Injuries | 

National Party deputy chief slams ‘red communist thugs’ who crashed Lough Erne conference

‘It’s also important that I pay tribute to the gallant, courage... who held the line like the brave Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae,’ he said as party members stood up and clapped

James Reynolds speaking at the National Party's 2022 Ard Fheis at Lough Erne Resort

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

The Deputy Leader of the National Party has slammed the “red communist thugs” who protested a far-right conference held by the party at Lough Erne Resort in Co Fermanagh.

One man was charged after six people were injured during a “large altercation” at the luxury five-star golf resort on Sunday.

Taking to social media on Monday, the party shared a video of a speech made by Deputy Leader James Reynolds shortly after the disruption in which he claimed that “anti-Irish forces” attempted to “prevent our annual assembly from taking place”.

Mr Reynolds began his monologue by addressing to the “criminal attack on our assembly” by “red communist thugs”.

“These criminals represent the most evil ideology known to humanity.

“It’s also important that I pay tribute to the gallant, courage... I see some of those men here before me and some of them have been hospitalised... who held the line like the brave Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae,” he said as party members stood up and clapped.

He continued, making reference to party chief Justin Barrett: “It fills me with great pride, and you know I’ve always been proud of yourselves. I’ve always been proud of this party, always been proud of my best friend, the ceannaire of this party.

“But today has made me even more proud because the steadfastness and the determination of the people that are the National Party assures me that we will ultimately prevail and when we prevail, I can tell you we will eradicate forever the threat of communism.”

The clip was captioned: “James Reynolds condemns the criminal attack on the National Party's 2022 Ard Fheis—an unsuccessful attempt by Anti-Irish forces to prevent our annual assembly from taking place—and honours the brave people who held the line, keeping women and children safe. #AllForIreland”.

Two people were treated for their injuries at the Lough Erne Resort following Sunday’s altercation with a further four taken to hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening.

On Monday, the PSNI confirmed that a 34-year-old man has been charged with affray, attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, criminal damage, and possession of an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence.

The suspect is due to appear at Omagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday November 15.

A witness, who does not want to be named, said that the National Party was holding a conference in the luxury five-star golf resort, when a minibus full of people arrived and a large brawl took place.

"They said they were anti-fascists. One person got hit with a car, and I think potentially there were knives involved,” they claimed.

"One man’s hand was bleeding quite badly.”

The National Party was founded in 2016 by Cork man Justin Barrett, who was once a leader of Youth Defence, an extreme anti-abortion group, and has had several interactions with neo-Nazi and neo-fascist groups.

The group has no elected representatives and has strong anti-immigrant, anti-abortion, and anti-EU beliefs.

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