It aims to be the next Irish political party and is bound to be controversial.

A new grouping, billing itself as the Irish National Party (INP), is dedicated to the "immediate deportation of all illegal immigrants and asylum seekers who have had their applications rejected."

It also believes Irish culture and identity is being eroded, with "record levels of immigration and an influx of so-called 'asylum seekers'... leading to the development of minority communities in our cities and increasing levels of social isolation in our towns and villages."

Elsewhere, its website warns of the "increasing threat to traditional Irish values," and carries links to mainly immigration-related news stories on its homepage.

It also only allows Irish citizens aged 16 years or older become members, but says this does not preclude the possibility of non-Irish citizens who share its "core values" becoming involved with the party.

These core values include a rejection of "positive discrimination and social engineering" and "ending the myth of multiculturalism".

Yet David Barrett, chairman of the nascent organisation – which is not yet registered as a political party – says it opposes racism and is not "anti-immigrant."

"(We) rather seek to establish greater control over the immigration process. We recognise there is and always will be a need for some level of immigration but believe a more vigorous system needs to be put in place," he said.

Asked to outline where his party differs from the British National Party (BNP), Barrett told the Sunday Tribune that as a "nationalist party we will inevitably share many of our values with other nationalist parties, ie, protection of culture and heritage, control over our own borders, laws and industries, sensible control of immigration, preservation of sovereignty and the belief in a Europe of nations.

"We wish to see Irish identity preserved but do not believe this is possible with, for example, mass immigration or membership of an increasingly powerful European Union," he said.

"We have not studied the BNP's policies in enough detail to point out areas of difference but we can state we do not believe in the superiority of one people over another and are vehemently opposed to racism."

According to Barrett, the idea for the INP, which may change its name to avoid confusion with the BNP, arose following discussions with "interested parties" during the summer of 2009.

Since October, when it established its website, it claims to have witnessed "increasing numbers of visitors to the website and (a) similar rise in membership enquiries."

"At the last count, we had received nearly 200 membership enquiries and we are currently in the process of arranging our first meeting," he said."It is our intention to register as a political party once we have met the requirements, although the party may choose to register under a different name based on the decision taken by members at our first meeting.

"It would be our intention to run candidates in all up­coming elections. We acknowledge that many of our core values and proposed policies are a break from those of the established political parties but are optimistic that this will attract voters."