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Report on arms exports reveal Irish complicity in trade - Mary Lou McDonald

5 January, 2005


Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has this morning expressed her concern that over 26 billion euros of military related products have been exported to dozens of countries since 1997.

Figures released by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has shown that Irish companies made a profit of 26.7 million euros last year alone in direct military sales. Ms McDonald said that 'Ireland is complicit in an industry obsessed with profit and seemingly unconcerned where many of these arms are ending up'.

Speaking this morning Ms McDonald said:

"The figures released by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment have reinforced the notion that the international arms trade is a very successful and profitable business. That over 26 billion euros of military related products have been exported to dozens of countries since 1997 exposes the sheer scale of this flourishing industry in Ireland.

"Let us be clear, the international arms trade has led to untold devastation for many people, particularly in the developing world with a never ending cycle of poverty and suffering. Greedy and unscrupulous people are profiting from the export of military hardware and components. Sinn Féin wants to see tighter controls in both the production and the export of arms.

"I also want to reiterate my calls for a more effective EU Code of Conduct on Arms Transfers and the adoption of an international Arms Trade Treaty to prevent EU export of arms where they contribute to violations of human rights. The EU Code of Conduct must be strengthened immediately, to prevent further abuses of human rights, especially in countries with questionable human rights records. Recent reports have shown that loopholes in the Code of Conduct have allowed weapons to be supplied to regimes such as China, Burma and Malaysia in this last year.

"Sinn Féin is working towards both a demilitarised Ireland and European Union, we will continue to make this a priority in 2005." ENDS

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