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Revealed: The Irish face of the English Defence League (EDL)

EDL, Tommy Robinson, Stephen Lennon
Stephen Lennon – aka Tommy Robinson

THIS is the controversial Luton Irishman behind the far right English Defence League who have been protesting against ethnic groups on Britain’s streets in the aftermath of last month’s Woolwich terrorist attack in London.

Founder Stephen Lennon has mobilised EDL members in violent anti-Islamic protests across the country, which has seen mosques and Muslim communities targeted, in the two weeks since Soldier Lee Rigby was killed.

Lennon had taken to Twitter to threaten to take on ‘plastic paddies’ at Wembley’s England verses Ireland football friendly last Wednesday.

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However, the threat was not followed through.

Lennon, who goes by the name Tommy Robinson, was born to a Dublin mother and Scottish father in Luton, where he formed the extremist group in 2009.

Although he classes himself as an Englishman, he has publicly claimed to be ‘proud’ of his Irish heritage, but messages on his Twitter feed reveal the opposite.

Posts found on Lennon’s social networking account, show the second-generation Irishman regularly refutes his heritage and abuses those who claim he is Irish.

He has also posted a string of anti-Irish slurs and remarks.

In one message he claims his parents would be “in Ireland picking potatoes and eating cabbages”, if they hadn’t moved to England.

Elsewhere those tweeting him are branded ‘fools’ and ‘wronguns’ for claiming he is Irish.

Another post is used to inform his followers that “cos of all this abuse from plastic paddys we are taking a tidy mob to England Ireland on 29th.”

More than 1,500 EDL supporters marched through central London and protested at Downing Street last Monday.

The group congregated in Trafalgar Square before marching to Westminster and descending on a ‘Support our Troops’ demonstration being held in response to the Woolwich killing.

Thirty-year-old Lennon, who co-founded the EDL in Luton with fellow second generation Irishman Kevin O’Carroll – whose parents also hail from Dublin – was among a masked group of EDL members in Woolwich two weeks ago on the night after Drummer Rigby’s death.

That protest saw violent clashes with police as more than a hundred EDL members hurled bottles and anti-Muslim abuse while demonstrating close to the scene of the attack.

Violence erupted as mosques were attacked and police attempted to control the scene, where EDL members chanted “no surrender to Muslim scum’ and ‘rule Britannia’.

The following Saturday the group led a similar protest in Newcastle, before returning to London last Monday (May 27) for the Downing Street demo.

When contacted by The Irish Post the EDL failed to respond.

The EDL protests have increased fears of far right reprisals upon the Muslim community in Britain.

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone was among politicians and anti-fascist supporters who took a stand against the EDL last week.

He called for British citizens of all communities to condemn their violent protests and unite against fascist movements who may seek to capitalise on fears surrounding the Woolwich killing.

“There will be those who will seek to scapegoat entire communities for this barbaric act,” said Mr Livingstone, Honorary President of United against Fascism group.

“This is what terrorists want, and rely on. For people to feel fear, to turn on each other and to bring down the very essence of London, the most successful melting pot in the history of the world and the city of the free.”

He added: “Already, violent fascists have taken to the streets in Woolwich adding insult to the injury that community is feeling. Already there have been reprisal attacks against Mosques. We must not let this violent minority exploit this crime for their own hateful gains.”

See this week’s Irish Post (out Wednesday, June 5) for an interview with EDL leader and controversial Luton Irishman Stephen Lennon


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51 comments on “Revealed: The Irish face of the English Defence League (EDL)”

  1. David Clarke

    Tommy Robinson is a miserable disgrace of a human being who exists to sow racist hate and division against the honest and hardworking Muslim community of Britain, he is the exact opposite of what it means to be an Irishman and is the complete antithesis of Irish Values. It is important for the Irish community in Great Britain to take a stand in solidarity with the Muslim community and with other communities against the fascist and racist bigotry and hate of the EDL and the BNP, just as it has always stood against racist bigotry and hate.

    • Niall

      No you are ok. I would rather stand beside an Englishman than a muslim. Islam is Evil.

  2. father mayeye

    so now there are two plastic paddys or plastic nazis or whatever they are ?! they must have been fed too much lovely cabbage,bacon and spuds as children or something ! has to be the comedy story of the year if it wasn't so serious.

  3. Mary sheerin

    Silly silly man... Get a life

  4. John Bell

    Why do you classify him as 'Irish' if he was born in England and classifies himself as 'English'?

    • Steve

      Probably because the EDL love to state that Muslims whom are third or fourth generation "are not English". They can't have it both ways.

      • P Cross

        The original inhabitants of Ireland arrived via several centuries in Britain, so technically Irish people are actually British.

    • Willie

      Was it the Duke of Wellington who once said just because one is born in a Stable does not make you a Horse.
      You cannot cherry pick and just want the good and famous,unfortunately this thing is as Irish as me.
      Uncle Tom comes to mind.

      • John Bell

        Well, his real Dad is English and his step-Dad is Scottish. Do you think that identity is only inherited from your Mother's side?

        BTW, please define what it means to be Irish --- is it a 'blood' thing only? If so, how many generations do you have to go back? If you found out today that you'd been adopted as a child and that your real parents were English, would you suddenly consider yourself to be English too?

      • Tom, irish born, american raised

        The Duke of Wellington might have said that but his record had shown that he did stick up for the Irish in parliament for a number of causes in his later years after Waterloo and the army. Fair play since a lot of his soldiers were Irish in his battle with Napoleon Bonaparte and Le Grand Armee. He may not be the best example Willie, however I understand your point.

      • P Cross

        His dad was ENGLISH his mum was Irish he was born in England. Do the maths

    • Sarah

      Why does he classiy all muslims as immigrant when i for one am a muslim and was born in England and consider myself English yet just because i follow Islam and strongly disagree with the discriminating views of the self appointed EDL leader im told to go back to my own country when i was born here?

    • Kirsty

      He is classified as Irish because he has Irish blood, he is Irish stock and no doubt influenced by his bigoted Irish family / heritage. And lets face it Irish have a poor reputation for being racist which is ironic since they were the biggest migrant population everywhere but they do say life is full of ironies.

      • Thomas

        They have all kinds of strange stereotypical reputations in Britain. However before you make such a silly comment you should try to find out how many racist nazi political parties there are in ireland first. If you are looking for a racist country and a racist or xenophobic people, look out your window.

      • Ciaran

        >And lets face it Irish have a poor reputation for being racist

        Compared to what?

        Colonial Britain, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Dutch, Germany?

        Compared to Zionist treatment of Palestinians?

        Compared to how colonial/nativist Americans treated/treat blacks, Japanese, Italians, Irish, Hispanics, Arabs and the actual native Americans?

        Compared to how Australia was established as a country?

        Compared to the caste system in India?

        Compared to how South Africans burned immigrants in the street a few years back?

        By all means some Irish are racist and guys like Lennon & O'Carroll are completed weirdo's with a serious identity crisis but to tar a whole nation with one brush is what is ironic here.

  5. John Galvin

    This is old, old, old news.
    If you did your research properly, with due diligence, and actually talked to some people in Luton, you would have known about this years ago. He still has family in the town. Journalists, go and do some real news. I know,..... why not do a story on all the murders in Luton. Or even about all the extremists in Luton, (who are all on benefitsand yet can afford to drive BMW's).

    • Kevin Connolly

      Behave yourself ya loon.

  6. GB Republicans

    Tommy has made no secret of his Irish roots and like many in frontline British politicians he is a first generation Briton (others include Ed Miliband, Michael Howard, and Kev Carrol (EDL)).

  7. John Bell

    Why do you classify him as ‘Irish’ if he was born in England and classifies himself as ‘English’?

  8. Mark Rowland

    From what i've seen, 'Unite against fascism' ironically are a bunch of fascist thugs. They display disgusting behaviour whenever they're out in public.

  9. Niall

    The EDL was founded by two immigrants on a political platform to get rid of immigrants? I've seen it all now!

    • John Galvin

      Are you stupid???
      He is not an Irish immigrant! He was born in England and holds a British passport. Which in anyones book, and the last time I checked, a "British Citizen".
      And it wasn't formed on an political platform, it was formed because the council in Luton supported Islamic extremists, rather than British troops upon their homecoming parade.

  10. Marcus

    Just to let you all know =)

    He is not Irish he was adopted by the people above. heh

    Just thought you may want to delete this before it gets out , and you look a bit stupid.

  11. Walter

    Wait until Muslim extremism hits Ireland and then you'll wish you had an Irish version of the EDL..

    • Willie

      Walter unfortunately they are here.
      I have nothing against the EDL but I find it strange to see an immigrant in charge a bit of a joke,it is like a Jew leading the Nazis.

    • C

      It seems that you want another "false flag" to scapegoat just to keep your Nazi hatred going! When English soldiers Abuse the local Irish in N.Ireland and Shoot down it's citizens in what is basically an OCUPPIED Territory, NotSees like you go into hiding. WHOLE streets of Irish People were Victimised for YEARS! Innocent Irish People in London in particular were dragged off the streets during the SUS Laws. remember those nice calling cards and INTERROGATED for months on end!! "Irish UNTIL proven Guilty".

  12. Peter Davies

    I have never read such a load of rubbish in my life, and I mean ever. One can only assume that the author is in some way being financed by the real violent thugs in this piece at the UAF.

  13. Jay

    This all seems nonsense. Don't believe anything I have read here I'm second generation Irish and seems the writer of the article is writing crap. Why would he say anything bad about his own heritage. Its absolute nonsense he's a proud man has no problem with it. I don't agree with marching round areas but can see bull when I read it.

  14. Lynda

    The group which sets themselves against the EDL, the UAF, are the 'counter-protest' against the 'far-right EDL'. Does it not concern the writer of this article and the commentators so far that the killer of Lee Rigby, Michael Adebolajo was in this UAF fascist movement as as speaker as has been well recorded and documented?

    There is nothing 'far-right' about the EDL; rather they are just trying to stop the Islamising of their communities. Islam is not tolerant of things non Islamic.

    Stop thinking that tolerance is the absolute height of morality. There simply are things which should not be tolerated. Many things within the orthodox teachings of Islam impact on non-Muslims (and indeed denigrate the humanity of Muslims themselves - like Michael Adebolajo)in a cruel and humiliating way.

    Muslims who want to stop these expressions (which is with great difficulty because they are orthodox teachings)will have NO support if the non-muslim societies they came to for a better way of life capitulate to Islamic ways of seeing the world and others.

    This article is another nail in the coffin of politically correct journalism masquerading as enlightened 'facts' but is errant opinion.

    • C Walsh

      Spot on, the U.A.F should be listed as a terrorist organisation

  15. D.Murray

    I believe that 'Robinsons' comment on taking some yobs to the England v Ireland match was a joke he made to a friend and he alluded to that on his Twitter site.

    There's something of Sean MacStiofain about him albeit in reverse, MacStiofain was an Englishman with one Ulster Scots Great Grandmother who gaelicised his name from John Stephenson and led the IRA from the 50's to the 70's, whereas Stephen Lennon is an Irishman in all but birthplace tying his colours to the English extremist mast.

    Where the second generation Irish are concerned there's an elasticity that ranges from those you can class as 'Irish Nationals born outside the country', these people hold Irish passports, go back to Ireland regularly, are fully familiar with contemporary Ireland and it's politics and history, speak with accents that range from fully Irish to Irish tinted and may even live in Ireland.

    Then there's a gradual curve down towards people who might regards themselves as having 'Irish backgrounds' or 'half Irish' who might be indistinguishable from British people until Ireland is alluded to, then there are those who could be called 'plastic Brits' in the sense that they might negate any connections with Ireland or try to fit in a little too hard with English mores, sometimes this is deliberate or sometimes it could merely be the result of never having being brought back to Ireland by their parents as children.

    Identity is a many faceted thing that's influenced by environment and life experience, and not the simplistic issue that the 'birthplace facists' who believe birthplace outside the Emerald negates any vestiges of Irishness, these are the people who'd tell Larkin, Connolly, Bulfin, Clarke, Childers and Marciewicz to 'back to their own countries and stop causing trouble in Ireland' as soon as they heard their accents.

    • P Cross

      English seed + Irish manure = ENGLISH flower

  16. Kev

    Divide and Rule

  17. Willie

    D Murray you do go on.

    • D,Murray

      sure do, all true though!

  18. Nuala

    Only decent comment is from David Clarke SPOT on these others are they all this EDF guys mates ?? Why on earth are people with this low level of understanding reading or following the Irish Post ??

    • John Bell

      What a very liberal comment Nuala!

  19. Peter Kiely

    He is English Born with Irish Roots. As far as I know Robert Kilroy Silk and Jim Davidson are also. Phil Lynott was born near Birmingham,but had no English Blood in him as his Mum is irish and his Dad was Africa, but he grew up in Ireland. Citizenship is far more than just where you were Born. He might have pride in his Irish roots but can be hard pressed to show it when confronted by our very own "Armchair-Republican-Dips**ts"... Idiots are everywhere, don't let them rule the roost, Us Irish and British are Neighbours, most of us get along great, so let the narrow minded fools eventually disappear, they eventually will. PK.

    • C Walsh

      The threat both our country's/cultures face from wave after wave of MUSLIM immigration is FAR greater than anything we have had to deal with before

  20. Ronald

    Never mind his nationality. What about his age? "Thirsty-year-old"!?

    Go on, Stephen. Have another one. You're looking terrible thirsty!

  21. sam

    I m a Muslim and I love the Irish.....great great people...what a brilliant country...god bless

    • P Cross

      it's racist to claim an entire race of people are the same

  22. gerry

    you can go on about irish this and english that all you want
    but in reality english and irish history will be forgot if the islamists get their way
    only islam will be taught and all these islands proud historys will be forgot
    make a stand somewhere. and let your voice be heard before you die
    and they the muslims get your heritage
    we are at a crucible right now good v evil

  23. Sam

    Hiya everybody. The EDL, The terrorist need to get a life. England is a multicultural country which accepts everyone regardless of sexuality, religion, age, disability, etc. these something called equality and diversity. In this world these some much ppl go through diseases and illnesses called cancer and other diseases where it doesn't matter what religion, colour, age u are. Anyone can get it. So why are u wasting your time on this rubbish when instead you can help and fund a cure for these diseases where so many ppl are dying everyday. Ppl from different nationality are affected why start another disease. The founder of EDL needs to go and find a job cuz it looks like he's to bored and got to much time on he's hand so spreads this rubbish.

    • C Walsh

      What England are you talking about Sam, I have never met a single english person who is happy about all the immigrants arriving in england. they were not invited, not welcome. It was the Labour party's political elite (Scottish) who let them in.

  24. Sean

    Now be carefull wee man don't go annoying the Irish boys or we will come looking for you and we won't be using our fists no no
    Catch yourself on and don't go rattling the Belfast boys cage we don't play lightly !!!

  25. Sean

    I admire any man who stands up for his land and stops others from overtaking
    We must commend those who have the balls to do this
    Do not ever let anybody overtake your land. Not now not tomorrow and not ever
    People must stand together and never give up !!

  26. eoin

    What is it with these muslims were ever they go trouble follows. World wide islam has problems with athiest,buddist christians hindus sheiks jews all faiths and none. From the philipines to thailand india burma sri lanka nigeria all nations virtualy ever corner of the globe. Whats the 1 common denominator in all this strife...islam and muslims. not islamophobia as the muslims and their leftist and liberal allies would try to make out. Im belfast irish and can tell you we will not put up.with those people and the problems they cause this is our island it does not belong to mohamad as the muslims like to think it does.It was our blood that was shed for this country not the blood of muslim who come to destroy our culture and heritage our way of life make more mistake the muslims are I bigger threat to this island than the brittish ever were. Too many people with their head in the sands.

    • C Walsh

      Be careful Eoin even Irish nationalism wont be tolerated if you try and defend yourself from the islamification of these islands

    • Mary O'Hanlon

      I prefer a Muslim then protestants and british.. Am an Catholioc Irish lady and the reason why we were ruled is because of people like this tommy guy, a sell-out, slave mentllity, naive and sucking up to others.

  27. IDL Irish Defence League

    The IDL are not Facit we are not racist we stand for the people and have only one goal to ensure islamifacation does not begin in Ireland.

    If we stand together we can ensure a clear message we respect all but we expect and demand equal respect for our religion and culture


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