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“You’re listening to Joe Dalton on Dublin South FM, Crossing the Rubicon,” said an announcer before Joe Dalton introduced his American guest.

“Like most of my guests are from America,” Dalton said. He calls her Mel K.

“She’s done an awful lot of research on the UN,” says Dalton, who was at the time the chairperson of the community radio station.

After an initial back and forth, she launches into a diatribe about the United Nations (UN).

Throughout the show, aired in May 2021, Mel K uses the term “Luciferian” to describe the UN, suggesting, among other things, that it’s a Satanic cult involved in nefarious doings.

At one point, she says: “They’re behind all the migration, immigration.”

Her arguments are incoherent but peppered with conspiracy dog whistles, like “One World Government”, “Luciferian” and “The Great Reset”.

On her own podcast platform, Mel K spreads QAnon and pro-Trump conspiracy theories, including the unsubstantiated claim that a cabal of shadowy forces is conspiring against former US president and rigged the country’s 2020 presidential election.

But that was not the first time Dalton – who at that point, according to LinkedIn, had chaired the radio station since January 2017 – has platformed views like this and not the last.

He’s had other guests promoting global control conspiracy theories and other shades of misinformation.

After a series of queries in recent weeks about Dalton, on 3 April, Peter Rice, a station manager at Dublin South FM, said that Dalton was no longer a broadcaster at Dublin South FM and didn’t sit at its board anymore.

Broadcasting Standards

Like other community radio stations, Dublin South FM operates under a community-sound broadcasting contract, and has to comply with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s (BAI) codes and standards.

The BAI got dismantled on 15 March, but Coimisiún na Meán, the body replacing it, has said its codes and standards are still in force while it works to build upon them.

BAI’s principles include protection from harm, protection of the public interest and respect for community standards.

The BAI code, in effect since March 2015, doesn’t use the word “misinformation”.

But it does suggest that, to meet its protection from harm standard, broadcasters should shield some listeners and viewers from misleading content.

“For example, something seemingly factual that is actually fictional or controversial,” it says.

The code says that broadcasters should be working in the public interest, citing protection of public health and safety and exposing false and misleading claims, as falling within this principle.

In an email on 30 March, Dalton said he is grateful to be part of the media landscape in Ireland as it gives him a chance to talk to people from all walks of life.

“I have always been interested in exploring viewpoints and perspectives that may be considered outside of the mainstream,” he said.

He said there should be more conversations to forge empathy and understanding in a climate marked by polarisation and division. But he doesn’t necessarily agree with his guests, Dalton said.

“I want to clarify that the fact that if I talk to someone, that does not mean I endorse them or their views,” he said.

“I also want to clarify that Dublin South FM 93.9 Community radio does not endorse views either,” Dalton said.

On 4 February, on his personal Facebook page, Dalton shared a post about COVID-19 vaccine booster uptake and wrote that a government run by the World Economic Forum “caused segregation and now have blood on their hands”.

Five days before the body’s dissolution, a spokesperson for the BAI said that if listeners have complaints, they can lodge them via the BAI’s complaint process. “The BAI has not received any complaints in relation to the Joe Dalton Show on Dublin South FM,” they said.

On its website, Coimisiún na Meán, the body that replaced BAI on 15 March, says its guidelines remain in force.

Spreading Misinfo

On his professional website, Dalton, who also runs a business consultancy firm, shares a quote from a founding member of the station, saying the radio station was on the verge of collapse before Dalton salvaged it.

“He brought the organisation back on the rails attending to the financial and operational chaos,” it quotes the member saying. His leadership is a driver of “positive changes” that will help the station prosper for another 25 years, it says.

Also on Dalton’s website are photos of some of his show’s guests. Those include former University College Dublin professor Dolores Cahill, who briefly chaired the Irish Freedom Party.

In July 2020, Dalton had Cahill on one of his shows, during which she promoted zinc and the malaria treatment drug hydroxychloroquine as immunity boosters against Covid-19, while downplaying the severity of the disease and the need for the public-health measures in place.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned against the unsupervised use of hydroxychloroquine because it can cause heart-rhythm problems.

In the show, Cahill acknowledges that but says the chances of people developing cardiac issues are very low.

Such advice can be harmful if it stops people from following proven public health recommendations, like mask-wearing.

The BAI guidelines warn against broadcasting content that may encourage audiences to do things that compromise their health and safety.

On 21 January, Dalton spoke to Paul Barnes, introduced as a poet, who at one point warns about fluoride in water, which he said prevents the human pineal gland or “third eye” from opening, suggesting that was done for control purposes.

“That’s the reason why massive amount of Irish watercourses are fluoridated,” said Barnes.

“The people who want to control us have so many methods to do that until we actually go pursue an understanding [of] the battleground we’re in; we’re often compliant with them because we don’t go deep enough,” he said.

According to the Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health, there aren’t any harmful chemicals in the water as a result of the fluoridation process.

Said Barnes: “We let them pollute our food, the air, the water, our minds through the propaganda, and we don’t go in pursuit of truth.”

Meanwhile, since the start of the year, as the city has struggled to welcome some of its newcomers because of anti-immigration vigils outside accommodation centres for asylum-seekers, Dalton has privately shared anti-immigration rhetoric.

On 31 January, Dalton shared a Facebook video – which isn’t currently available on the platform – with a comment saying people of Finglas were trying to protect women and that one woman had been raped.

At that time, misinformation about a sexual assault case in Finglas circulated on social media, falsely claiming that the assailant was a migrant man. An Garda Síochána denied the claims, telling media outlets that it believed the attacker was a White Irish man.

“IRELAND AVOID SWEDEN’S MISTAKE”: SWEDISH MEP ON MIGRATION – A WARNING,” wrote Dalton on his Facebook page again this year, sharing a Gript article with the same headline.

The article reports on the support of Charlie Weimers, a conservative Swedish Member of the European Parliament (MEP), for Ireland’s anti-immigrant protests.

Funding It

A spokesperson for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said that between 2019 t0 2022, the council granted €24,500 in funding to Dalton’s Business Eye show – a different show, focused on business, not Crossing the Rubicon – on Dublin South FM.

Separately, it has paid a total of €5,000 to the station since 2018 to cover equipment costs, they said.

Occasionally, they would pay to run adverts on the station too, the spokesperson said.

Those would generally be to promote works such as the council’s age-friendly initiatives for older people, they said. “And our social inclusion initiatives, such as the Festival of Inclusion and Africa Day.”

They didn’t respond to queries about the misinformation on Dalton’s radio shows, and his posts on Facebook.

On his business website, Dalton says his show Crossing the Rubicon, launched in January 2017, won an achievement award in 2020 from Community Radio Ireland (CRAOL).

“The show has its podcast listenership in the top 30 in Ireland and reached into the top 100 in the USA. 100 K downloads,” says Dalton on his website, albeit he doesn’t specify which one of his shows he is referring to.

Mary Lennon, a project coordinator for CRAOL, said the body was unaware of misinformation aired on the show, and Dalton’s anti-immigration commentary on Facebook.

“As such content is totally against the ethos of Community Radio,” said Lennon.

They said all 21 members of CRAOL, which includes Dublin South FM, have to follow BAI’s guidelines, adhere to the ethos of community radio and sign up to codes of ethics from the global community radio charter, Asociación Mundial de Radios Comunitarias (AMARC).

Dublin South FM’s website says it has signed up to, and embraced, the AMARC charter.

The AMARC charter promotes “the broadcast of factual information, non-discrimination and the advancement of equality, diversity and inclusion”, she said.

CRAOL is not a regulatory body though, Lennon said. “And does not have power to sanction Community Stations for their content, that is the role of the licensing Authority.”

But Lennon said the body plans to seek an explanation from the station.

She said on 22 March that they would discuss the issue during a later coordination committee meeting. “To decide what action CRAOL can take on this matter,” she said.

Shamim Malekmian

Shamim Malekmian covers the immigration beat for Dublin Inquirer. Reach her at

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