An extraordinary scene unfolded in a Connecticut courtroom the last week of September as parents of some of the 20 children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 testified to how conspiracy theorists have tormented them since that terrible day.
Robbie Parker, whose six-year-old Emily was killed at school, was one of the parents singled out by Alex Jones, one of the world’s most influential conspiracy theorists, who founded the radio site and far-right fake news,, more than 20 years ago. The day after Emilie and her classmates died, Jones took to her platform to describe the event as “completely untrue”, claiming the shooting was “a hoax” staged by the US government to facilitate the adoption of stricter gun control measures. Jones went after grieving parents like Parker, repeatedly playing up Parker’s press interviews and accusing him of being a “crisis actor”.
While far-right extremist thought is undoubtedly present in Ireland, Gallagher says it is minimal compared to other parts of the world, particularly the United States, where it has been a hugely polarizing factor in a country already contested.
- Web of Lies is published by Gill