Justin Barrett's fascist links

Sunday Mirror (Irish Edition)- 29th September 2002  

No to Nice campaigners sometimes like to compare European integration with the creation of the 'Fourth Reich', even though some European political allies are fans of the Nazi's Third Reich. Barrett has attended a number of conferences and rallies in Italy held by the neo-fascist Forza Nuova party as well as being an 'honour guest' at German Nazi party NPD's 'National Day of Resistance' rally in Passau in May 2000. In recent months, both the Forza Nuova and NPD have come close to being banned by their respective country's parliaments for their extremist race hate views.

Barrett also fronts Ireland's Youth Defence, the anti-abortion group which funded the establishment of the Precious Life anti-abortion outfit, which operates in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Precious Life has threatened doctors with 'direct action' and is headed by ex-Orangeman and Loyalist Jim Dowson. Dowson, 35, has a conviction for a firearms offence and his heavily tattooed arms indicate his loyalist politics. Barrett himself admits that 70,000 euro was given by Youth Defence to Precious Life for office furniture.

Barrett extols his extreme views in his book "The National Way Forward". In this 200 page rant, he expresses opinions on everything from Jewish influences in the US to his ideas for Irish reunification that includes the expulsion of Northern Protestants. The book is only available for order on extreme right-wing websites.

The Forza Nuova party has a membership which like to wear fascist uniforms and give Nazi-style salutes. The shadowy multi-millionaire former terrorist Roberto Fiore leads it. Fiore only returned to Italy in 1997, having fled to London in 1980 after the Bologna railway station bombing which claimed the lives of 85 people. He ran the Armed Revolutionary Nuclei organisation, two of whose members were found guilty of the bombing.

Barrett shared a platform with Fiore at a rally of flag-waving Italian fascists at the Hotel Miramar on July 21st 2001 in the Italian city of Civitanova. At the rally, Barrett and Mario Di Giovanni, Youth Defence's representative in Italy, and their fascist colleagues voiced their support for Catholic fundamentalist revolution. They also took time out to condemn McDonalds restaurants.

The meeting took place under a heavy police presence as the blackshirted Forza Nuova members are renowned for their violence. Two of the group's members were found guilty of bombing a left-wing paper in 2001 and Fiore openly gives support to fascist football hooligan gangs.

The Forza Nuova website has a link to the Youth Defence homepage. A link to the NPD and the English Third Position are also contained.

When Barrett was questioned about the all-expenses four-day trip to a Forza Nuova conference in Milan in November 2000, he said: "My Italian is appalling so I don't really understand what the other speakers are talking about."

He was also at the 2000 Passau rally as guest of the NPD. Its leadership comprises of the unrepentant Nazi, Udo Voigt, and the former Red Army Faction terrorist turned Nazi, Horst Mahler. Last month German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder condemned the NPD for using violence to establish "foreigner free" zones in eastern Germany.

At the Passau event 40 people were arrested due to violent activity and the meeting was in a hall built by the Nazis for SS rallies. Also present at the event were representatives of the Spanish fascists, Forza Nuova and Irish-based Derek Holland, leader of the English Third Position.

Holland helped found the International Third Position with Fiore while he was in London. Another founder of the group was Nick Griffin who now leads the British National Party.

Gerry Gable, editor of the UK magazine Searchlight, which is dedicated to reporting on the activity of the far right, believes that these meetings have been used to strengthen links between far right leaders. Mr Gable said: "These meetings take place on two levels. Firstly, they are a rally for members of the extremist parties involved. They are also events where international speakers, called honoured guests, get to speak. This allows the leaderships of various groups to come together to discuss tactics and policy making."

Many far right European groups have recently become more vocal on the abortion issue and Gable believes that is why Barrett's experience has been sought. "After recent meetings they have formed what they call the International Anti-Abortion League. Campaigns around single issues like abortion or European integration, allow these people to get more people involved in their groups. The contacts also allow Fiore to expand his International Third Position empire and spread its ideology. This ideology revolves around ultra Catholicism, racial purity along with more unusual concepts for the far right such as environmentalism." he added.

The ITP believes each ethnic group should have its own country and attempts to form a multi-cultural society are against the will of God. To back up these concepts, Fiore and other developers of the International Third Position draw upon strict Catholic teaching and the thinking of the ultra-Catholic thinker GK Chesterton as well as dictator Benito Mussolini and the 1930s Spanish fascist, Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera. These ideas fit in with Barrett's threat that he would "make immigration an issue" in the Nice referendum.

The Irish Sunday Mirror investigation found that links between Barrett's Youth Defence group and the European far right have existed for years. The No to Nice campaign also uses the offices of Youth Defence, which has picketed hospitals and had members arrested on a number of occasions. The offices are also home to Barrett's Mother and Child Scheme. Barrett admits "the core of the No to Nice campaign are dedicated pro-lifers who have been with us for many years."

One of Youth Defence's founders shared a flat with the lead singer of the Nazi rock band Celtic Dawn in the early 1990s. During this period, members of Youth Defence also contributed articles to the National Front/International Third Position magazine Candour.

People first became aware of Barrett's nasty views when he ran for a Union of Students in Ireland election in 1992 as a candidate from Athlone RTC. Barrett at this time was called Justin Slevin; he changed his name some years later. Barrett, a member of Young Fine Gael at the time, dropped out of the election halfway through due to lack of support.

Youth Defence's relationship with the European extreme right has also been cemented by the visit of a group of Forza Nuova students, led by the 25-year-old Marco Gladi, to Ireland last year to 'study' with Youth Defence.

In the late 1980s the ITP's founders attempted to enlist the support of Colonel Gaddafi. Holland and Griffin visited Tripoli. But Gaddafi's foreign minister decided against supporting them.

However Taoiseach Bertie Ahern at the end of last year's Nice referendum said that he thought some of the No to Nice Campaign's funding was possibly coming from Youth Defence's extremist Anti-Abortion friends in the US. The Dail has since implemented a law that makes funding from abroad for referendum campaigns illegal.

Make a Free Website with Yola.