The following is a multipart series examining the role of Ireland’s NGO (non-governmental organisation) sector in influencing journalism and policy formation, as well means to combat it. So far in the eyes of this author, criticism of the NGO lobby has been vague and constantly relapses into recursive conspiracy theories without proper analysis. This series aims to stimulate discussion on this most pressing issue.
Soft Power in Ireland
Soft power in Ireland today is made manifest by our inordinately-sized NGO sector. The old twenty six county clerical state has melted away under a furore of social change and scandal, and in its place the state has the NGO class and its progressive doctrines. For any observers of daily Irish media life, these organisations have a sly but measurable effect on policy formation and a commanding control over Irish journalism. For nationalists they embody nothing short of the long hand of globalism in Ireland.
To summarise, NGOs, known as non-profits in America, are broadly defined as non-state actors, usually funded by the state or philanthropists, engaged in a variety of work in social and political spheres. It should be noted that the vast majority of these organisations are involved in worthwhile causes in the realm of education and healthcare, however, the more pernicious aspects engage in pushing the envelope on progressive policies around immigration and social affairs.
For rightists, we must acknowledge and face up to the fact that the NGO sector is the beating heart of Irish liberalism, and we must focus our efforts on combating and even mimicking them wherever possible. What the Knights of Columbanus were to 20th century Irish Catholicism, the NGO complex is to Irish globalism.
Whether it be the current rush towards legislation against ‘hate speech’ or the cynical fixation on closing Direct Provision, the NGO class grooms our media consumption in ways the average consumer can scarcely fathom. The daily communication of these groups with our journalistic class puts these small, strategically located NGO networks in the driving seat of news formation.
A first step in diagnosing the problem is nomenclature. President Eisenhower rather famously highlighted the malignant influence of the arms industry on American politics as being the “Military-Industrial Complex.” The Irish NGO complex is a confluence of media and activists geared towards a specific set of left-liberal policies, as well as actively grooming media narratives in Ireland. It is not a conspiracy, but a statement of fact to highlight this symbiotic relationship. If the dysfunctional relationship between political and financial power resulted in the 2008 collapse, arguably the NGO complex sets the stage for similar social consequences in Ireland down the line.
A historical analysis of the rise of the NGO complex is probably worth a series in itself. However, to summarise, Ireland never fully developed a properly functioning civic culture, with the vacuum being filled for most of the 20th century by the the Catholic Church. As the Church receded, a new class of social activists moved into its place. In recent years, this class has gone into turbo charge, winning major victories in Abortion and Gay Marriage referenda.
Presently, the Oireachtas lies practically prostrate before these NGOs, with quick-fire legislation on transgenderism and hate speech being driven by the NGO sector. It is a warped cycle where the Irish state funds supposed radicals who lobby it in a particular direction, often demanding more money from the public purse.
ENAR Ireland: A Case study in Irish NGO culture
A textbook example of the operations of the Irish NGO industry is that of ENAR Ireland. ENAR, an acronym for ‘European Network Against Racism,’ is a pan-European initiative outwardly campaigning against racism and trying to build a nexus of anti-racist activists.
Its remit includes an onus on lobbying for hate speech laws as well as a rather worrisome focus on elections. While the Irish press mimic their American counterparts in looking for some clandestine right wing conspiracy to influence Irish elections, ENAR Ireland can operate openly with state and foreign funding in influencing Irish elections with an ideological mission statement to boot.
On a yearly basis, the passive consumer of news in Ireland will hear of their work through their regular media interactions and quarterly report into racism. These reports are largely compiled off incidents compiled from itsiReport feature, allowing members of the public to document incidents of racism. Subsequently, members of ENAR are able to flaunt their findings on the national media scene. Regardless of the methodology, this exhibits how the NGO complex is able to attain regular media access to broadcast a pre-scripted narrative on sudden rises in racism.
In the realm of hate speech legislation the group spearheads the so called “Coalition against Hate Crime in Ireland” an alliance of similar NGOs aiming to influence the creation of hate crime legislation. Readers of this publication should well understand that so called hate crime legislation is totalitarian in nature as shown in the UK and elsewhere, designed to stamp out dissent on matters of migration and social matters.
Accounts listed for ENAR Ireland the year ending 2017 denote an income stream of €95,571, with the NGO domiciled in Dublin city centre. Approximately three quarters of this income originated directly from the taxpayer by way of the Department of Housing and Local Government. Considering the transparent ideological bent of the NGO, as well as its commitment to pursue onerous hate speech legislation, this funding may irk many taxpayers.
As a ‘trusted flagger’ for Facebook it has the ability to coordinate with the tech giant to remove dissident speech under the banner of hate speech. In a recent soft-touch article in the Sunday Business Post it advocated the rather sinister policy of removing posts on the basis of what is said in the comment section rather than post itself. This would rapidly expand the purview of what can be removed by social media giants regardless of what the original poster says.
The article itself was penned by Aaron Rogan, who came to notice in this publication on account of disingenuous attempts to relate a growing right wing presence in Ireland to nefarious foreign actors. In both articles Rogan draws on two explicitly left wing NGOs (ENAR Ireland andComhlámh) for commentary, a further indication of the daily cross pollination between NGOs and the media.
Skimming the social media pages of its activists, one can see a recurring pattern – A strong history of left wing activism that has become professionalised and given standing in civic society by the NGO itself. As rightist voices are gradually marginalised from public life, elements of the hard left are given the royal road to influence through the NGO sector.
Another noticeable feature is the significant proportion of staff who are employed in academia. This is crucial, as it emphasises how the NGO complex can outsource some of its costs to academia instead of drawing on state funding.
This May, the group arranged lobbying of Irish politicians around the issue of combating racism during the European and local elections under its so-called “Anti-Racism Pledge.” The implicit aim of this campaign was to challenge any hint of anti-immigration sentiment by the direct lobbying of politicians.
In the recent debacle over the irregularities of Social Democrat candidate Ellie Kisyombe, spokespeople for ENAR were platformed to air their disgust at The Sunday Times highlighting the flagrant discrepancies in Kisyombe’s story. Most remarkably, spokesman for ENAR Ireland Shane O’Curry chastised the paper for using a photo where Ms Kisyombe was not smiling.
Put succinctly, ENAR Ireland, like a multitude of other NGOs, does the legwork for globalism in Ireland. Using euphemisms like “civil society outreach” they extend themselves into the media narrative and have direct access to lawmakers. ENAR Ireland is a drop in the ocean but is a microcosm of the NGO complex at work on a daily basis
Coming to Terms with the NGO complex
As stressed throughout, globalism cannot be understood in Ireland without a proper understanding. Whether it be the siren calls to abolish Direct Provision, or the envelope being pushed on matters of transgenderism and secular education, the NGO complex stalks Irish life like no other force.
The insidious role played by developers and local politics has been well documented in the runup to the 2008 Crash. It would appear that very little concern is being paid to the ominous feedback loop created by the insertion of NGOs into Irish news and policy formation.
Ireland does not need these organisations or their apparatchiks and the sooner they are no longer influential the better, for the future trajectory of Ireland will be in part defined by how the NGO complex is faced down.