Majority of anti-immigration posts relating to Wicklow protest from non-Irish accounts

Majority Of Anti-Immigration Posts Relating To Wicklow Protest From Non-Irish Accounts
An analysis of social media posts related to violent anti-immigration protests in Co Wicklow showed the majority came from non-Irish accounts.
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James Cox

An analysis of social media posts related to violent anti-immigration protests in Co Wicklow showed the majority came from non-Irish accounts.

That is according to research by Sky News that shows there were close to 54,000 posts on X, formerly Twitter, mentioning Newtownmountkennedy last Friday after anti-immigration protests the day before.


More than half came from users based in the US while just 21 per cent were from Irish accounts.

Of the five posts that saw the most engagement, three were based outside of Ireland.

English far-right activist Tommy Robinson had engagement of 42,500 from posts mentioning the Wicklow town, according to the data which was compiled using social media monitoring tool Talkwalker.

Common anti-immigration slogans trended in relation to the Newtownmountkennedy protests, including 'Ireland belongs to the Irish', 'Ireland is full' and 'Irish lives matter'.


In total, 54.4 per cent of messages were posted by users in the United States. 28 per cent came from Irish accounts, and 8.1 per cent were posted by accounts from the United Kingdom.

The author of the research, Sam Doak, said: "Migration to Ireland has become a focus of debate beyond the country's borders. Prominent figures from the United States and elsewhere have frequently weighed in on social media, pushing it further into the international spotlight."

Migration has become one of the main topics of public debate in recent months.

Gardaí at a closed road in Newtownmountkennedy after protests near Trudder House descended into violence. Photo: PA Images

An encampment of homeless refugees outside the International Protection Office on Mount Street in Dublin was recently cleared.

While the majority of asylum seekers were given alternative accommodation, others are still homeless on the streets of the capital.

Meanwhile, diplomatic tensions between Dublin and London have heightened after Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said 80 per cent of asylum seekers arriving here are coming over the border from Northern Ireland.

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak claimed this was a sign that his Rwanda scheme is working.

Migration row continues as UK 'offers' Ireland inv...
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While Ms McEntee "stands over" the figure, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has said it wasn't "statistical".

Taoiseach Simon Harris has pointed to an “operational agreement” which provides for the reciprocal return of asylum seekers between the UK and Ireland, but Downing Street has said it contains no legal obligations to accept them.

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak said he was “not interested” in a returns deal if the European Union did not allow the UK to send back asylum seekers who had crossed the English Channel from France.

Mr Harris, who pointed out that there were upcoming elections in the UK, stressed the “importance of countries upholding agreements”.

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