[Sinn Fein]

12th April 2002

Stop this Warship

Cork North Central candidate Cllr. Jonathan O Brien will be leading a protest by Sinn Fein against the visit of the British warship, HMS Sutherland to Cork. The protest will take place on Customs House Bridge on Saturday 13th April at 3pm.

Jonathan O Brien said: ``We are protesting at yet another visit by a British warship, this time the HMS Sutherland, to Cork Harbour. Sinn Fein objects to the visit of any section of the British armed forces while they continue to occupy the north-eastern part of our country. It is now 5 years since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement and the British government has yet to abide by its commitments to demilitarise. The British army has taken down a few minor installations in widely publicised moves. It continues to maintain, and in some cases enlarge the vast majority of its military infrastructure.

We also question the need for increasingly frequent `curtsey' visits by highly armed warships to Cork. The Nice Treaty, which the establishment parties are so keen to have us sign up to, is largely about building a European superstate with its own military command. Cork Harbour is as vital a port for the naval side of this military force as it was for the British navy in the past. We believe the frequency of these visits is to acclimatise Irish people to the use of our ports by this foreign army. Sinn Fein objects to the development of a European Army, which will use Irish recruits, Irish ports and Irish taxpayers money but over which we will have no control.

This protest will take place at 3pm on Customs House Bridge.''

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