The Soldiers of Odin, an anti-Islamic group who have started street patrols in several Irish towns in recent weeks say they are not thugs, but will defend themselves if necessary.
Soldiers of Odin (SoO)was formed in Finland last October, carrying out street patrols which they said were to protect people, particularly women, from attacks from immigrants.
Their founder, Mika Ranta, is a self-confessed neo-Nazi with a conviction for a racially-motivated assault.
An Irish branch of the group was set up this year and is led by a Portuguese man living in Carlow. They have posted pictures of themselves carrying out patrols in places including Dublin, Wexford, Laois and Kilkenny.
A spokesman for Soldiers of Odin Ireland told the Sunday World the aim of the group was to “highlight the evils of Islam and to start the debate on how followers of Islam demand that we respect and conform to their ways”.
He said the group was non-violent, but added: “We will defend ourselves if necessary.”
He also said they are “ready to rumble” with anti-white groups.
He said the group was made up of many different nationalities and religions, but confirmed there were no black members. It is understood several are White immigrants to Ireland.
Asked what the purpose of the patrols was, he said: “Patrols are carried out if we are told of problems in particular areas.”