Neo-Nazi gang brings fear to the streets of Dublin

Belfast Telegraph/August 18, 2009

A neo-Nazi gang is congregating in Dublin's city centre, intimidating passers-by and singing anti-Semitic songs.

The gang has become a common sight in Dublin's tourist areas, including Temple Bar and St Stephen's Green.

One woman has claimed that she saw some members of a 20-strong gang set upon a black man.

She said: "They don't seem to care about race, age or sex. They are just picking on people."

She said members of the group wore dark clothes and some of them had the swastika symbol on their sleeves.

The woman said: "They were in camouflage pants, leather jackets, boots and shaved heads. They chased a friend of my boyfriend's through Rathmines."

The young troublemakers were aged between 15 and 20 years old, she said.

RTE's Ryan Tubridy has also spoken out about the gang.

He told listeners to his Radio 1 show: "I was talking to a friend of mine, who was in Stephen's Green shopping centre.

"He was there on Saturday with his wife and child and came across a group of between six and seven young Dubs with -- this is quite an unpleasant story but I'll tell you anyway -- with Doc Martens on and the bomber jackets and the hair shaved. Neo-Nazis."

He added: "They were walking around singing anti-Jewish songs in the Stephen's Green centre on Saturday afternoon."

But a spokeswoman for the shopping centre told the Herald: "They must have come in and gone out and carried on their way, as opposed to something noticeable in the centre."

One Dubliner who came across the gang said she suspected they were part of a group that held meetings in the Dublin mountains and were "against multicultural Ireland".

Meanwhile, business owners in the Temple Bar area say they have encountered the youths every day, but they generally move away when they're told.

A worker in a tattoo parlour said: "It's bad for business to have them hanging around outside the shop. It could prevent customers coming in.

"We always tell them to move on because it's not good."

Another witness told the Herald the group sought out alcoves in Temple Bar, such as the area outside Eamon Doran's pub, where they could hang out.

A spokesperson for Eamon Doran's pub said: "They sometimes drink in here under strict warning because we don't want any racist trouble in here.

"I've seen them around for the last six months. They are neo-Nazis and they're all in their late teens and early 20s.

"We haven't had any trouble in here.

"They usually hang around in the late afternoons and at the weekends."

Another worker in the Temple Bar area said: "There are some small fights because people get annoyed by the look of them."

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