Text: Izzy Copestake
“Ireland, we are at war” says the UFC fighter via X (formally Twitter), the day before the violence.
Gardaí investigators are examining statements made on social media which may have incited the horrific outbreak of violence in Dublin city centre last Thursday. It’s been confirmed that McGregor is officially now part of the Garda probe over ‘incitement to hatred’.
Following a knife attack on three children and their carer in the North inner-city last Thursday, violent, racially motivated riots broke out on Parnell and O’Connell Street after news spread that the attacker was a foreign national. Caio Benício, a Brazilian Deliveroo driver stopped the attack on the children using his helmet.
At 21:23 on the day of the riots, McGregor began his statement on X: ‘Innocent children ruthlessly stabbed by a mentally deranged non-national in Dublin, Ireland today‘…
Innocent children ruthlessly stabbed by a mentally deranged non-national in Dublin, Ireland today. Our chief of police had this to say on the riots in the aftermath. Drew, not good enough. There is grave danger among us in Ireland that should never be here in the first place, and… https://t.co/ac6j1GIjXD— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 23, 2023
The tweet has received 21.8 million views. As racist hatred and violence escalated on Thursday night, McGregor posted another Tweet stating: ‘You reap what you sow.’
Despite the fighter’s words focusing on the nationality of the attacker, and many of his followers interpreting his posts as a call to action, McGregor has since claimed that he ‘does not condone last night’s riots’. However, this statement was in response to a tweet from the Britain First party leader Paul Golding, urging McGregor to lead a freedom march. The tweet featured an ai generated image featuring McGregor in a suit, standing in front of a burning Dublin Bus, surrounded by white men in tracksuits, carrying torches and screaming.
I do not condone last nights riots. I do not condone any attacks on our first responders in their line of duty. I do not condone looting and the damaging of shops. Last nights scenes achieved nothing toward fixing the issues we face. I do understand frustrations however, and I do… https://t.co/FFx7d0ZROb— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 24, 2023
Far-right figures who organised violence in the city centre and stirred up racial and xenophobic hatred online are also being investigated. Unsurprisingly, several key figures have since deleted posts and accounts linking them to the riots following public outrage.