish Times. p. 11. In East, Mr Justin Barrett has chosen his wife, Bernadette, as his first replacement
  55. ^ Coulter, Carol (7 June 2004). "Barrett believes immigration will be key issue". The Irish Times. p. 6. said Ms Bernadette Barrett, wife of Mr Justin Barrett.
  56. ^ Mackin, Martin (15 June 2003). "Way forward is a huge, hysterical step back". Sunday Business Post. Archived from the original on 13 October 2003. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  57. ^ a b Millar, Scott (18 May 2009). "Abortion fighter turns his sights on immigration". The Times. Retrieved 14 May 2009.(subscription required)