National Party (Ireland, 2016)
|Deputy Leader||James Reynolds|
|Founded||16 November 2016|
County Longford, Ireland
|Youth wing||Óige Náisiúnach (Nationalist Youth)|
|Colours||Dark Green |
|Slogan||Irish: Ar dheis ar aghaidh! |
(Forward and to the right!)
The party was founded in 2016, by Justin Barrett as party president and James Reynolds as party vice president. The National Party had planned to hold its press launch in the Merrion Hotel in Dublin but the event was cancelled by the hotel, which subsequently said it had done so for "public safety reasons". There had been much adverse reaction online to the announcement of the launch.
Barrett, who was raised in County Tipperary, has a background in anti-abortion and anti-immigration politics, formerly being a leading figure in Youth Defence and campaigning against the Treaty of Nice. Barrett attracted media attention due to his participation in events in both Germany and Italy organised by far right parties, the National Democratic Party and Forza Nuova, respectively, in the 1990s. Barrett has denied sharing their far right views and said he attended these events in his capacity as an anti-abortion campaigner. In 2016, in an interview where he incorrectly overstated the levels of migration to Ireland by a factor of three, he called his attendance at these meetings "a mistake".
Reynolds, from County Longford, was the County Longford affiliate for Youth Defence in the early 1990s. He was associated with the Libertas Ireland political party in 2009, and campaigned for a no vote in the Fiscal Compact referendum in 2012 as chairman of the small Farmers for No group. Reynolds was previously the Longford county chairman of the Irish Farmers' Association, and national treasurer of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association. He was suspended from the IFA in 2012 for "bringing the county executive into disrepute". In March 2017 he secured a temporary High Court injunction preventing his dismissal as national treasurer of the ICSA, but the High Court upheld his dismissal from the role in June 2017.
The party held its first Ardfheis in November 2017, at the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland in County Clare. Approximately fifty delegates attended. Barrett criticised Fine Gael in his speech for not calling its annual conference an ardfheis. John Wilson, a guest speaker from County Cavan, challenged homophobic comments made by deputy leader James Reynolds. Barrett defended Reynolds' comments and reportedly answered in the affirmative when asked by Wilson whether the National Party was "only for straight Irish people". Wilson then walked out in protest at the comments.
Abortion Never campaign
Abortion Never was formed as a No campaign by the National Party in March 2018 to contest the 2018 referendum to legislate for abortion. Abortion Never presented itself as "an Irish nationalist anti-abortion campaign." 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?'". At the same event, he called for the abortion referendum campaign to be "as divisive as possible". The referendum was ultimately approved by 66.4% of voters.
In April 2019, the party was added to the Register of Political Parties for Dáil, local and European elections, but did not field candidates in the 2019 local elections or 2019 European elections.
The National Party contested an election for the first time at the 2020 general election. It put forward ten candidates, although party leader Justin Barrett did not run himself. No candidates were elected, with a share of first preference votes between 0.49% (224 votes) and 1.74% (983 votes) in their respective constituencies. Party vice president, James Reynolds, had 1.74% of first preference votes (983 votes) in the Longford–Westmeath constituency.
Standards in Public Office Commission
In November 2020, the Standards in Public Office Commission announced that the National Party were one of five political parties who failed to provide them with a set of audited accounts for 2019, in breach of statutory obligations.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Ireland, members of the National Party participated in several anti-mask and anti-lockdown protests. There were violent clashes at several events promoted and attended by party members in October 2020 and February 2021.
In July 2020, the National Party organised a protest against Minister for Children Roderic O'Gorman, who they accused of being sympathetic to paedophiles. During that protest, members of the party unfurled a banner and signs depicting a noose. Actor John Connors, who had attended the protest, subsequently issued a public apology (which O'Gorman accepted) in which Connors stated that he had allowed himself "to be lead and be part of an online frenzy that cast hurtful and false assertions" on O'Gorman.
Ideology and policies
Barrett has called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering Ireland and for greater vetting efforts to be made, stating that "all of them are potentially dangerous", though he later clarified that he does not believe Ireland needs a complete ban on Muslims entering the country. The party also favours racial profiling.
The party supports a renegotiation of Ireland's relationship with the EU, including a withdrawal from the Eurozone, but does not support exiting the European Union itself. They have described the EU as "dictatorial".
The party makes an irredentist claim on Northern Ireland; the first of its "nine principles" is copied from the old Article 2 of the Irish Constitution: "The National Party believes that the territory of Ireland consists of the whole island of Ireland, its islands and the territorial seas."
The party opposes allowing any law permitting abortion in Ireland, supports repeal of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, and refers to the X Case as "obtuse". The party endorsed a No vote in the abortion referendum, and campaigned against it through the Abortion Never campaign.
|Election||Seats won||±||Position||First Pref votes||%||Government||Leader|
0 / 160
|12th||4,773||0.2||No seats||Justin Barrett|
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Among the crowd were people wearing clothing with the logo of Ireland's far-right National PartyCS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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Justin Barrett says there needs to be complete ban on Muslims coming into the country
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The National Party, while a heretofore unknown entity, is not the first such right-wing movement to emerge in Ireland in recent years.
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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.
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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.
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Dublin's Merrion Hotel has cancelled an event on Thursday to launch a new far-right political party in Ireland.
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The proposed chairperson of the local YD affiliate, Mr James Reynolds
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locl "Youth Defence" activists, Hames Reynolds, from Loughill, Coolarty was not involved in Friday's demonstration
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Reynolds was formerly IFA county chair in Longford. He was suspended from the IFA in 2012 for a year... an emergency meeting of the ICSA’s executive board is scheduled for this Friday to deal with the issue.
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Reynolds, who received the suspension from Longford IFA for bringing the county executive ‘into disrepute’, also has strong connections to the Libertas political party.
- "Local farmer elected to the helm of ICSA". Longford Leader. 13 February 2014.
In 2012 Mr Reynolds was handed a one-year suspension by the IFA for bringing the Co Executive into ‘disrepute’. He has strong connections to Libertas and it was he who spearheaded the ‘Farmers For No campaign’ in opposition to the EU Fiscal Compact Treaty of 2012
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Yesterday's protest in Dublin was organised through anti-lockdown Facebook groups [..] and the right-wing National Party promoted the protest on their social media pagesCS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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