‘Irish Lives Matter’ Graffiti Sparks Hate Crime Investigation In Northern Ireland

(Photo by Maxwells/Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)

Lisa Moore Contributor
Font Size:

Graffiti stating “Irish Lives Matter,” found on a wall of the Kennedy Centre on the Falls Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is being treated by police as a hate incident, BBC reported Wednesday.

Anti-immigration graffiti and signs have reportedly begun appearing in Belfast amid a swell of nationalistic sentiment. A sign in the Tildarg Avenue area stated the community “will no longer accept the re-housing of illegal immigrants,” BBC reported.

“There is no place in our society for this kind of racist poison,” Member of the Legislative Assembly Gerry Carroll wrote in a statement on Twitter. “In recent days we have seen the chilling effect that the growth and intervention of far-right forces in the South can have on communities who are marginalised. We urgently need to call out and challenge those seeking to stoke hate, division, and racism.”

Irish Lives Matter is a movement, driven in part by a Northern Irish republican political party, largely concerned with the burdens it claims mass and illegal migrations have placed on Ireland and its resources. (RELATED: Bombing In Northern Ireland Stokes Fears Of A New IRA Resurgence)

“Illegal Immigrants who come from outside EUROPE get better treatment than the Irish … The Irish who built this country are second class in Ireland, there is no refugee homeless crisic [sic]. ONLY IRISH PEOPLE HAVE A HOUSING AND HOMELESS CRISIS,” the Irish Lives Matter homepage reads.

The group seeks to address the issues of housing for Irish citizens, freedom of speech, ending disability discrimination, mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients and humane animal slaughtering techniques, among other concerns, according to their website.

Carroll acknowledged the Northern Irish housing crisis in his Twitter post, but presented different ideas regarding the real problem — and solution.

“There is a housing crisis but it is caused by governments who have not lifted a finger to build homes and refused to support measures proposed by People Before Profit to alleviate its worst elements,” Carrol wrote on Twitter. “Ironically, the far-right thugs who raise such slogans are nowhere to be found when campaigns emerge to address the hardships people face here.”