Proposals for Irish membership of military alliances by the coalition government in Dublin have been overwhelmingly rejected by the Irish people.
Opinion polls have shown strong support for Ireland’s constitutional neutrality and the position of Irish President Michael D Higgins, who has warned against a ‘drift’ to NATO membership.
He was moved to speak out after Taoiseach and foreign and defence minister Micheál MartinI claimed Ireland would not need to hold a referendum to join Nato as it is ‘a policy decision of the government’.
And last week, there was strong support on social media for Irish anti-war and socialist republican activists who disrupted a series of pro-militarisation events organised by the government.
The meetings of the ‘Consultative Forum on International Security Policy’, involving a number of military industry figures, took place in Cork, Galway and Dublin last week.
Last Thursday, activists from the Connolly Youth Movement (CYM) disrupted the first ‘national security consultation’ at the University College Cork with anti-war slogans and raised a red banner that read “NATO Wars – Millions Dead.”
Micheál Martin who was speaking, was enraged by the protesters, who were summarily dragged out of the meeting.
“These forums are filled to the gills with propagandists for EU militarisation and closer alignment with NATO,” shouted one protestor.
They also hit out at Mr Martin calling himself a republican and said the Irish people are against Ireland joining any military alliance, whether it is NATO or PESCO, the EU’s military grouping. It was also noted that Britain, a NATO member, is occupying part of Ireland but is increasingly treated by the Dublin government as a military partner.
The forum was itself controversially headed by Louise Richardson, a self-styled expert on ‘terrorism’ and a naturalised British citizen who has been awarded the title of ‘Dame of the British Empire’ by Queen Elizabeth.
Accused on social media of being a potential British intelligence asset, her involvement was even criticised by the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, who warned the country is ‘playing with fire’ during a dangerous period of ‘drift’ in foreign policy.
Despite claims of a potential constitutional crisis over his intervention, polls showed the President has the overwhelming support of Irish voters. An Irish Times/Ipsos poll found two thirds of voters in the 26 Counties expressing support for the state’s position on neutrality, with less than a quarter in favour of change.
The consultations have been projected by the government as an event to supposedly generate discussions on Ireland’s foreign, security, and defence policies. However, it is widely believed a plan is afoot to gradually drag Ireland into military alliances, accompanied by (potentially corrupt) payments to arms manufacturers and military contractors.
The Connolly Youth Movement (CYM) accused the Fine Gael-Fianna Fail-Greens government of “scheming.. to artificially manufacture consent for their strategy to destroy Irish neutrality. In a period of crisis, the government is focusing on increasing militarisation, while thousands are homeless and poverty is on the rise,” the statement said
Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Defence, Matt Carthy, told the forum that “Ireland should be focused on ending the conflict, rather than participating in it.” Speaking from the floor, he said “Ireland’s neutrality has served the country well.”