Why are politcians using Dáil privilege to make spurious claims about private citizens’ beliefs?
On Tuesday, People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy made a speech about social media activity around the stabbing incident of last week in which multiple people suffered serious injuries.
Murphy, complaining about what he called the association between sitting TDs and “far-right activists”, accused X/Twitter user Mick O’Keeffe (@Mick_O_Keeffe) of being a “White Supremacist”.
In order to establish the truth to this heavy accusation, we looked deeper.
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines White Supremacism (or White Supremacy) as:
The belief that white people are better in some way than people from other groups and should have more power, authority, and rights than them because of this.
A cursory look at O’Keeffe’s X/Twitter timeline fails to show any such rhetoric or much mention of race at all. Searching through his X/Twitter account history shows relatively few instances of the word “White”, mostly discussing the “White privilege” rhetoric of the state and NGOs.
The few times that race is discussed shows O’Keeffe rejecting the label of “White” entirely:
…or downplaying the significance of race altogether:
And most relevant, he dismissed any racial angle to the unrest following last week’s stabbing spree:
The Verdict: Debunked ❌
We could not find any evidence that the user espoused any White Supremacist beliefs, and significant evidence to the contrary dating back years. For this reason we rate Paul Murphy’s claims as deliberate misinformation.
Whatever your opinion on the views in question, politicians using Dáil privilege to accuse private citizens of beliefs they don’t identify with is an extremely underhanded and undemocratic approach to politics.