The failures of the EU project took on a tragically tangible form in Dublin with a knife attack that injured three children and a woman, precipitating some of the worst rioting and violent clashes with police in recent memory.
Regardless of how you define the origin of the attacker — it appears he is of Algerian descent while being an Irish citizen for the past 20 years — the event is far more seismic than most media are acknowledging, both for Ireland and for the wider EU.
Ireland has long been the poster child for the EU endeavour — a supposedly “backward” country taken forward into “progress” and “prosperity” through its governing class cooperating with the guiding hand of EU munificence and knowhow. And embracing the spirit of open borders has been central to the Irish government’s approach.
“In the court of public opinion, particularly in Brussels, the Republic and its leaders have for many years wanted to be patted on the head for ‘doing the right thing’,” Andrew McQuillan writes for the Spectator. “After all, Ireland’s national myth is tied into tales of immigration and welcoming.”
Andrew McQuillan on the tension simmering beneath the Dublin riots 👇https://t.co/692tGSJsh0
— The Spectator (@spectator) November 24, 2023
But it hasn’t worked, and now the seams are starting to come apart because, to paraphrase the famous line by the Irish poet W.B. Yeats, the centre really “cannot hold” when you have tampered with a society to such a degree and created such a socially engineered mess.
“This exploitation of immigration to weaken national borders, fortify the technocratic elites and embolden the superiority complex of the rising woke establishment was always bound to backfire,” Brendan O’Neill writes in Ireland and the fury of the cancelled for Spiked.
And of all countries to try it in: Ireland! The land of the Kings of Ulster, ancient warriors, druid poets, Celtic myths and goddesses, its fierce identity further cemented over centuries of resistance to British interference — another sign of the arrogance and ignorance of EU politicians in discarding the complexities and identity of a people.
Net migration to Ireland in 2022 increased to 61,100, from 11,200 in 2021, representing a 445 per cent increase, according to SchengenVisaInfo.com.
A stark indicator of the shift is the proportion of the country’s hotels beds being occupied by refugees and asylum seekers — ranging from 32 per cent to 50 per cent, depending on the region — while also causing significant headaches for the country’s tourism industry.
Glass can be fixed, buses and cars can be replaced but the fear and trauma those kids and teacher felt will always remain.
This story can’t go unspoken, questions need to be raised like “Why is citizenship handed out like smarties?”.
Why is the government and msm just talking… pic.twitter.com/w59xgUkQlE
— patrice 🇮🇪 (@patricej36) November 24, 2023
In addition, while you won’t hear it discussed in polite mainstream media, I’ve spoken to concerned Irish who note how this push for immigration has gone hand in hand with the Irish state championing abortion and thereby, as it was put to me, eradicating the indigenous Irish population.
The resulting tensions have been simmering for some time. On top of which, as McQuillan notes, this was “not the first act of random street violence in Ireland in recent times”. A stabbing occurred at Dublin airport in September, and earlier in November a woman was stabbed in the city centre.
At the same time, “concerns about the impact of immigration” have been “intertwined with the Republic’s unprecedented housing crisis”. Homeless numbers have reached record levels in the past few years. There have already been protests against migrants being moved into accommodation before Irish people who were already waiting for a home.
And then on November 17, the murderer of Irish schoolteacher Ashling Murphy was sentenced to life in prison. The 33-year-old Slovakian, described as “the epitome of pure evil”, who moved to Ireland in 2015, killed the 23-year-old in a random and unprovoked attack.
“I feel this country is no longer the country Ashling and I grew up in,” remarked Murphy’s boyfriend, while also highlighting how the murderer had benefited from Ireland’s welfare system while not holding down a job or contributing to society. “This country needs to wake up.”
His comments were “passed over by much of the press but electrified social media,” Conor Fitzgerald writes in This is just the beginning of Ireland’s riots.
Despite all this background and immigration-related context, coverage of the riot from media like the BBC has been risible. An online article by the BBC on November 24, shortly after the rioting, explains it away through the confluence of far-right ideology and social media activity — and leaves it at that.
In the middle of the article is an “Analysis” section by a Dublin-based reporter. Oh, thank goodness, you think hopefully, journalism is saved: here comes at least some mention of the overarching situation and tensions due to migration.
No. None at all.
While the analysis notes that “for months there has been real concern that something like this could happen”, which is fair enough, it simply explains this dread as being solely based on how “the far Right in the Republic of Ireland has grown and become incredibly emboldened”. The word “immigration” seems to have been banned from conceivability.
It’s laudable stuff, disingenuous journalism — that, as ever, veers closer to propaganda — while, given it’s the BBC, maintains a staunch English tradition of paying lip service to the challenges of a country that was once part of the United Kingdom, and which now is the only country that shares a physical border with the UK.
“There’s no doubt that far-right elements were involved in the violence,” McQuillan says. “But it is too easy for a society and a governing class, frantically obsessed with positioning itself as a good global citizen, to blame this unseemliness on a fringe.”
Dublin City is cleaning up the aftermath of a violent night.
As the capital reckons with these events, what does it mean for Ireland, its citizens and our immigrant communities?
— Irish Independent (@Independent_ie) November 24, 2023
He adds: “To immediately sound the far-right klaxon betrays an institutional glibness which explains many of the inherent, simmering tensions currently characterising Irish political debate.”
Hence all that the Irish establishment seems capable of in response to the rioting is “a tightening of hate speech laws and an expansion of mass surveillance in the hopes of curbing future violence”, Brussels Signal’s Peter Caddle notes in a recent Brussels Calling newsletter.
Indeed, such “intuitional glibness” runs throughout the EU, as do the corresponding “simmering tensions” that are not getting addressed, hence the likes of the surprise “landslide victory” for Geert Wilders and his right-wing Freedom Party (PVV) in the Dutch elections.
Both Ireland and the EU have gone in lock step in worshiping at the shrine of “the myth of progress” that Stefan Zweig blamed for the decline of civil order in his 1942 book Die Welt von Gestern (The World of Yesterday).
In commenting on this, the philosopher and social critic Roger Scruton notes how “in all the ideologies of his day — communism, socialism, Nazism, fascism — Zweig saw the same pernicious attempt to rewrite the principles of social order in terms of a linear progression from past to future”.
Further back in that past, Ireland and its indomitable inhabitants served as a civilisational lodestar: during the Dark Ages its monks kept Western culture alive.
Perhaps Ireland is once again going to “come to the rescue” by demonstrating how broken the EU’s current ideology is. And by pushing back against it, perhaps that might get others to finally see sense.