Organiser of anti-refugee protests is arrested over threat to burn down hotel

A convicted terrorist who is one of the main players in organising anti-refugee protests has been arrested for threatening to burn down a hotel housing over 40 refugees.

he chilling threat was allegedly made by the 43-year-old to a staff member of a hotel in Athy, Co Kildare which is currently hosing just over 40 asylum seekers.

Most of these people are originally from Africa and they include 17 children, 21 women and three adult males.

“It is alleged that this man threatened to burn down the hotel. He was due to be one of the main organisers of a protest tonight,” a source said.

The dissident Republican has been prolific on social media with his criticism of the asylum seeker system in this country.

He previously served an 18 month prison service imposed by the Special Criminal Court over two decades ago for membership of an illegal organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann.

The court heard that he was arrested as part of a garda investigation into a dissident Republican training camp at a bog in Co Kildare in 2001.

It is not sure if his arrest will lead to the cancellation of the protest tonight at the hotel he allegedly threatened to burn down.

It is one of nine planned in Leinster mainly on the capital’s northside.

The suspect is also facing other charges before the courts in relation to a dispute he is involved in near his home.

Gardai announced details of his arrest this afternoon.

“A man in his 30s has been arrested by Gardaí in Athy as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged threats to cause criminal damage to a residential property in Athy, Co Kildare, on Monday 9th January, 2023,” a spokesman said.

“On the 9th of January, a report was made to Gardaí after a man entered a residential property on Stanhope Street in Athy and engaged in alleged threatening behaviour.

“An investigation commenced and this morning, 12th January 2023, a man in his 30s was arrested in the County Kildare area.

“He is currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal justice Act, 1984 at Kildare Garda Station.

“The investigation is ongoing,” the spokesman added.

A special policing plan has been drawn up for at least nine anti-refugee protests that are due to take place at different locations from 5pm today.

Sources say that uniformed officers will be deployed to each event and public order units will be on stand-by in case public disorder or violent incidents break-out.

“This is not about in-your-face policing tactics which could increase any tensions that are out there but it is about gardai monitoring these protests so that the rule of law is upheld and people are kept safe,” a source said.

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