Fear and loathing in Ashbourne

Conspiracy theories, dire warnings about Muslims, a terror of immigration, an obsession with George Soros: welcome to the world of Anti-Corruption Ireland, the new political party founded by former journalist Gemma O’Doherty

Above: Gemma O’Doherty is the leading light in the new political party Anti-Corruption Ireland

Gemma O’Doherty stands in the Tara Room of the Pillo Hotel in Ashbourne, Co Meath with a beatific smile on her face. The crowd is about 150-strong, more than she expected, and they’ve had to pull out extra chairs to accommodate everyone.

They’re here to launch O’Doherty’s new political party, Anti-Corruption Ireland (ACI), and she wants to outline her 20-point party platform and call for candidates to run for the party in the ...