A New Year Message from Afri to coincide with the burial of our patron Archbishop Desmond Tutu

We in Afri join with the world in expressing our sadness at the passing of our hero and patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. We also add our voice to the chorus of praise that has risen up since his death, not only for his unique contribution to the dismantling of apartheid but also for his stance on many important issues including freedom for the Palestinian people and the urgent need to tackle climate change. We are full of grief and gratitude and we express our sympathy especially to Desmond’s wife Leah and his family.

Desmond Tutu identified war and the war industry as one of the great evils of our time, pointing to the immoral wastage of resources which it represents as well as the extent to which it destroys people and wreaks havoc on our precious planet. When it drives people from their homes in their millions, government representatives wring their hands but then slam the doors to refuge against them.

On the occasion of the burial of such a great peacemaker, we ask: why is Ireland increasingly joining the war mongers club? Why are we increasing spending on weapons of death and why are we encouraging Irish businesses to get involved in producing weapons? Why are we encouraging our Universities and other educational institutes to get involved in military research?  A recent conference sponsored by the government explicitly sought to link up companies and colleges with wider networks of military activity.

This initiative, by a government led by Michael Martin, Leo Varadkar and Eamon Ryan, does not represent the will of the Irish people who have consistently expressed their support for Ireland to maintain its neutrality and to concentrate on promoting peace and disarmament, rather than joining military alliances or adding more weapons to a world already awash with the tools of war.

In the name of our great patron, Desmond Tutu, we call on the government to reverse this decision and instead follow the Archbishop’s example of promoting peace and non-violent conflict resolution.

Further information from Joe Murray 0863946893

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