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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Holly Evans

Conor McGregor investigated by Irish police over social media posts during Dublin riots


Irish police are reportedly investigating Conor McGregor’s social media posts as part of a wider investigation into the spread of online hate speech around the Dublin riots.

After a stabbing left three children and their nursing assistant injured outside a primary school, far-right protests broke out on the streets of the Irish capital, with windows smashed, police cars torched and public transport suspended.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris described the scenes as “disgraceful” and linked the unrest to a “lunatic, hooligan faction driven by a far-right ideology”, which was further aggravated by unconfirmed reports that the knifeman was an Algerian immigrant.

The five-year-old girl who was stabbed remains in critical condition at CHI Temple Street, while the children’s care assistant, a woman in her 30s, is in a serious but stable condition in The Mater Hospital.

Riot police stand next to a burning police vehicle after riots broke out in Dublin

Taking to social media, McGregor, a controversial MMA star from Dublin, called for “change” in Ireland and claimed that the victims had been “ruthlessly stabbed by a mentally deranged non-national”.

He stressed in his posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he did not condone the riots and called for a “plan of action” and “reform”.

Responding to a message from Britain First leader Paul Golding calling for him to organise a “Freedom March, he wrote: “I do not condone last nights riots. I do not condone any attacks on our first responders in their line of duty.

“I do not condone looting and the damaging of shops. Last nights scenes achieved nothing toward fixing the issues we face.

“I do understand frustrations however, and I do understand a move must be made to ensure the change we need is ushered in. And fast! I am in the process of arranging. Believe me I am way more tactical and I have backing.

“There will be change in Ireland, mark my words. The change needed. In the last month, innocent children stabbed leaving school. Ashling Murphy murdered. Two Sligo men decapitated. This is NOT Ireland’s future! If they do not act soon with their plan of action to ensure Ireland’s safety, I will.”

The posts are now reportedly being assessed by the Garda as part of an inquiry into the dissemination of online hate speech.

Garda police arresting a man as violent disorder broke out in the city centre

His remarks were immediately condemned by Ireland’s deputy PM Micheál Martin, who branded them “absolutely disgraceful.”

“Isolated voices like that and voices that are essentially inciting hate and a degree to some extent incitement, are unacceptable,” he said.

Mr McGregor has previously been outspoken on Ireland’s immigration policies and previously called for the creation of a new task force to assess and monitor all entrants coming into the country.

Following the conviction of 23-year-old Ashling Murphy’s killer Jozef Puska, a Slovakian labourer, he called for “serious policy reforms regarding Ireland’s immigration and refugee processes”.

Garda officers are currently trawling through 6,000 hours of CCTV footage from Thursday night to arrest those involved in the riots, while more than half a million euros has been raised for the victims of the stabbing attack and those who intervened.

Police cars were set alight while fireworks were thrown towards officers
— (AFP via Getty Images)

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said 48 arrests have been made in the city while an additional 4.4 million euros (£3.8 million) has been allocated for the purchase of 95 extra Garda cars and vans by the end of this year, including 17 high-visibility public order Garda vans.

The minister added: “I want to again be clear that the thuggery we saw on Thursday will not be tolerated and, as Minister for Justice, An Garda Siochana, including Commissioner Harris, have my full support to maintain order.

“Those responsible will be brought to justice.”

In a statement, a Garda spokesperson said: “An Garda Síochána does not comment on named individuals nor does An Garda Síochána confirm or deny whether any individual or group of individuals are or are not under criminal investigation.

“An Garda Síochána is aware of a large volume of commentary and posts on a variety of social media platforms and messaging apps by a number of different individual accounts.

“An Garda Síochána is investigating such comments, posts and messages to identify any potential breaches of criminal legislation.”

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