Two members of the far right British National Party have been living in Ireland, it emerged today.
The names and addresses of hundreds of BNP members from across Britain and Ireland were leaked onto the internet.
A former police officer and a soldier once based in Co Down are among up to 40 members in the North.
The BNP list also showed it had at least two members living in the Ireland, one with an address in north Dublin and the other in Co Galway.
It is understood one of the men was originally from southern England but moved to the west of Ireland to enjoy semi-retirement after buying a quiet country cottage near the Galway-Roscommon border.
A spokesman for the group in the North said it has advised members to increase their personal security over fears of attack.
The soldier identified as a BNP member is listed as being a member of the Black Watch regiment, whose address is given as Palace Barracks in Holywood.
The Army today confirmed he had left the barracks late last year and said soldiers were free to join political groups.
“Individuals are free to join political parties,” said the military spokesman, “but they are expected to abide by our values and standards in all that they do.”
A former police officer based in Co Derry told the BBC he was proud to be a BNP member.
“I’m in a party I firmly believe in and why should I not hold my head high like anyone else,” he said.
Meanwhile police in Britain have called in independent investigators after claims that a serving officer is a BNP member.
A spokesman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission said it is waiting for official referral of the complaint about a male officer in Merseyside.
Police in Britain are banned from becoming members of the BNP because it would damage race relations, according to the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo).