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Irish universities must not be complicit in international arms trade

4 April, 2004

Sinn Féin Dublin EU candidate Mary Lou McDonald has today reacted to a report conducted by the peace group Action from Ireland (Afri), which has revealed that a number of Irish Universities are being sponsored by some of the world's largest arms companies. Ms McDonald responded to the report saying that 'Irish universities must not be complicit in the international arms trade'.

Speaking today, Ms McDonald said:

"A recent Afri report has highlighted the increasing dependency of a number of universities in this state on funding from some of the world's largest arms manufacturers. Irish universities must not be complicit in the arms trade.

"Sinn Féin recognises that the university sector in this state is coming under increasing pressure to raise funds from the private sector. This in itself is a very worrying development. The government has a moral responsibility to provide adequate funding for third level education so that the institutions are not reliant on private funding.

"However, while private funding continues, a code of ethics should be introduced to ensure that funding is no longer received by companies connected to the arms industry. Universities must be politically impartial establishments, not dependent on finance from arms companies.

"In addition, links have been exposed between research and EU funding, despite the fact that all EU research is supposed to be barred from funding military research. The issue of EU funding of such research, also needs to be investigated and clarified.

"We call on this government to provide universities with adequate funding so they are not reliant on private companies." ENDS

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