This Sunday, allegations of misinformation being spread by the Right in relation to George Nkencho appeared online. Most notably was that of an article published in the ‘Sunday World’, which claimed that a ‘far-right organization’ had been circulating false claims about Nkencho’s previous convictions.
As a publication that prides itself on covering that which other more mainstream outlets would never dare to, we feel that we have a responsibility to fact-check the claims made in regards to the Nkencho case, and to reassure our readers of our publication’s commitment to the truth.
The meme that has received by far the most attention from the press is one claiming that Nkencho had previous criminal convictions. Variants of the above image, which made this claim, were quite prominent over the last few days, often commented under posts detailing the violence that took place in the aftermath of the shooting.
Let me point out the obvious first: the meme itself is entirely unsourced. What’s more, this publication has been unable to verify any claim that is made, bar that his name was indeed George Nkencho.
What’s more, a report by the Irish Independent has claimed that Nkencho had no previous convictions, let alone 32. As such, the basic assumption must be made that this meme is completely false, at the very least until it’s proven otherwise, though that seems highly unlikely.
Another image that made the rounds online and which now is under deserving scrutiny were variants of the above, which claim to depict the man hospitalized by Nkencho before he was shot dead. A quick reverse image search reveals that this image is actually of an Everton football fan who was attacked before a game against Millwall in 2019.
Both of these two memes, which seemed to have gone viral within private WhatsApp groups, have largely been blamed on the so-called ‘far-right’. The Sunday World in their reporting goes as far to say that some ‘far-right organization’ was responsible for spreading false information in relation Nkencho’s previous criminal record.
However, just as the above memes are left fully unsourced, so too is the Sunday World’s reporting. The claim, made in the opening paragraph of the article and slapped onto the cover image, is never brought up again, with the organization itself supposedly responsible for the memes left unnamed. This publication has tried to pick up where the Sunday World left off, but have been unable to find the source of the claims, let alone ascertain whether some ‘far-right organization’ is responsible.
The Modern Disinformation Campaign
There is a lesson to be learned here for those concerned with the rise of rabid progressivism in Ireland. Before making a claim, you should always triple check the source of said claim. It is the view of this publication that the truth of the Nkencho affair is outrageous enough, and that the known facts are more than enough to conclude that the Gardaí in this case were morally justified in their actions, while the violent responses from various protestors were definitely not. There was no reason for anyone on the Right to go beyond the facts at hand, and make claims they could not back up.
And yet that is exactly what happened. Many individuals, stirred up in their justified outrage, simply shared memes without thinking about their authenticity. A minority of people made claims that had no substance, and with no source backing them up.
As a result, many of those within the Media-NGO complex are using these incorrect claims to derail the conversation. No longer are we discussing the morally reprehensible violence against civilians as a result of the moral actions of Gardaí, but the incorrect assertions made by a minority which have little relevance to the events themselves.
What’s more, many of the counter-claims themselves are also misleading. It is true that Nkencho had no previous convictions, but the Independent reported that he was previously known to Gardaí, and that multiple members of his family had taken protection orders against the man.
The use of misinformation in regards to the Nkencho case only ended up taking away from the violence that took place in Blanchardstown on New Years Eve. The spread of frivolous falsehoods only harmed Nationalist arguments. This mistake cost us greatly, and will do so again if the same mistake is made.
It must be stated however, that this publication, to the best of its knowledge, did not publish any misinformation regarding the Nkencho affair. As always, our reporting of the case was careful, with our writers mindful of only ever making claims that could be backed up with hard fact.
We hope this ethos, especially after the damage these memes have done to our arguments, is adopted by others, both organizations and individuals alike. In the modern world, the truth stings bad enough. There’s no need to go making things up.