Irish Anti-War Movement Condemns Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s Statement on Joining NATO

No To NATO Micheál Martin

The IAWM (Irish Anti War Movement) condemns the Taoiseach’s comments in the European Parliament on Wednesday, that Ireland would not need to hold a referendum to join NATO. It is, he tells us, a policy decision of the government.

The IAWM believes such statements from our Taoiseach are both rash and foolish. The Taoiseach may be of the opinion that we need to ‘reflect’ on our military neutrality, but the majority of Irish people do not agree.

An Irish Times/Ipsos poll on April 15 demonstrated that people have absolutely no appetite for involvement in military operations. While there is huge support for Ukraine, 54% were against playing a greater military role in the EU – never mind joining NATO.

And a far larger majority - 66% - were in favour of maintaining Irish neutrality – a position which rules out NATO membership.

The suggestion that we could join NATO goes against the spirit of the existing triple-lock protocol. The triple-lock commits the State to only sanction a mission abroad involving the Army if it has approval from three bodies – the UN Security Council, the Government and the Oireachtas.

NATO operates without any such restrictions.

The war in Ukraine has become the pretext to speed up NATO’s expansion. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall fourteen countries have joined. As of 2022, six additional states have formally informed NATO of their membership aspirations: Bosnia and Herzegovina,, Georgia, Ukraine - and now Sweden and Finland.

The Irish Anti War Movement and the Peace And Neutrality Alliance have come together to coordinate their Defend Irish Neutrality activities, in light of the escalation of militarisation in the EU.

There has been a very positive response as evidenced by public meetings in Dublin and elsewhere. Nobody would have imagined, even recently, that the government would now be talking about joining NATO.

We oppose this rush to militarization and will be mobilizing in the weeks and months ahead.

For comment contact:
Jim Roche, PRO Steering Committee, IAWM, Tel. 087 6472737
Sara O Rourke, Member, Steering Committee, IAWM, Tel. 087 6024821
Marnie Holborrow, Member, Steering Committee, IAWM, Tel. 087 9889244
Glenda Cimino, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 086 124 9456
Michael Youlton, Chair Steering Committee, IAWM, Tel. 086 8159487
John Molyneux, Member, Steering Committee, IAWM, Tel. 085 7356424

END