Fabricated flyer falsely claims girls in Ireland are under curfew

February 16, 2023 GMT

CLAIM: Ireland’s government and a local diversity nonprofit distributed a flyer near Dublin instructing girls to stay indoors after 6 p.m. because of new immigrants “not accustomed to Irish cultural norms.”

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The two groups named on the flyer — the Irish Centre for Diversity and the Irish government as a whole — did not create or distribute the flyers, representatives for both confirmed to The Associated Press. Irish police said the matter is under investigation.

THE FACTS: Social media users are sharing a photo of the flyer, which alleges new restrictions are being imposed on young women in Ireland. Several posts claim it was distributed in Ballymun, a suburb of Dublin.

“Girls to stay indoors after 6pm (until further notice),” the bright pink flyer reads. “New arrivals to this area are not accustomed to Irish cultural norms at this transitionary time. Thank you for your compliance.”

The flyer also includes a blue pictogram representing a woman and attributes the initiative to “The Irish Centre for Diversity in partnership with Ralltas nd hEireann.” The latter name is a misspelling of “Rialtas na hÉireann,” Irish for the Government of Ireland.

“Oh boy, home imprisonment thanks to diversity,” a Twitter user who shared the image wrote in a post that had been liked or shared more than 8,000 times as of Thursday.

But the Irish Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth confirmed that the leaflet was not created or distributed by the Irish government and that there is no such curfew for girls.

“The Department strongly condemns such incidents of deliberate misinformation, which are clearly intended to create division and hostility,” the agency, which has been coordinating temporary housing for arriving refugees, wrote in an emailed statement to the AP.

The Irish Centre for Diversity, which is focused on improving diversity at Irish businesses, wrote on its social media accounts this week that it wasn’t responsible for the flyers either and that it has alerted law enforcement.

“We are aware that a leaflet has been distributed in local areas and across social media,” its statement reads. “We are not associated with it and the unauthorised use of our name has been reported to An Garda Síochána (Ireland’s Police and Security Service).”

Emma Farrelly, spokesperson for Ireland’s national police, confirmed to the AP that the agency is looking into the matter, but declined to comment further.

“An Garda Síochána are carrying out enquiries into the distribution of leaflets in the North Dublin area,” she wrote in an email. “An Garda Síochána has no further comment at this time.”

Ireland has seen waves of anti-migrant protests in recent months as tens of thousands of asylum seekers have arrived in the country over the past year, many of them refugees from war-torn Ukraine.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.