The rise of an apparent neo-Nazi group, called ‘Galway 44’, is being investigated by Gardaí after local equality activists raised it as a cause for concern.
The group, which has a Facebook page under the pseudonym ‘Tír Na nÓg’ is spreading a Neo-Nazi message around Galway City; in particular, the West End and Salthill.
“The group use neo-Nazi symbols to spread their message. They often use numbers such as 44 which represents the letters DD, this is code for ‘descend decency’. The number 88 is another common Nazi symbol; it stands for the letters HH – code for ‘Heil Hitler’ said Social Democrats representative Niall Ó Tuathail.
The Gardaí confirmed to the Galway City Tribune that they are investigating “Galway 44″.
Mr Ó Tuathail, who stood in the General Elections in 2016, said: “We’re working with the Gardaí. There is an ongoing investigation into the group’s activities such as: spreading stickers with the logo ‘Galway 44’, graffiti and the setting up of a Facebook page.
“The Facebook page used to be ‘Galway 44’, but they have since changed to ‘Tír Na nÓg’.
“We have been aware of the group’s activities for roughly four or five months now. I have been contacted by both individuals and [activists] groups about ‘Galway 44’.
Gardaí in Mill Street have told the Galway City Tribune, that they are following up all possibilities into the attack on the Ahmadiyya Mosque. However, there is not clear link that the attack was carried out by a group such as Galway 44.
The Gardaí confirmed that they are investigating Galway 44, but at this stage, the group’s activities have been limited to stickering, graffiti and posting messages on Facebook.
Joe Loughnane, campaign chairman for the Galway Anti-Racism Network (GARN) explained how GARN identified and addressed the Graffiti and stickering of the West End. “We were informed of the anti-refugee and racist graffiti and stickering that was going on around the west end of the city.
“Galway 44 seems to have an association with other groups such as PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamitisation of the West), but they are more a Dublin-based movement,” he said.
“We did a community clean-up to get rid of all the stickers and graffiti. In the past month, we haven’t seen any more of this activity.
“We think the problem has been quelled because we identified it early and we nipped it in the bud,” said Mr Loughnane.
For the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.