A red and black Nazi flag has been removed from the back garden of a home in Bagenalstown, County Carlow, after locals expressed their disgust. However, a US flag remains flying outside the two story home.
Gardai (police) in the area said they were “unaware” of any complaints but said they would visit the site and investigate the matter. According to reports in the Irish Independent, no official complaints about the flag had been made by residents.
However, residents living near the house, in the townsland of Seskinryan, said they were “very concerned” to see the Nazi symbol being “flaunted,” in plain sight, in their community.
Although the flag was erected in the house’s private back garden it could be seen from the street. The American flag remains flying next to a child’s playhouse in the back garden.
Although Ireland has no law banning the use of a swastika, the gardai have the power to pursue the matter under the Prohibition to Inciting Hatred Act 1989. It could also be deemed a public order issue.
Councillor Denis Foley, a member of the town's joint policing forum, told the Irish Independent :“I intend raising it with gardai and bringing it to the attention of Alan Shatter as a Fine Gael colleague and a member of the Jewish community.
“I was shocked to see that a swastika flag would be flying anywhere in the world, let alone in a small townsland in Co Carlow, it's disgusting.”
The European Network Against Racism said flying a swastika was "not racist violence per se." A spokesperson clarified this by saying it was a "disturbing sign of the increasing acceptance of far- right ideologies".
"While seemingly minor, often such minor actions have the potential of escalating into more serious actions. We therefore need to remain vigilant to all expressions which could incite racial violence and actively counter the destructive impact of far-right discourse at all levels of society."
Reporters from the Irish Independent called to the home where a family resides but no one came to the door.