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Social Media’s Role in Ireland’s Anti-Migration Protests

On April 25, anti-migrant activists gathered in Ireland to protest outside a site being converted to asylum accommodation near Newtown Mount Kennedy. The protest turned violent, with clashes between activists and officers and a fire lit at the site. Irish Foreign Secretary Micheál Martin expressed concerns about migrants fearing deportation to Rwanda, which could be driving them to seek asylum in Ireland instead of the UK.

The issue of migration to Ireland has attracted attention internationally, with prominent figures from the US and elsewhere weighing in on social media, intensifying the debate. An analysis of social media data by Sky News reveals significant international involvement in discussing the events. Posts mentioning Newtown Mount Kennedy spiked dramatically on the day of the protest, with a majority coming from users in the US. Similarly, hashtags like #IrelandBelongsToTheIrish and #IrelandIsFull saw increased usage, largely driven by American accounts.

The engagement with these hashtags and posts on the topic extends beyond Ireland’s borders, with notable figures like Tommy Robinson and Alex Jones contributing to the discourse. Despite the majority of posts originating from outside Ireland, the most engaged-with accounts using these hashtags were predominantly Irish.

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