Peace & Human Rights
Europe’s greatest achievement has been securing peace on a continent riven by centuries of war. As we know from our own Good Friday Agreement, peace is precious and it takes work.
However, in recent years Europe has neglected the building and nurturing of peace in favour of an ever-stronger focus on militarisation. Indeed, there are some within the EU who openly advocate for an EU army. I opposed the Irish Government’s decision to opt-in to the PESCO military alliance, as a step in the wrong direction.
In their very last meeting, the outgoing European Parliament voted to not have oversight of the €13 Billion European Defence Fund. I believe that is an unacceptable abdication of responsibility. In addition to the ethical issues the fund raises, there are also concerns about the sheer scale of this spending at a time when the EU faces urgent collective challenges in other areas like climate change. If elected, I will draw on Ireland’s proud history of disarmament, to examine and challenge the arms industry.
As chair of the Oireachtas cross-party group on Peace, Neutrality and Disarmament, I strongly believe Ireland’s best contribution to Europe is as a voice for peace and a champion for Human Rights.
Ireland can and should also stand up for the rights of women and the LGBT community when they are attacked or undermined.
As an executive member of the European Parliamentary Forum on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, I am already actively working with parliamentarians from many other countries to challenge the far right and their agenda of division or discrimination. I want the European Parliament to protect the core principles and values of the UN and EU.
If elected, I will work to:
- Protect Ireland’s neutrality and promote our role as peacebuilders
- Demand EU Parliament oversight of the €13 Billion EU Defence Fund
- Examine and challenge the arms industry, including autonomous weapons
- Seek human-rights review of EU border activities and ‘Immigration Control’ deals
- Press for action on EU states who seek to undermine Fundamental Rights
My Track Record
- Chair of Oireachtas Peace, Neutrality and Disarmament Group
- Opposed Government decision to opt-in to the PESCO military alliance
- Co-sponsored legislation on Family Reunification and Occupied Territories
- Elected to European Parliamentary Forum on Sexual and Reproductive Rights
- Long-time Campaigner on Peace and Human Rights
- Member of successful Coalition to Ban Cluster Bombs – winner of 2008 Tipperary Peace Award