Friday, 14 August 2015

Irish Government urged
to take role in banning
nuclear weapons

Today’s edition of ‘The Church of Ireland Gazette’ [14 August 2015] carries the following back-page news report (p. 12) and photograph:

Canon Patrick Comerford speaking at the Hiroshima Day commemoration in Merrion Square, Dublin

Irish Government urged
to take role in banning
nuclear weapons


The Irish Government has been urged to take a leading role in an international campaign to ban nuclear weapons.

Speaking in Dublin’s Merrion Square at the memorial to the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the 70th anniversary of the attacks, Canon Patrick Comerford, President of the Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) said that “a moral stance by Ireland can be effective” in bringing about change.

Canon Comerford affirmed that the “devastating effects of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki seven decades ago provide a clear rationale for negotiating a ban,” adding: “The failure of the nuclear powers to disarm heightens the risk that other countries will acquire nuclear weapons.

“The only guarantee against the spread and use of nuclear weapons is to eliminate them without delay.”

He pointed to the role of the Irish Naval Service in helping migrants in the Mediterranean as an example of effective moral stance by Ireland that can be effective, saying actions like these can “save lives and can challenge the unwillingness of others to act.”

The ceremony, held by Irish CND, was attended by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Críona Ní Dhálaigh, who laid a wreath at the Hiroshima Cherry Tree planted in Merrion Square in 1980, and Naoki Yoshimura, first secretary of the Japanese embassy in Dublin, who echoed the call for nuclear disarmament on behalf of the Japanese government.

Representatives from the embassies of Austria, Egypt, South Africa, Norway, Russia and Mexico also attended.

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