Mainstream media outlets have been accused of “downplaying” the size of a recent anti-mass migration protest in Ireland.
Despite numerous claims that more than 1,500 people attended the demo – a considerable number for Ireland – numerous mainstream publications reported figures far lower than that.
According to multiple major news outlets, only a “few hundred people” attended the anti-immigration protest in Dublin city centre on February 5, although the figures reported by each vary considerably.
Massive protest against immigration in Ireland. The people are fed up, demand change. This is becoming a trend across the West. The pendulum is swinging back. pic.twitter.com/lSODF3sYFV
— iamyesyouareno (@iamyesyouareno) February 5, 2024
According to The Irish Times, around 700 people were at the main protest despite attendees’ claims there were more than 1,000. The Irish Independent wrote there were as few as 500 present at the demo.
Other outlets put the number at in excess of twice that, with state broadcaster RTÉ saying the figure was around 1,000, while the Cork-based broadsheet The Irish Examiner put the figure at about 1,500.
One reporter from The New York Times even claimed on social media on the day that the size of the counter-protest was “much larger” than the main event.
Anti racism rally underway on O’Connell Street in Dublin ahead of a planned far right rally planned for later today nearby. Much larger crowd chanting refugees “are welcome here” as others wave Irish flags from the sidewalk in front of the GPO pic.twitter.com/dYzqXTEmRH
— Megan Specia (@meganspecia) February 5, 2024
That caused uproar among many online, with even the most conservative crowd-size estimates from mainstream media publications having the primary protest substantially outnumbering any counter-demonstration.
By contrast, publications more closely aligned with the Right put the number of attendees as much higher than the mainstream estimates.
Online publications Gript and The Burkean both claimed the numbers as being in the thousands.
"Get them out! Get them out!"
Thousands of Irish protest against mass immigration, expressing their opposition to the country being planted with foreigners
— The Burkean (@TheBurkeanIE) February 5, 2024
Speaking to Brussels Signal, spokespeople for the NGO Migration Info Ireland also claimed that the number taking part was substantially higher than what was published by Ireland’s mainstream media, citing video evidence.
“Last year’s anti-racism rallies saw an exaggerated portrayal in the media, while anti-migration protests were downplayed,” they said on February 6.
“Video footage and images from yesterday’s demonstration clearly depict a crowd exceeding 1,500 people,” they added, saying that both the Irish Government and media now needed address migration by “acknowledging its existence”.
“The Government and media must earnestly address and engage with people’s concerns around migration and facilitate resolution,” they concluded.
Ireland’s establishment parties are panicking about the public backlash against mass immigration – but their Europhilia means they are left defenceless, writes M E Synon. https://t.co/rtxJql1Pt8
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) February 6, 2024