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Xenophobia and Radicalism in Ireland (2017)

Xenophobia and Radicalism in Ireland (2017)

Dr William Allchorn is a specialist on anti-Islamic protest movements and radical right social movements in the UK and Western Europe. His PhD thesis mapped political, policing and local authority responses to the English Defence League in five UK locations. William is now working on his first research monograph under contract with Routledge – looking at policy responses to the EDL and Britain First over the past decade. His previous published work has looked at the dynamics of activism within anti-Islam movements and counter-extremism responses towards such groups. William has taught undergraduate courses and given lectures on the radical right in Western Europe; both at the social movement and party political level. Previous consultancy has included delivering counter narrative engagement sessions in the North East of England and putting together a ‘Countering Radical Right Narratives’ educational pack due for the Department of Education ‘Educate against Hate’ website. As of January 2017, William Allchorn is the Associate Director of Centre for Analysis of the Radical Rights (CARR). He is also the Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Leeds and Visiting Lecturer in Politics, Leeds Trinity University.

Ireland presents itself as somewhat of a peculiarity when looking at forms of Xenophobia and Radicalism. As this report will discuss, Ireland’s above average support for migrants and lack of an organised or successful radical right political scene marks it out as an anomalous case of moderation tolerance within Western Europe. Moreover, elite discourse towards minorities and migrants tended to be positive on the whole in the period under study (2017). This is not to say, however, that Ireland has not had it struggled with exclusionary practices. As this report highlights, hate crime is still not a specifically enforceable criminal offence and third-party recorded statistics mask the underreporting of these incidences. Moreover, minority representation among law enforcement agencies is remarkably low.

This report will therefore look into the period under study and suggest how far Ireland is an anomalous case - focusing on changes in legislation, the current state of law enforcement practices, rhetoric of government officials, popular attitudes towards migrants (in sport and society) as well as the profile of radical right parties. What will be found is positive adherence to moderation, tolerance and human rights norms on the whole – with some room for improvement in key areas of legislation, law enforcement and underlying popular prejudice against minorities.

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