The National Party published a video on 27th September which addressed the recent events in the party, which included several reasons which led to the removal of Justin Barrett as leader.

The new leadership of the National Party exercised extreme restraint during the past weeks by attempting to avoid being dragged into an unedifying dispute with Mr Barrett. The former leader was given an opportunity to accept his dismissal with dignity. He refused to accept this option.

From July onwards, Mr Barrett publicly smeared and slandered me and other opponents of his within the National Party. He turned to An Garda Síochána and attempted to involve the regime in what should have been an internal party matter.

Although party activists had been privately informed of the reasons for his removal from the leadership, many passive members and supporters (particularly online) felt confused by recent events. Given the spurious but deeply serious claims levelled against me and others by Mr Barrett, there was doubt in the air about the events which led to his removal.

It was necessary to explain why Mr Barrett had to be removed from the party leadership. His immense character flaws, outrageous decisions, and lack of interest in serious political activities had to be aired. Anything short of this would have made the move against him appear trivial or unwarranted.

Attempts by Mr Barrett and his wife Rebecca to play on the heartstrings of people by suggesting I have been unfair to reveal the gross deficiencies of this man’s character are utterly deceptive. For months they have slandered me and others online. They have shown they would stoop extremely low in a desperate attempt to reverse what is already a fact – his removal from the National Party leadership, having lost the confidence of most members.

Mr Barrett has since posted on his Telegram page that the revelation of “personal details” about his alcoholism was uncalled for. Although he acknowledged his heavy drinking around 2008 in this post, he deliberately ignored his recent relapse into alcoholism. He fell off the wagon in 2021 and became so bad that an intervention was needed which included several senior NP members in 2022. I would not have mentioned his past problems if they were not also relevant to the here and now.

The decision to remove Mr Barrett as leader was not taken lightly. In the past year or so he began to marginalise key people within the party, including the party’s talented videographer and the party’s national organiser. He became totally withdrawn from the party and was inactive as leader. His primary activity was to post nonsensical tweets on his @NP_DBS twitter account.

Members became increasingly disillusioned with his leadership, especially as his destructive habit reasserted itself. He had no medium or long-term vision apart from a fanciful belief in an impending economic Armageddon which would inexplicably propel the National Party to power. Until that point, he believed the party should engage in puerile “shock and awe” tactics like posting Mein Kampf quotes.

My patience wore thin with Justin Barrett, but it reached a breaking point when he began to attempt to purge the party’s most talented and dedicated members. I simply could not allow him to destroy the party to which I had dedicated so much time, effort, and resources. During the final stages of his leadership, he treated me and others with contempt.

Mr Barrett had also begun to greedily use the party’s funds for selfish reasons. In the aftermath of his car being seized by the Gardaí while driving on a learner’s permit, he purchased a €13,000 car for himself. This was bought by dipping into party funds. I recognise this is a disgusting breach of trust. Nobody has ever donated to the National Party to allow Justin Barrett to buy himself a car. Those who have contributed to his so-called “legal fund” online should be cautious about donating to this man given his sticky fingers.

Mr Barrett is now claiming that he could not drive to my home to confront me on the moving of the NP’s gold reserves from outside his control because of respect for my 90-year-old mother. This simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. If he wanted to discuss matters with me, he could have met me privately anywhere on my property.

On 14th July 2023, Mr Barrett was removed as party leader at a meeting valid and in adherence with the constitution of the party.

The Electoral Commission was notified of the outcome on the same day. The constitutional powers of the president touted by Mr Barrett in later statements are irrelevant, as Mr Barrett had been out of office for over a week by the time he posted his absurd “Sin Ordú” statement on the renegade @NP_DBS twitter account.

On foot of his removal from all party offices, steps were taken to remove Mr Barrett’s access to party resources including the party bank account and gold reserves. He had previously put his hand in the till, and urgent steps were required. The party’s gold was not physically removed from the vault in Dublin, but rather transferred to a new party deposit box which Mr Barrett would not have access to considering his dismissal.

His allegations of “theft” on the part of myself and the National Organiser are totally without merit and in fact defamatory. After he made his initial absurd statement, he declared falsely that we would shortly be arrested and imprisoned. This obviously has not happened. Even the biassed media reported the reality that the Gardaí were not treating this as a matter of criminal theft, but simply a question of who was legally in charge of the National Party and by extension its assets.

Since Mr Barrett forced what should have been a private matter onto the national airwaves and generated a media firestorm, the National Party has exercised considerable restraint. We avoided spatting with Mr Barrett online, despite his numerous provocations and slanderous comments.

We have sought to produce goodwill by focusing on serious political campaigns, including activism in Dublin and at the National Ploughing Championships. We have been focused on keeping the party united internally in light of this change. This has been successful and can be seen by the fact Mr Barrett has not attracted a single senior party spokesperson or front-person to his side, confirming the widespread disaffection with his non-leadership and personal toxicity.

We have engaged with the Electoral Commission fully. We hoped to resolve matters exclusively through official methods, rather than mirror the amateur and immature approach resorted to by Mr Barrett on social media.

However, this cautious approach had its limits. Mr Barrett has been attempting to poison the well, including by spreading scurrilous claims about the new leadership of the party. His arrogance led him to believe we would not explain the reasons for his removal. He left us with no choice.

His attempts to grift off the nationalist base is shameful and, given his previous behaviour, the money is likely to disappear into a black hole.

Although many people had accepted the de facto strength of the new leadership, they still had questions about its legitimacy or were left confused by the reasons which resulted in Mr Barrett’s removal.

The video published on 27th September and this statement should serve as sufficient justification for the moment. This has highlighted the countless reasons which warranted Mr Barrett’s removal. Too much had been sacrificed by members over the years to permit Mr Barrett to turn the NP into a Hollywood parody and a personality cult. It was a difficult decision for me personally, and for senior party activists as a whole, but one which we felt duty-bound to perform.

A statutory declaration has been submitted to the Electoral Commission, which I am confident clearly illustrates the valid mechanisms by which Mr Barrett was removed as leader and by which I became leader.

I’ve never harboured personal leadership ambitions, and I do not intend my leadership to be indefinite. Going forward, the party’s membership should have more say in the running of the party. Under Mr Barrett’s leadership, nobody had any real say except him.

Every attempt was made to bring him to reason, but to no avail. His former party colleagues had enough of him. He could no longer be humoured and a blind eye could no longer be turned. We had to act decisively, and we did.

There are tremendous opportunities now available, with 75% of people yearning for immigration controls. Moreover, the government and so-called opposition have gone so far to the left that a backlash is now inevitable. In this political climate, a strong National Party is what’s most needed. The party will keep focused on engaging in politics and presenting a nationalist alternative to voters.

The most reasonable way forward is to have an open annual general meeting where a new executive of the party can be elected. Once other issues are resolved, steps will be taken towards this.


James Reynolds

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