1.2.22. Dublin, Ireland. ‘Brigid’ marks her day by delivering the Downpatrick Declaration, calling for an end to war and the arms trade to Minister Simon Coveney TD at the Dept. of Foreign Affairs. The event was organised by STOP (Swords to Ploughshares). ©Photo by Derek Speirs
At noon, on Tuesday, February 1st, members of StoP (Swords to Ploughshares), accompanied by ‘Brigid of Kildare’ delivered a letter, a copy of the Downpatrick Declaration and a St. Brigid Peace Cross to Minister Simon Coveneyat the Department of Foreign Affairs.
StoP is a network of peace groups throughout the island of Ireland who are deeply concerned about the recent heightening of tensions between Russia and NATO, the increasing militarisation of the EU, the Irish Government’s development of a weapons industry and their increasing moves towards more militarisation.
In the context of the current tensions relating to Ukraine, the letter expressed deep disappointment that Ireland, instead of playing the role of an independent neutral arbiter, is walking in lockstep with the more militaristic voices in Europe and with NATO. StoP believes that Ireland, as a neutral country, should be working for de-escalation and dialogue, not participating in a ramping up of hostilities or adding more weapons to a world already vastly over-supplied with arms.
StoP hopes that the presentations to the Minister on Feb. 1st, St. Brigid’s Day, will contribute towards greater understanding, a lessening of tensions, and a re-commitment by Ireland to the affirmation of our neutrality, the pursuit of disarmament and the promotion of peace.