A Force for Good? Reflections on Neutrality and the Future of Irish Defence will be launched in Dáil Éireann on Wednesday, November 30th at 6.30pm. The event will be organised by Afri and hosted by Independent TD Thomas Pringle in the AV room in Leinster House. The event is open to all, if you would like to attend please make sure to pre-register here
Order €10 incl P&P via https://www.afri.ie/donate/ . Bulk orders welcome.
This book is a vital contribution to the discussion on the importance of Irish neutrality and its role as the bedrock of Irish foreign and defence policy. Even today – especially today – as war rages in so many areas around the world and as two nuclear armed ‘superpowers’ actively engage in a proxy war, the world urgently needs voices calling for, and countries working towards, de-escalation, demilitarization and disarmament.
Ireland, recently described by the Economist magazine as ‘having a good claim to be the world’s most diplomatically powerful country’, is ideally placed – historically and geographically – to be that voice. But instead of seizing this opportunity the Government is increasingly abandoning our neutrality and throwing in its lot with some of the world’s most aggressive military powers.
A Force for Good is a collection of essays by people who have long and deep experience of working for peace and against militarism at every level from academic to activist, on this island and in the wider world. Contributors include Nobel Peace Prize winner Máiréad Maguire; UCC Emeritus Professor John Maguire; Dr Karen Devine of DCU; Dr Iain Atack, formerly of TCD; Carol Fox of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance; and `Tarak Kauff, former paratrooper with the US Army and now active member of Veterans for Peace.
As our planet teeters on a precipice, with less than a decade left before catastrophic climate disaster, with the war industry being one of the primary contributors to global warming, what does the Irish government do? It sets out to calculatedly and deliberately develop a weapons industry and becomes ever more involved in aggressive military operations. To illustrate the twisted logic at play in current government policies, a recent seminar hosted by the Department of Defence, to encourage Irish companies and Third Level Institutions to become involved in military research and development was grotesquely entitled ‘Building the Ecosystem’!
How can our Government and Establishment plan to celebrate the Irish peace process and the 25th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday agreement, when they’ve abandoned the very values of patient, peaceful conflict resolutions which underpinned that process, flowing from Article 29 of Bunreacht na hÉireann?
Commenting on the launch, Joe Murray of Afri said: “Despite the constant hollowing out and demeaning of neutrality, we will continue to defend this proud and practical policy and to demand that the militaristically minded minority respect the will of the people on this critically important issue. We owe it to our children to challenge the reckless addiction to war and violence, which wreaks havoc on human beings as well as on the natural world and even threatens the destruction of our very planet home”.
The book is available to order from Afri at the cost of €10 including p&p. Order €10 incl P&P via https://www.afri.ie/donate/ . Bulk orders welcome or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.