As the 2024 Elections grow closer, it has felt like every day there are more candidates announcing their intention to run and pick up some of Ireland’s new-found Right-Wing voter base. The Midlands-North West EU seat is shaping up to be the most intense battleground with 11 candidates competing for the right-wing vote, among them all the well-known parties on the Right: The National Party, Irish Freedom Party, Ireland First, Aontú, and the newly formed Independent Ireland. 

In the last 2 years, Immigration has soared to the top of the political debate, even shockingly beating out Housing in terms of voter’s priorities. 66% say Ireland has taken in too many refugees, and 4 in 5 Irish people want less immigration. 35% would vote for a candidate with strong anti-immigration views. At the time of writing, there are protests or blockades at Asylum Centres in Artane, Kildare, Newtownmountkennedy, and Coolock. Outside of Immigration, the recent Women & Care referendums saw a No vote of 74% and 67%, despite the No-side having effectively no media coverage and the entirety of the media and political class being behind a Yes vote.

It can be easy from one’s newsfeed to get the impression an enormous electoral victory for the Right is on its way. Last November saw much of O’Connell’s Street burned from riots that began over rage at a stabbing by an immigrant. Asylum protests or blockades have become the norm, with many becoming violent due to clashes between locals and the Gardai, who have to forcibly settle migrants into an area. Most striking is that the burning of empty buildings earmarked to house asylum seekers has also become common. Meanwhile, the Left focuses entirely on Palestine, yet this barely registers in the polls, coming in at 2-4% of voters concerns in March. To quote Tupac: “There’s war in the Streets and there”s war in the Middle-East”.

This recent success has given people the impression that the political Right is perhaps destined to have enormous success in the upcoming elections. This has led to something like a Gold Rush effect, whereby everyone is racing to get a piece of what seems like easy votes and easy access to notoriety, power & influence. However, like the actual gold rushes of the past, most of those involved will end up with nothing, or even end up worse off than before they set out. “Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread” as Alexander Pope said. So it’s as good a time as any to take a look at the Right-Wing scene as a whole and see what the lay of the land is.

What Does Right-Wing Mean?

It should be noted that when I am using the term Right-Wing here, I only mean it in the broadest way possible, to describe parties that compete for the right-of-centre vote, regardless of how ideologically sound that party actually is. All the parties above from Aontú to The National Party are competing for large amounts of the same voter base, of people who are disaffected with Liberal Ireland, and its excesses of the last decade. What form opposition to that will take is still up in the air. So I am speaking of everything whether it is as extreme as a Justin Barrett Loyalist, or as moderate as the people associated with groups in the “Gript-o-sphere”, such as The Countess or Free Speech Ireland.

As a personal example, when I went home to family at Easter, I spoke to many of my Father’s friends who are older and involved with the local Parish Church, in a county outside of Dublin. These people are exactly the kind of voter the above parties would want to be making inroads with, and the people I spoke to had no hard loyalty to any group, seeming to be just as likely to vote for a hardcore anti-immigration party as they would for Aontú, and some others would probably vote for either of those or a candidate who spent most of his time talking about the World Economic Forum (even though that would be a complete meme campaign).

It was noticeable speaking to friends and family back home how some could be very interested in certain issues associated with the Right, and have little to no interest in other issues. Some could be enormously interested in religious issues, and have big concerns about an asylum centre in their specific town, but have no interest in asylum centres elsewhere in the country, or legal immigration at all. Others, such as some old school friends could have a huge interest in Immigration, and Covid/Lockdowns, but no interest in religion, and if they voted in the Abortion referendum, they probably voted Yes. For others, their top issue could be the Green Agenda, as it directly affects their livelihood. 

The Irish electorate is not a simple thing to pin down at present, with the same population that polls so anti-immigration being made up of basically the same people that voted for Gay Marriage and Abortion 2/1, and which had one of the highest Covid-vaccination rates in the world in 2021. TERFism also seems to be particularly strong in Ireland, with much of the successful pushback on the Trans agenda coming from Liberals, Feminists and Gays rather than TradCaths.

Even amongst just the online Right, the identities are very eclectic. The EU Midlands candidate Gerard Waters seems to be campaigning only on Covid & The Vaccine, and Immigration does not seem to be on his radar, yet he too qualifies as right-wing in my view, even if that is a strange campaign to be doing in 2024.

Outside of those of us who are on Twitter every day, much is still up in the air for many in the small towns and villages across the country, and there is still no clear winner in terms of which group will gain most from the recent momentum on the right over the last 2 years. What unites all these different types of people is their opposition to the “Regime”, or the “Uni-Party”, namely the complete unanimity and dogmatism around all social & cultural issues among politicians, media, NGOs, & celebrities. They desire an alternative, but what alternative that will be is still entirely up in the air. I’m not a fan of Aontú, but I can still definitely see how Aontú candidates winning in large numbers would clearly be an indicator of a rise in sentiment against the current political order.

The Parties

2024 will see a large increase in the number of parties since the 2020 general election. The most likely parties to be successful are Aontú and the newly-formed Independent Ireland. Aontú are a party that any voter whose biggest concern is immigration should be very cynical of, as covered recently in The Burkean here. On top of the party courting a right-wing vote while not really being right-wing at all, another reason to be wary of a vote for Peadar Tóibin in the EU Midlands seat is that the party has admitted if Peadar wins an EU seat, he intends to run as a TD in the next general election. Admitting this publicly seems foolish given it makes it better off to vote for another candidate who intends to stay the full term, rather than have Peadar replaced by someone of his choosing.

Running against Peadar for Independent Ireland is Ciarán Mullooly, a former RTE correspondent for the Midlands. On paper, this is a good pick-up for the party, as the previous stint at RTE gives him a certain level of legitimacy that Irish voters seem to desire from people they will vote for. However, it remains to be seen what his beliefs are like in detail, as a previous tweet of his would raise eyebrows, praising a hostile Newstalk interview of Kellie Harrington after she tweeted negatively about immigration.

Kellie had quotetweeted an Eva Vlaardingerbroek tweet about the killing of a 12-year-old French girl whose mutilated body was found in a suitcase in Paris. Kellie’s tweet wrote “Very, very sad. A powerful message from Eva Vlaardingerbroek. Our own leaders need to take a listen to this. She believes this is the 12th girl in France this year who has been killed by an immigrant. And that’s just France.”. The premise of the Newstalk interview was Kellie’s tweet was completely beyond the pale of acceptable opinion, and one can’t hope for much voting for Mullooly if he believes that, especially when 4 in 5 Irish people think we have taken too many immigrants.

Beyond Mullooly, Independent Ireland’s biggest candidate will be Niall Boylan, who is running for the Dublin EU seat. Another very big name from the media world for the party, Niall has enormous name recognition due to his radio show, complaining about woke politics, and too much consensus in Irish politics for over a decade. Talk radio has been a boon for conservative voices in other countries, so Niall is one of the most likely to get a seat in any of the 3 EU constituencies. His name is well-known enough to unite all the votes right-of-centre.

Independent Ireland is in a strong position for a new party, having 2 TDs and gathering well-known figures under its banner. Its party brand is rural, at a time when Rural issues and anti-Green agenda sentiment has grown significantly and still does not have representation from a major party. This comes at the same time established parties like Fine Gael are seeing collapsing support in rural areas and record numbers of TDs resigning or declaring they will not contest the next general election. It has at least paid lip service to wanting to lessen immigration. It still remains to be seen what to make of this party, but unlike Aontú the party is not entirely ruled out as a potential serious force for Right-Wing politics. If nothing else, we can be sure it will not be dull living under Independent Ireland rule.

Hermann Kelly continues to compete for the title of “Ireland’s worst optics political candidate”, although Justin Barrett has outpaced everyone else in this regard in the last 2 years. Both men have led the two main right-wing/nationalist parties here since 2016, and it is utterly depressing seeing their embarrassing behaviour at the exact same time as multiple Irish towns being in quasi-rebellion against the government over the asylum issue, and a significant portion of the Irish public begging for a sane party to bring our reckless immigration policy to heel. 

If we were blessed with more competent leaders, we would already have a Right-Wing Populist party at 15% in the polls, but instead, we are stuck with the current situation. However, it must be noted that with The Irish Freedom Party, there are several people running who seem like normal, relatable people who could run a good optics campaign and potentially win a seat somewhere. 

Reynolds’ National Party still has the burden of dealing with the embarrassment of last year’s change of leadership, with that event still being fresh in the minds of people who have heard of The National Party. They also have the problem of the unclear legality over who owns the party as far as the Irish State is concerned, with Justin Barrett claimingReynolds can nominate valid candidates this June. But so can I”.  The longer that sort of contention remains in the public eye, the worse it will be for Reynolds to make the party seem electable in the eyes of ordinary people, which Barrett is most likely aware of as well. Divorces are always messy, as Barrett should know.

Beyond the split however, the party has avoided scandal in its new incarnation, seeming to desire to present itself professionally, with its Hardline Nationalist brand, and aiming to avoid the flaws from the Barrett era. Barrett’s main priority now is probably revenge, given the fact that Reynold’s was the best man at his wedding, and that type of betrayal is typically not forgotten, especially given Barrett’s cartoon villain personality. Barrett is now running against Reynolds in the EU-Midlands seat, in what is the clearest example of putting personal ego ahead of National interest. Reynolds’ National Party could probably have done with fielding more candidates for local seats, but otherwise the party has been hard at work and (with the exception of Barrett-related fiascos) has a lengthy track record of dedication to a pure form of Irish nationalism that few if any entities on the Right can match. And despite the drama last year, they have retained their large core cadre of committed activists nationwide, along with some high-potential candidates such as Stephen Redmond and Patrick Quinlan among others.

Ireland First have two well-known candidates in Derek Blighe & Philip Dwyer on the anti-immigrant political scene, who have been active on the front lines of the immigration battle, and whose campaign videos were good optics, high-quality production value. Other than the 2 headline candidates, the party candidates for the local election is mainly based around Cork, like it’s leader Blighe. A lack of embarrassing scandals and well-presented party media is the bare-minimum you would want from a serious party, and it is good to see this from this anti-immigration/nationalist party.

Another party new to the scene is The Irish People, led by AJ Cahill & Dave “the Chariot” O’Reilly, The Irish People are fielding an enormous number of candidates in the Local elections, claiming they were seeking to run 160 which has ultimately come down to a quite impressive 50-odd. If you haven’t heard of them, you may have seen their “Woke is Dead” banner in Dublin Castle on the day of the recent Women/Care referendum result. A few of the people associated with this party are on the eccentric side of things to put it mildly, some having gained notoriety for their “Sovereign Voyage” where they “sail down the Shannon and “dock into random towns, find a library, and begin shouting at library staff if they find “This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson” before getting back on the boat to the next town”. 

Like the Viking raiders of old, except they aren’t here for your town’s gold, they are here for its Libtards. The sheer number of candidates in the Local elections means there is a  chance they will get someone in somewhere based solely on numbers. They also have a seemingly effective and certainly energetic mass-postering strategy that has grabbed a lot of attention. However, the party could improve its optics among its most notable candidates. A good rule of thumb with optics is: If people on the Right find your content heavy-handed, then normal people definitely do. In general, people in their 20s have a better grasp of this than people over the age of 50.

Liberty Republic, led by Ben Gilroy is a rebrand of Gilroy’s party “Direct Democracy”, so he insists this is not a new party, but some, myself included, were not aware of this party’s existence, and thought he was in The Irish Freedom Party. The party brand is on the Libertarian end of things, like the Irish Freedom Party, and Ireland First, and The Irish People. It is very unclear why we need 4 of these parties instead of 1, but I’m sure if I ask any of them, I will be told by each that theirs is the one-true-party and the others should stand aside.

The Independents

This being Ireland, beyond the parties, we also have a plethora of Independent candidates running, ranging from the “viable candidate with a strong chance of taking a seat”, all the way to the “why are you running?” meme candidates. For any foreign readers, these are people running as Independent candidates, and not associated with the party Independent Ireland, which was formed from Independent politicians, but is actually a party.

The strongest independent candidates are Malachy Steenson and Michael McNamara. Steenson has become one of the closest things the asylum centre protests have to a national spokesperson. McNamara, despite coming from a Labour Party background has seen his name recognition grow considerably over his opposition to the excesses of lockdown and Ireland’s broken asylum system.

Too Many Chiefs 

The biggest concern for the upcoming elections is clearly too many parties and random candidates pointlessly competing against one another and dividing voters’ attention, with the Midlands EU seat being the worst example. The EU Midlands seat has 11 candidates chasing the right-wing vote, Dublin 7, and South 4. The deadline for registering yourself as a candidate has passed, thanks be to God. The list for each constituency is shown below. 

Peter Casey, having been out of the political public eye since before Covid, has decided to contest in the Midlands. Michelle Smith, who led the Ballinrobe asylum protest, is also running here, announcing on Tiktok as she does not seem to have a Twitter. Justin Barret’s wife is running.

John Waters has done little in the last few years, and many voters may know him as the guy who, with Gemma O’Doherty, tried to sue the State to stop the lockdown, which was just an embarrassment. That being said, he also has a lot of caché as a fairly prominent writer who has spoken out against Dysfunctional Liberal Ireland for a long time. He doesn’t appear to have a Twitter account, so you wonder how it is possible he is running a campaign, although he has pursued a good strategy of local meetings and an innovative postering campaign. The usefulness of this kind of candidacy can be questioned, and certainly we would be better off if more candidates had instead coalesced around the most viable campaigns. Will ordinary voters, who keep up with politics only a bit, but who will vote, be able to distinguish John Waters, from the recently announced Gerard Waters, who is running his campaign entirely related to Covid and vaccines? Doubtful, unfortunately.

The difference in the number of candidates running for South vs. Midlands will also provide an interesting case study in whether fewer candidates means a higher likelihood of victory. Many voters may have some idea of who the Right-Wing candidates may be, but not much, and if they are presented with a list of so many names that they actually fail to remember which is which, that will just hurt the results. Transfers across all right-wing candidates are not guaranteed, and some will inevitably transfer to Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin. 

As has been seen with National Populist parties abroad, many will get votes from voters “holding their nose”, meaning they don’t actually like right-wing parties but may think immigration has got so bad that they have no choice but to vote for one, even if they normally vote for a “normal” party like Fianna Fáil. A statistically significant amount of voters will not transfer votes to any other candidate, and in the Midlands EU seat, that will surely hurt the chances of someone getting in.

What should be happening is there should be a few, if not one candidate who is very strong, with a good record of work and name recognition up to now.  The likely result of the next few elections this decade for the Right is candidates from all sorts of parties picking up seats in different locations, and potentially having some presence in certain areas of the country, while in other areas are nowhere to be found, resulting in a mosaic of different factions across the country. 

I joked before that the result might end up reverse-engineering the old Irish clan system, where different local chiefs control different areas, and it’s annoying how this really feels like it could be a political reality in the 2030s.

Map of Irish Right-Wing Political Parties, 2032

How Far We Have Come

I realise it is far easier to sit on the sidelines & criticise, and much more difficult to actually put yourself forward and try to make a difference, and I should still be grateful we have so many people putting themselves forward. Things are far better compared to 8 years ago, when it felt like everywhere else in the West was moving to the Right except boring old Ireland, still stuck on the old software of End Of History Liberalism, just as other countries’ politics were becoming far more interesting. 

The turning-point was somewhere between Roderic O’Gorman advertising Irish asylum to the world in 8 different languages, and the viral video of the East Wall migrant flipping off locals as he went into the old ESB Building, beginning the asylum centre protests that went nationwide. There was also the wrapping up of lockdown and Covid as an issue, and somewhere through all that, the Irish people flipped hard on Liberal Ireland.

Since the start of 2022, it seems like every tweet by a mainstream politician or journalist on a hot-button topic (immigration, free speech, trans etc.) has been ratio’d hard, and you can tell that even the establishment regards this as a new normal from how much they talk about wanting to police social media much harder. In the last 2 years, the pace of change has been staggering.

Gript now gets as many views as the biggest mainstream Irish publications. Mick O’Keefe, a right-wing Nationalist activist now has almost 70k followers on Twitter. Many famous Irish people have come out as openly right-wing, such as Conor McGregor, or Andy Quirke, and others like Kellie Harrington clearly are quietly. A campaign group Free Speech Ireland, went from a tiny, unheard-of Twitter page to making a serious dent in wider Irish opinion on the Hate Speech Bill, courting attention & support from the likes of Elon Musk & Jordan Peterson, and significantly damaging Helen McEntee’s political standing. And every few weeks a new town is in rebellion against an asylum centre marked for their town.

This is all a world of difference compared to 7 years ago when #RepealThe8th was ascendant, and being right-wing on Irish Twitter felt like you were some sort of diseased leper, shunned by wider society, and all one could do was watch other Western countries score political victories. The biggest problem now is the grassroots, online and street activism has been so shockingly successful, but there is so little follow-up at the level of elected politicians. With the upcoming elections, that has a chance to change.

Looking to the Future

A friend of mine once said that an advantage the Right in Ireland has over the Left is that the Left’s most intelligent and competent are in their older generations, veterans of when the Political Left was still an emerging and ascendant force. Their younger generations are filled with hysterics, clowns, fanatics or otherwise unserious people who will never be able to put themselves in front of Middle Ireland and seem normal.

For the Right, the opposite is, unfortunately, often true, with eccentricity, crankishness & at times outright Lunacy pervasive among sections of our older generations. There is still far too much terrible optics, extremist statements made purely for the sake of getting attention, & general bad behaviour that you would have hoped we had gone beyond by now. But amongst our younger cohort, there are many signs to be hopeful for the future. Much of the work needed at the moment in forming serious Right-Wing forces can be described as cat-herding.

But in the short-term, and with the upcoming elections, it’s best not to set your hopes too high, and avoid disappointment due to easy mistakes being made by those who should know better. If nothing else, it will be a learning experience, as the political Right in Ireland moves offline, tries to professionalise, and goes out into the more respectable areas of public life. 

Perhaps the best way to look at it is as Darwinism for Political parties. As Ireland has nothing established, we are in a situation where so many have put themselves forward to claim the title of Ireland’s dominant Right-Wing party, and now they will all fight it out and in 10 years the process will eventually give us a competent party at 30% in the polls. One can hope anyway. Portugal’s National Populist party Chega polled 1% in 2019, and in the recent elections just 5 years later got 18%. The same can be done here. Another Ireland is possible if you do not seem incompetent and insane to ordinary Irish people. 

Remember, you are entitled to nothing in life, and the country is at risk of losing everything that anyone sympathetic to the people mentioned in this article would consider important. The time has long passed for pointless, idiotic behaviour & narcissism. This scene could do a good deal of country-before-party, but unfortunately, it seems it will have to learn that the hard way.

But we will learn, and we will persevere, and regardless of the upcoming election results it is clear that our day will come.

Posted by The Burkean


  1. Daniel BUCKLEY 27/05/2024 at 7:27 pm

    Remember in the Local Elections, the traitorous Regime are registering and harvesting the illegal immigrants to vote in their ethnic interest or for the Regime candidates.
    This is a democratic absurdity in our Republic and must be addressed soonest by the Electoral Commission.
    Vote only nationalist or anti immigration candidates to prevent transfers to the Regime or the phoneys of SF.
    With the PR system of voting you are in effect unifying and strengthening the disparate nationalist and Independent vote.
    It is not neccessary to tick every box,just the nationalist and Independents for the most efficient use of your Vote.


  2. Ivaus@thetricolour 28/05/2024 at 4:20 pm

    Interesting how many seems to have jumped on the bandwagon yet their silence was golden less than a year ago.Unfortunately the leaning right are not organised and have certainly wasted the last 3 years in creating division rather than a UNITED FRONT ON MAIN ISSUES…which is revelent to all Independents and Nationalists…the real ones of course.
    MAKE MY DAY, make your vote count by NOT Voting for any incumbent party at present,it may be your last opportunity to do so before Ireland is lost and gone forever.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *