Back in January I briefly touched upon the appearance of a minuscule if surprisingly vociferous neo-right tendency in Ireland, with a handful of usually anonymous individuals using the likes of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to disseminate explicitly hateful opinions or “fake news” across the internet, consistent with the initial tactics of the alt-right movement in the United Kingdom and the United States. In recent months some of these figures have enjoyed the patronage of several fellow-travellers in the mainstream Irish and British press and the approval of the toxic National Party and the Nigel Farage-backed Irexit Freedom to Prosper (or whatever the fringe grouping is calling itself these days). However, it seems that the would-be Irish movement may have pushed its luck a bit too far following the publication of a widely condemned article in The Burkean, an online publication which began life in 2017 as a student magazine for the libertarian set at Trinity College, with funding from a well-known right-wing entrepreneur. The controversial piece focused on questions of national and ethno-racial IQs and the role of genetics in such matters, and… Well, you get the picture.
This led to the following response from some of its former editorial team and backers, via the Twitter feed of the hard-right agitator John McGuirk:
So far, the team at The Burkean has continued to defend the offending article, on some rather slippery semantic grounds, while the magazine’s original founders have attempted to dissociate themselves from the publication. Hopefully the controversy will put some manners on those right-wingers and Christian fundamentalists who think that they can ride on the coat tails of the gateway drug that is the alt-right tendency to gain influence and status in this country.