Question: What do the Pro Life Campaign, TheLiberal.ie, and UKIP/Nigel Farage all have in common?
Answer: Members of a family who were once directors of a Co Louth-based company called Vicarage Green Ltd, now in receivership, fined in 2009 for non-payment of taxes: among others, Enda, Leo, and Cora Sherlock.
You probably already know that Cora Sherlock is the very active spokesperson for the Pro Life Campaign, and was very vocal in speaking out against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. TheLiberal.ie is run by Leo Sherlock – Cora’s brother – and despite its name, is in fact very conservative. It regularly features articles that are anti-women’s rights, and anti-LGBT rights, as well as broader right-leaning pieces and general news.
Most surprising, however, is another member of the Sherlock clan: Enda.
This was taken outside Buswells Hotel in Dublin 2, across the road from Leinster House. Sherlock is on the left. On the right is racist and leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage. He recently made headlines after a radio interview where he stated he would not like Romanians living next door, and that people speaking foreign languages make him feel uncomfortable. I really recommend listening to it; it’s a complete car crash and shows Farage’s true colours.
Enda Sherlock’s racism doesn’t end there. On Facebook he’s quite happy to share anti-Islamic posts from Britain First:
Who are Britain First? The group is a far-right nationalist group formed by members of the British National Party, a fascist and white nationalist political party in the UK. Here is a BBC interview with the leader of Britain First that talks about the split with the BNP and about their stances.
While it’s expected from Cora and the Pro Life Campaign, both Enda and Leo have voiced their pro-life/anti-choice viewpoints to members of the Dáil around the time of the passing of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
There are exceptions to the rule, but by-and-large, anti-choice activists also share other right-wing stances. It’s just a bit unusual to have anti-choice people hold very extreme views on race and immigration and so on. It’s not new to Ireland, however.
- Youth Defence was once led by far-right nationalist and anti-immigration activist Justin Barrett
- Ben Gilroy of Direct Democracy Ireland is anti-choice, and was supported by the right-wing Christian Solidarity Party in his last election campaign
- Michael Quinn, leader of the extremely right-wing, racist, and anti-Semitic Irish Nationalist Brotherhood has appeared at ‘Rally for Life’ events in Dublin and Belfast, and is linked to the Greek neo-Nazi Movement Golden Dawn
Frankly, I’m not surprised that a family of anti-choice activists can be connected to a racist group in the UK. Right-wing, extreme “Catholic-centric” politics and family efforts in pushing said views aren’t new in Ireland, just look at the Mathúna clan behind Youth Defence and the Burkes who were recently active in NUI Galway over equal marriage rights.
My point? When you find something you like and makes senes to you – a news source, or a politician or activist, whatever – always be critical. Check their sources, check their founders, check their members.
Do a little research and find out what they’re hiding. You’ll be all the better for it.
I only put together a few notes, so thanks to all those who gathered information on this topic. You know who you are.