CLARIFICATION: Extract from analysis article on Nice campaign by Deaglán de Bréadún, Foreign Affairs Correspondent. The Irish Times 21 October 2002.

....The Fianna Fáil "war room" has a well-deserved reputation for efficiency, aggression and hard work but, contrary to some reports, it had nothing whatsoever to do with this newspaper's expose of No to Nice Campaign leader Mr Justin Barrett's contacts with German and Italian parties generally regarded as neo-fascist.
The story originally surfaced in a Sunday Mirror report drawn from left-wing and anti-fascist sources. Despite a threat of legal action from Mr Barrett's solicitors, The Irish Times succeeded in confirming, without any assistance or prompting from Fianna Fáil, that he had indeed attended meetings of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) in Germany and Forza Nuova in Italy."...

Extreme-right group confirms Barrett link
By Derek Scally, in Berlin, and Deaglán de Bréadún, in Dublin

Mr Justin Barrett, the chief spokesman of the No to Nice campaign and a leading figure in the Youth Defence anti-abortion group, has close contacts with an extreme right-wing party in Germany which the authorities there believe has "Nazi characteristics".

Mr Barrett has attended conferences and spoken at an event organised by Germany's National Democratic Party (NPD). Two years ago he attended an NPD rally in the Bavarian city of Passau as a representative of Youth Defence. His name appears as one of the "honorary guests" at the event in Die Deutsche Stimme (The German Voice), the NPD party newspaper. The NPD described the rally, the largest by the party to date, as a day of national resistance. It was held in May 2000, and over 6,000 party members attended.

Other honorary guests included an Italian right-wing extremist and a former Nazi SS officer, who received a standing ovation.

Last month, when allegations about his links with the German organisation were first made in a Sunday newspaper, Mr Barrett threatened to sue it. He also threatened legal action against other media organisations, including The Irish Times.

Yesterday however, senior figures in the NPD and its youth wing confirmed his involvement.

"Justin Barrett was an honorary guest at our event in Passau. I invited him. He sat with the delegates," said Mr Holger Apfel, the deputy leader of the NPD. "We have been in contact with his group since 1996. We are friendly with his Youth Defence organisation."

When this was put to Mr Barrett, he declined to confirm or deny that he attended the event.

"That will be dealt with by the High Court," he said. "This is a smear campaign started by that gutter newspaper the Sunday Mirror and obviously The Irish Times is now working on it as part of this campaign by the Yes side."

The Irish Times has learned that in addition to his NPD contacts, Mr Barrett has a long-standing relationship with the party's youth organisation, the Young National Democrats (JN), a recruiting ground for the NPD. Mr Sascha Rossmüller, leader of JN, said he had been in contact with Mr Barrett "for several years". Youth Defence "shares many important interests" with the JN and is "an important part of our international network", said Mr Rossmüller. Other organisations in the network include the National Front in Britain and Italy's extremist group, Forza Nuova. The German government applied two years ago to the country's highest court to have the NPD banned. The government argues that the party poses a threat to democracy.

Irish Times- 11th October 2002

Barrett Denies German Neo Nazi Link

The head of the "No to Nice" campaign has accused Yes campaigners of trying to link him with a neo-Nazi organisation in Germany.

Justin Barrett has confirmed that he attended and spoke at conferences organised by the German National Democratic Party - an extreme right wing grouping.

But Mr Barrett said on RTE Radio this afternoon that he had no idea of the NDP's policies and was only attending the meetings in his capacity as a member of the pro-life movement. He said he had no indication that he was dealing with racists when he attended the meetings.

Justin Barrett told RTE he saw nothing that would suggest it was a Nazi or even a far right organisation.

However the Irish Alliance for Europe has said that Mr Barrett's comments on his trips to Germany have no credibility.

In a statement the group said that not alone was Mr Barrett a guest of honour at an NPD rally in Bavaria in May 2000 but that in 1999 he had attended the conference of the party's youth group - Young National Democrats.

Fianna Fáil has said that Mr Barrett must be either naive or else he expects Irish people to be gullible.

The Labour leader, Ruairi Quinn, has called on Mr Barrett to clarify the nature of his contacts with the organisation.

RTE News Website- 11th October 2002

Radio News interview with Barrett can be downloaded HERE

Barrett leader of No to Nice Campaign

Mr Justin Barrett (31) is the public relations officer and de facto leader of the No to Nice Campaign. Despite its all-embracing title, this organisation is only one faction among the anti-Nice forces.

It scored a propaganda coup in the first Nice referendum with striking black-and-red posters carrying the message, "You will lose! Money. Power. Influence." A portrait of a man with a gun to his head in this referendum has been more controversial.

Sinn FÈin, the Greens and various socialist groups opposed to Nice have kept their distance from Mr Barrett and his associates because of the manner in which the No to Nice Campaign highlighted the immigration issue.

However, Mr Anthony Coughlan, an academic and Eurosceptic, has shared platforms with Mr Barrett over the summer. They found common ground in opposing the Government's undertaking to allow citizens from the new member-states into Ireland when most other member-states were imposing restrictions on entry.

Since then, the Government has highlighted the fact that it can still demand work permits if there is an unfavourable economic situation. Ironically, it was the liberal Mr Coughlan, a founder-member of the anti-apartheid movement in Ireland, who first raised the immigration issue, although Mr Barrett has reportedly warned of a "flood" of immigrant workers and one of his group's posters rather pointedly urges voters to "Save Irish Jobs".

The No to Nice Campaign operates out of the Youth Defence headquarters in Capel Street, Dublin. In April 1999, Mr Barrett was fined £100 for obstructing a garda at a Youth Defence anti-abortion rally in Dublin: he got the Probation Act on appeal and still protests his innocence.

The No to Nice Campaign is planning to spend about Ä100,000 in the referendum campaign, four times the Labour Party figure.

Mr Barrett is also the author of a book entitled The National Way Forward! One reviewer wrote that, "Barrett's vision is that of an 'Ireland, united, Gaelic and free' based upon Catholic social doctrine and divorced from the liberal capitalist dogma which the author bitterly castigates throughout his work".
Irish Times- 11th October 2002

Far-right rally had welcome for Irish No activist

Brown shirts and skinheads, elderly Nazi heroes with memories of the good old days... and Justin Barrett, honoured guest from Ireland. Derek Scally reports from Berlin on the German extreme right group and the No to Nice campaigner.

The video of the rally leaves little room for doubt as to what Germany's extreme right-wing National Democratic Party stands for.

Anti-semitic speeches are peppered with quotes from Adolf Hitler. There are claims that "Germany was the biggest victim of the second World War". Hundreds of skinheads give standing ovations to elderly Nazis.

Mr Justin Barrett, chief spokesman for the No to Nice Campaign and a leading light in Youth Defence, the anti-abortion group, is a guest of honour.

The conference opens with a fanfare as a group of brown-shirted men walk through the hall bearing the red, white and black NPD party flag.

Mr Udo Voigt, the NPD leader, makes his way through the cheering crowd, over 6,000 members from young skinheads to pensioners, while the stirring music of Vangelis plays over the sound system. On the walls hang banners with party slogans: "Against the System and Capital - Our Struggle is National" and "Solidarity is a Weapon".

The rally, the largest to date staged by the NPD, was held in Passau, Bavaria, on May 27th, 2000, and was described by the party as a "day of national resistance".

What took place, and the video record of it (a copy of which has been obtained by The Irish Times), confirms the belief of Mr Otto Schily, the German Interior Minister, that the NPD "clearly seeks in words, colours and programme to resemble" the Nazis.

The poorly-edited video is a long way from the Nazi propaganda films of Leni Riefenstahl, but it is still a chilling document of the extreme right in Germany and its international allies.

Asked this week about the NPD, Mr Barrett refused to comment on the claim that he was at the rally, but said: "I am not going at this stage in a referendum campaign to argue the toss about this.

"I don't know what the ideology of this party is. What has it got to do with anything? I am not going to be drawn into it. Clearly it is the last throw of the Yes campaign."

The NPD, founded in 1964, describes itself as a "real party of opposition". Though politically insignificant - it is not represented in the Bundestag and has less than 7,000 members - it has established an expansive national network of local parties, youth groups and initiatives.

The NPD opposes a multicultural German society, what it calls "foreign infiltration", and seeks an immediate end to immigration and the immediate expulsion of non-Germans. Germans should have exclusive access to the social welfare system and first choice of jobs.

The NPD does not recognise the current German borders but rather those of pre-war 1937.

Mr Voigt used his speech in Passau to argue a key policy point: the NPD's opposition to European integration.

"The political parties cannot wait to liquidate Germany into an EU central state," he says. He urges party members to fight European integration and to "show the world that not all Germans lost their spine and their pride in 1945".

Besides speeches, the so-called day of national resistance gave party members a chance to take part in a discussion forum, listen to readings and meet the NPD leading light Mr Horst Mahler.

Mr Mahler was a co-founder of the left-wing terrorist group the Red Army Faction (RAF). When he went on trial for terrorist activities in 1970, he was represented in court by the present Interior Minister, Mr Schily.

Now Mr Mahler has gone over to the other side to join the NPD and, in a twist of fate, is now one of two NPD lawyers fighting Mr Schily's application to ban the party in Germany's constitutional court.

At the Passau conference, Mr Mahler whips up the crowd into a frenzy by breathing new life into Nazi clichÈs and reciting huge chunks of Hitler speeches from memory.

"That Germany started two world wars is a discredited lie," he says to cheers from the delegates. Germans have been robbed of their self-confidence by "the Jewish spirit", he says, adding that accusations of anti-semitism in the NPD is a plot "to let the Jewish spirit rule us forever".

"Our goal is to take the people. We can only do this when we conquer their minds," he shouts.

Mr Mahler is followed by other well-known faces from Germany's extreme right scene. One mimics the bug-eyed, screaming delivery of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

Mr Sascha Rossm¸ller, leader of the Young National Democrats (JN), the NPD youth group, speaks in a more demagogic style, an obvious homage to Hitler.

The JN is the recruiting ground for the NPD. According to its own documents, the group models itself "singularly and solely on the Wehrmacht and the soldiers of the Waffen-SS".

Mr Rossm¸ller, a trained gardener, was elected JN leader in 1999, and his election "underlines the neo-Nazi orientation of the JN", according to German authorities. Mr Rossm¸ller says he has been in contact with Mr Barrett for "several years".

He invited Mr Barrett to attended two conferences organised by the JN in October 1999 and 2000. The conferences, "held in the German Reich", according to a JN report, were attended by a who's who of extreme-right leaders.

The JN report on the 1999 conference says: "Of particular attraction was the participation of... the leader of the National Alliance from the USA, Dr William Pierce and, last but not least, the leader of a noteworthy Irish anti-abortion group, Justin Barret (sic) from Youth Defense (sic)."

Until his death in July, Dr William Pierce was one of the leading neo-Nazis in the US. He founded the American Nazi Party in 1965 and is author of The Turner Diaries, required reading for all neo-Nazis and the book the FBI believes inspired the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Mr Barrett gave a speech on "totalitarianism" at one of the JN conferences, according to Mr Rossm¸ller, but he didn't speak at the Passau conference.

However, one of the guests of honour in Passau who did speak was Mr Roberto Fiore. He is the leader of the Italian extremist group Fuerza Nuova, which brings together fascists, anti-abortion clerics and skinheads.

He told the Passau delegates that the NPD and the foreign groups represented at the conference needed to fight together to achieve one common goal.

"The reason we are all together is because we are witnessing a huge attack at the moment from the hidden powers of capitalism and Marxism," he said.

At the end of the conference, the 6,000 delegates get to their feet to sing, loud and proud, the German national anthem. Unusually, they start with the first verse, which has been illegal to sing in public since the 1950s: "Deutschland, Deutschland ¸ber alles, ¸ber alles in der Welt" - Germany, Germany above everything in the world.

The verse refers to Germany's borders stretching to the Memel river in Lithuania, which suggests that Germany, or the NPD at least, still considers former East Prussia to be part of its territory.

Events like the day of national resistance are the reason the NPD is under constant surveillance by Germany's Office for the Protection of the Constitution, a body which monitors extremist groups felt to pose a threat to national security. Information gathered by the office is central to the government's application to the constitutional court to ban the NPD.

The application was lodged two years ago, after a summer of high-profile extreme right-wing attacks on foreigners. The process, however, has been delayed by the revelation that at least 30 leading NPD members were paid informers.

The NPD claims the spies were agents provocateurs, paid by the government to stir up trouble and steer the party direction. The fate of the government's case hangs on its ability to prove otherwise.

"Tomorrow belongs to the youth - the future belongs to the young nationalist movement," says the video cover of the Passau conference.

The party calls the day of national resistance a key moment in NPD history, "a display of unity with the entire emerging national movement".

Building up an international network of contacts is one of three key pillars of the NPD's work internationally and guests like Mr Barrett are a key part of this network building.

Mr Barrett and Youth Defence are "an important part of our international network", said Mr Rossm¸ller. He says Germany's leading extreme right organisation "shares many important interests" with Mr Barrett and Youth Defence. German authorities agree.

Mr Barrett's attendance at the conference in Passau, on the Bavarian border with Austria, attracted the attention of officials from Bavaria's Constitutional Protection Office, who were monitoring the event and confirmed to The Irish Times that Mr Barrett attended it.

Mr Robert Bihler, spokesman for the Bavarian Constitution Protection Office, said: "The NPD is an extreme right (wing) xenophobic party. Mr Barrett must share some of their ideology otherwise why else would he come to their conferences?"
Irish Times- 11th October 2002

Fascist Link of 'No to Nice' Chief
by Francis O Donnell

No to Nice campaign frontman Justin Barrett's neo-fascist links are revealed today in the Irish Sunday Mirror.

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.

Sunday Mirror (Irish Edition)- 29th September 2002

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