This is the third part of an undercover investigation into the tacit and sometimes overt support for antifascist harassment among elements of the Irish media and political class. We advise you to listen to all leaked audio and read all leaked data in full before reading the below article. All audio can be found on our Youtube. Audio has been edited in parts for legal reasons, as well as to protect the names of third parties.
The first of tonight’s recording comes from another conversation which one of our undercover journalists had with Michelle Byrne, vice-president of the USI. As stated previously, Michelle Byrne is the Deputy President of the Union of Students Ireland (USI), as well as their Vice President for Campaigns. According to her Facebook, she is also on the boards of Laochas – The Warrior Soul Project, Problem Gambling Ireland and the National Youth Council of Ireland. She also took part in the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government.
In the recording our undercover reporter stated his intent to bug a flat where a Young Fine Gael (YFG) meeting was to take place. “We’re just aiming to bug this flat and ruin these YFG people and hopefully they’ll never enter our body politic at all. You’re good with that and we’ll keep in contact if needs be?” To which Deputy President Byrne replied “Yeah yeah, and I’ll send you over an email for the legal stuff”. Deputy President Byrne also, multiple times throughout the recording, reaffirmed her support for @IrishAntifa, while providing a significant amount of advice on obtaining legal support to help handle the aftermath of the bugging.
The second recording is with Robert Murtagh, President of the National Union of Students in Northern Ireland. The National Union of Students in Northern Ireland was set up in 1972 as a joint subsidiary of both the Union of Students in Ireland as well as the United Kingdom’s National Union of Students, hence its initialisation as NUS-USI.
In a recorded phone call with one of our reporters, President Murtagh expressed his full support for @IrishAntifa as well as the expressed practices of information accumulation, doxxing, approaching employers and ‘direct action’.
President Murtagh stated the following in regards to direct action: “I have absolutely no problem with direct action.” “Once I’m finished in NUS-USI I’m very happy to do more direct action stuff.” President Murtagh’s stated reason for this was that if he was arrested it would reflect badly on NUS-USI. Who does or does not qualify to be a target for ‘direct action’, as well as how ‘direct action’ could result in the participants arrest was not specified.
The final recording is with USI president Lorna Fitzpatrick. The Union of Students Ireland is Ireland’s largest student representative body representing short of 380,000 students nationwide. Past USI officials have included senior Irish government and media figures. Fitzpatrick as part of her role as president of Ireland’s premier student union has taken part in a number of high profile events, including multiple meetings in the Oireachtas, including the aforementioned Oireachtas Joint Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government.
In a recorded call with representatives of @IrishAntifa, President Fitzpatrick made clear that she could only support @IrishAntifa in their efforts if given a public mandate to do so. However, President Fitzpatrick went on to voice her own support for @IrishAntifa in a personal capacity, saying that she would “have no problem with helping”, and agreed that she would pass on any names that she might “come across on a public platform”.
A request for comment was sent to each one of the above by The Burkean. No response was received from any of the three.