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A demilitarised Ireland in a demilitarised EU: de Brún

22 May, 2004

Speaking today during a canvass tour of Newry and South Armagh Sinn Féin EU candidate Bairbre de Brún MLA has called for a "demilitarised Ireland in a demilitarised EU".

Ms de Brún said: "The continued British military presence in the north of Ireland, and particularly in border areas like South Armagh is a glaring symbol of the British governments failure to deal with their demilitarisation commitments under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

"However, problems of militarization are not only found here. There is a growing trend supported by some for a greater military role for the EU on the world stage. The draft EU Constitution directs states to contribute forces to a common army and to increase domestic military spending. The draft Constitution also makes provision for EU military intervention as part of counter-insurgency campaigns and privileges NATO states over neutral states.

"The net result of these proposals undermines Irish military neutrality and clearly increases the level of militarization in the EU as a whole.

"At a time when many of us here in Ireland are working to bring about an end to conflict and a complete demilitarisation of society, such proposals run contrary to everything we are trying to achieve locally. Sinn Féin wants to see a demilitarised Ireland in a demilitarised EU". ENDS

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