Although those charged in connection with the string of attacks and the distribution of racist leaflets – which allegedly originated with the British Combat 18 far right group – have been teenagers, the campaign is believed to have been supported by former Loyalist paramilitaries.
Racist incidents in Europe and Britain are often connected to far right groups and their more respectable political organisations have undoubtedly in recent years been making electoral gains. No openly racist or fascistic organisation has garnered serious electoral support in either part of Ireland, however.
The only exception is Ailtiri na hAiseirghe, which won nine seats in the June 1945 elections in the Republic. But in recent years, the country’s changing social make-up has seen right-wing anti-immigrant elements attempting to take political advantage.
Former Northern Irish IRA prisoner, Gerry McGeough, attempted to politically organise around anti-immigrant sentiment in conjunction with former Youth Defence leader, Justin Barrett.