Latest: PESCO conference hears issues of financial commitment and military spending

Latest: A conference which aims to highlight concerns surrounding Ireland joining an EU defence pact has concluded.

Among the issues raised were the financial commitments of joining PESCO as well as the potential effect on Ireland's neutrality.

A vote on joining PESCO was passed in the Dail back in December.

It has since raised questions as to whether we have the financial clout to increase our military spending.

DCU Law and Government lecturer Dr Karen Devine doesn't think Ireland's reasons for joining hold merit.

"They said that the reason they were doing PESCO was because it was demanded by the public but it's not actually demanded by the public," said Dr Devine.

"So that in itself is quite an untrue basis for going ahead with the policy."

Today's conference in the Mansion House was organised by the Peace and Neutrality Alliance and the People's Movement, with a number of public representatives.

Danish politician Lave Broch was one of the speakers, and he believes Ireland should follow Denmark's lead by opting out of PESCO.

"I think if we want to build a world of peace, we have to do it from the first brick," said Mr Broch.

"We cannot build a system where we accept violations of human rights and where we think that being big gives us more power."

The conference has now concluded, with the issue of joining PESCO set to rumble on for the weeks ahead.

Mansion House.

Earlier: Dublin conference taking place to discuss Ireland's PESCO involvement

A major conference will take place in Dublin to discuss Ireland's involvement in PESCO.

Ireland agreed to join the EU's defence pact in December, following a vote in the Dail.

Today's conference in the Mansion House is being organised by the Peace and Neutrality Alliance as well as the People's Movement, who are both concerned Ireland's decision to join PESCO will affect our neutrality.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, independent TD Seamus Healy and MEP Luke Ming Flanagan are among the speakers.

Proceedings look set to get underway from 12pm with the opening address from Dublin's Lord Mayor Micheal McDonnacha, with 3 separate sessions to follow.

- Digital Desk


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