Dangerous gang of marauding misogynists

Bernardo O’Reilly
6 min readFeb 20, 2022

On the evening of 12 February Twitter users watched with dismay as the National Party’s Philip Dwyer uploaded a video of himself and the so called ‘men of Ireland trek’ invading the graveyard where Ashling Murphy is buried and using her tragic death to spread their hate-filled propaganda. Primary school teacher and musician, Ashling was tragically murdered in an horrific attack on 12 January when she went out for a run close to her home in Tullamore.

In the immediate aftermath of this tragedy the National Party and other far-right agents set about exploiting her death to spread racist and misogynist narratives. Dwyer bringing his gang of thugs to her grave, knocking over candles, and moving family flowers to place a highly inappropriate tacky harp-shaped wreath before reading an appalling speech about how the media and NGOs are hiding the truth was a new low. However, this level of misogyny and disrespect should come as no surprise given the National Party’s long history of violence and intimidation against women.

So, who are ‘the men of Ireland trek’? They’re a ramshackle bunch of National Party members and supporters. Far-right thugs, templar twats, cocaine dealers, violent ex-cons with gangland connections, conspiracy theorists, and political wannabes all turn up for these men-only walks organised by Dwyer. Most have highly questionable backgrounds when it comes to women’s safety, and none have a history of ever actively supporting women’s rights. These men regularly call for Ireland to return to the dark time when our society was controlled by the Catholic Church. The NP became a safe space for anti-abortion campaigners and men who are not allowed to see their kids. Far-right ideology is explicitly based on the subjugation and disempowerment of women and many of these men cut their teeth abusing women who campaigned for bodily autonomy.

First let’s take a look at Dwyer … The day after Ashling’s tragic death, Dwyer interrupted a live TV news broadcast to rant about Covid-19 conspiracies. Dwyer regularly interrupts press conferences and live TV broadcasts, sticking his selfie stick into the middle of the action. In 2021 he persistently attempted to intimidate victims of stalking by butting in and ‘demanding answers’ while they attempted to speak to the press about their quest for justice.

His obsession with the book Beyond Magenta is creepy beyond belief. The book is a collection of interviews and stories from transgender and gender-neutral teenagers. Dwyer equates this publication with child pornography but none-the-less carries a copy with him most of the time and has been known to into bookshops and libraries loudly reading out passages from it or alternatively prowling the children’s section with his camera live-streaming.

In June 2021 Dwyer turned up at the end of a solidarity gathering at Assumption Parish Church, Ballyfermot due to the church being forced to remove their recently erected LGBTQ flag. It was a colourful event with lots of young people present. He proceeded to follow a man wrapped in an LGBTQ flag and harass him while filming a woman and child he was with. He followed them to their cars shouting about “having homosexual sex with four years olds”. When they leave, he continues to pester people accusing them of “gay arrogance” instead of gay pride while following them around with his camera live streaming all the while. He openly equates the LGBTQ flag with paedophilia while somehow claiming he is a victim of intimidation by the people who he has just been pestering and slandering. He’s also been known to prowl around outside primary schools tracking the number and nationality of children attending that he perceives as non-Irish.

Dwyer has been caught on camera racially abusing a taxi driver. He has also attacked a number of dogs, kicking one friendly collie in the head and threatening to kill another. The female owner of one of the dogs made a complaint to his employer after he launched a tirade of abuse at her and threatened to kill her pet. In 1998 he was given the Probation Act for breaking a man’s jaw.

Another man present in the graveyard during their sick stunt is John McGhee, former scientologist turned NP member. McGhee was convicted and fined €3500 for assault and battery against a woman in 2017. He recently revealed in an NP Telegram chat how he and another man prowled a primary school and defaced the flag at the school with homophobic graffiti. In the thread others are encouraged to carry out similar attacks.

Is there anything about these men that makes you think their inappropriate stunt at Ashling Murphy’s grave was genuine?

A quick glance at the National Party reveals a number of other violent misogynists.

NP member Michael Quinn is currently serving a prison sentence for the well-publicised attack on Izzy Kamikaze during an anti-lockdown protest in September 2020. Quinn used a wooden plank wrapped in a tricolour to strike Izzy in the head causing a deep cut and knocking her to the ground. In her victim impact statement, she describes how the speaker on the platform then alerted the crowd to her presence at which point they formed a mob around her baying for her blood. She said, “The entire crowd turned towards us. They swarmed towards us with the aim of driving us off the street. I thought I was about to die or receive life-threatening injuries.”

Fellow NP member Dave Cullen aka Computing Forever, earns over €5000 a month from a profile he built pushing out videos and tweets targeting women who worked in the gaming industry. During Gamergate he teamed up with fellow misogynist Carl Benjamin, who himself demonstrated his misogyny by tweeting about raping UK MP Jess Philip, currently the shadow minster for domestic violence and safeguarding. He was permanently banned from Twitter and YouTube in 2021 for persistent breaches of hate and misinformation policies. He now runs pro National Party TikTok channels and professes to be a Trad Catholic. Cullen also works closely with white supremacist grifter and NP supporter Rowan Croft.

Croft has a long history of attacking women online, singling out individuals for relentless abuse especially if he deems them to be ‘non-white’. He harassed the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, engaged in victim blaming and called for it to be shut down before eventually being banned from Twitter. He has also targeted a young female teacher and her pupils, posting pictures of them online.

Paul O’Neil is also a member of the NP. He regularly interviews their candidates and guest speakers at NP events. He was banned from YouTube after a live stream discussing the public torture and execution of women.

His buddy Gearoid Murphy called to a woman’s workplace to intimidate her and set up fake social media profiles in her name. He has a history of making videos attacking and abusing women and refers to women as ‘bitches’ in his tweets. He is on record asking UK fascist Tommy Robinson for ‘reliable rape stats’ to support his argument. Gearoid is a regular fixture at NP demos and often livestreams their events.

We mustn’t forget dweeby little Alan Sweeney either. Alan was a member of the NP but hasn’t been attending their events as often since he went solo as a one-man-eejit-machine. While he seems like a harmless twat, that didn’t stop him attacking a disabled woman. During an anti-lockdown protest when the NP thugs were riled up and spoiling for a fight. John Cully (with at least 42 previous convictions) and NP Stephen Coveney (jailed for stealing dogs) threw a disabled woman to the ground. As the gardai move them on Sweeney sees his opportunity to act the big man and runs over and spits on her as she lies on the ground.

Renowned for his blabbermouth, Sweeney regularly doxes his buddies by accident on his live streams. Interestingly at a Unite the Tribes anti-lockdown demo he live streamed a conversation in which violent ex-con Sean Quinn from the NP says he’s going to “slaughter” women, naming one of the Unite the Tribes organisers Shakti- G in particular in his threat.

That’s just a flavour of the sort of men who join the National Party’s ‘men of Ireland treks’. Clearly, they are no friends of women and indeed, are a major part of the problem in Irish society. Their attempts to normalise chauvinism, misogyny, rape-culture are blatant. Their efforts to drum up racial hate, homophobia and transphobia are evident in the spread of fake news and dog whistle statements across online platforms from WhatsApp to Telegram and everything in between.

It’s not enough to dislike the far right and their activities. The obligation is on all of us to stand up against their misogyny and hate. For women everywhere we must stand together to ensure they cannot build a movement based on inequality, violence, and hatred.