No Limerick welcome for Irish Freedom Party

Irish Freedom Party Chairman Michael Leahy

THE Irish Freedom Party (IFP) were again made unwelcome in Limerick last weekend after their previous rally in the city last December was dispersed by Gardaí following angry scenes.

Chairman of the IFP,  Michael Leahy told the Limerick Post that they returned to Limerick last Saturday to conclude a public event which was “interrupted by an Antifa style mob which engaged in physical and violence against our members on December 18 last”.

“On that occasion, once scuffles and violence were started by the leftist mob, the guards asked us to disperse the meeting, which, as peace-loving and orderly citizens, we did,” Mr Leahy claimed.

The IFP rally on Bedford Row last weekend was drowned out by around 100 counter-protestors carrying Pride flags and banners. Protestors chanted at the IFP rally slogans such as “Fascist scum off our streets” and “Trans rights are human rights”.

A strong Garda presence at the event ensured there was no repeat of the hostilities witnessed from both sides in the city centre at Christmas when the last IFP rally was held.

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Describing last Saturday’s scenes, the IFP chairman claimed it was a largely female “mob” which greeted them with “lewd” conduct. This, he said, involved the “most revolting sexual innuendos and symbols, disgusting and foul mouthed to a level quite inappropriate to a public street”.

“As soon as we set up our meeting and began to speak, the counter-demonstration immediately started setting up a cacophonous and loud system of interruption, involving bells whistles and klaxons. The sole purpose of this action was to prevent an alternative viewpoint from being expressed. I do not believe that one of them could actually describe what ‘fascism’ consists of, and if they knew the history of fascism they would well recognise their own tactics as being those used by fascist parties.”

Mr Leahy continued: “The main part of the group which greeted us seemed to consist of those from the ‘LGBT’ umbrella bodies, and there were many rainbow flags in evidence. Despite the fact that the Irish Freedom Party has never made any statement on the issue of homosexuality and has no policy whatever in regard to discrimination against homosexuals, which we oppose, the umbrella groups which represent this ideology seem to have concluded that our party is in some way opposed to legitimate civil rights for homosexual people.

“This despite the fact that one of our principal speakers on the day was to be Kevin Sharkey, a former gay activist. Mr Sharkey pulled out from speaking at the event and I am uncertain as to whether he was pressured to do so.”

Mr Leahy said he considers the Rainbow Flag a beautiful flag which symbolises acceptance of diversity and unity in difference.

“However in the hands of an intolerant, boorish and malicious mobs which are now becoming commonplace in Ireland, the rainbow flag is increasingly becoming a banner of hatred, division and authoritarianism.

“We had asked that people make this a fun day and bring their families. Many did so but when they saw the spectacle of ugly vulgarity being perpetrated by the nasty and intolerant mob which was attempting to disrupt our meeting, they immediately left,” he remarked.

Counter-protestors took to Twitter to express their views on the day.

“Drowned out they were. They had 10 supporters max outnumbered by a crowd of over 100,” one person tweeted.

“Hermann Kelly and his bigots surrounded by pride, trans and Antifa flags on Bedford Row. Your not welcome in Limerick. Take your homophobia elsewhere,” they declared.