“NEUTRALITY under attack, have your say!”
This is the central message to be heard at a Peoples’ Forum on Irish Neutrality’ set to be held this Saturday (June 17) at 3pm in Conradh na Gaeilge on Thomas Street.
The event is being held in response to repeated suggestions by government ministers that changes will be made to Ireland’s position of military neutrality and a move away from holding either a referendum to enshrine Ireland’s neutrality or to hold a Citizens’ Assembly on the topic.
Speakers at the Peoples’ Forum event in Limerick have stated their support for Ireland’s neutrality in the face of increasing tensions worldwide.
Edward Horgan, International Secretary of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance, is of the view that the people of Ireland, and all of humanity, are faced with several interlinked crises that threaten the survival of humanity.
“Planet Earth needs peace, global justice, protection of our living environment, and it needs this now,” Mr Horgan commented.
“Irish positive active neutrality is essential towards achieving global peace and justice and towards avoiding the extinction of humanity.
“There is a strong case to be made for extending the concepts of active neutrality internationally, but right now the opposite is happening with neutrality under attack in Ireland and across Europe especially.
“Our Irish Government is actively planning to end Irish positive active neutrality and replace it with membership of defence alliances. The people of Ireland must hold our Government to account for its failures and reckless actions.”
Last year People Before Profit introduced a bill into the Dáil to hold a referendum that, if passed, would have clarified and enshrined Ireland’s military neutrality in the constitution. The bill was defeated after Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and the Green Party voted against it.
Ruairí Fahy of People Before Profit believes the government is now using their own failures to build resilience and support investment in infrastructure and digital security as an excuse to develop deeper ties with NATO.
“Security is a process and joining with NATO or other institutions will not provide any additional security, if anything it will make us a greater target for attack,” he said.
Saturday’s forum in Limerick is part of a series of neutrality events being held across the country, hosted by groups such as the Irish Neutrality League, Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA), the Irish Anti-War Movement, Shannonwatch, and others.