Garda investigate ‘racist’ website run in Limerick

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

GARDAI are investigating complaints that a website operated by a West Limerick businessman is anti-immigrant and in breach of incitement of hatred laws.

GARDAI are investigating complaints that a website operated by a West Limerick businessman is anti-immigrant and in breach of incitement of hatred laws.

Formal complaints have been made in the past week by members of the public and migrant rights group, Doras Luimni, about the website www.nationalistireland.com, which they allege contains racist, extremist and inflammatory content.

The website is operated by Newcastle West-based computer professional John Kavanagh, who has been publicly linked in the past to Irish right-wing groups.

One person from West Limerick who made a formal complaint to gardai last Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that he and his wife, who is Nigerian, feel that the website could inflame racist views.

“Normally I wouldn’t take any notice, these things are just laughable. But all it takes is one person to come away from it and do something dangerous”.

However Mr Kavanagh told the Limerick Leader this Wednesday that he refutes any suggestion that the website’s content is against the law. “I don’t think any of the things on the website are illegal,” he said.

The website claims to be the home of “Ireland’s leading nationalist movement”, and its home page contains messages such as “show multiculturalism the red card”. The site also sells promotional materials including a €10 ‘nationalist supporter pack’, proceeds from which “will be used for the nationalist cause in Ireland”.

The site also contains a video slide show titled ‘nationalist movement in Thurles’, which shows men, some with the faces blurred, distributing leaflets outside a shopping centre, and door-to-door.

The video also shows photographs of black and Asian men walking on the street, as well as pictures of Chinese restaurants, Afro-Carribbean salons and Eastern European food stores.

The website also has a forum section, which contains 2,472 topics across sub-forums such as ‘real immigrant stories: scammers and criminals’ and ‘nationalist movement activism’.

When contacted by the Limerick Leader at his place of business on Church Street, Newcastle West this Wednesday Mr Kavanagh first said “no comment”, before stating “we’re not responsible for what people post on the website”.

In a statement Doras Luimni confirmed that it had made a complaint to gardai over what it described as the “very disturbing” content of the website. “It is explicitly dedicated to pushing a racist, xenophobic, white-supremacist agenda. We encourage anyone affected by any form of racism to make a formal complaint”.