The Irish Neutrality League condemns suggestions from Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin that there will be expanded cooperation with NATO in areas of cyber-attacks and intelligence gathering.

It is obvious that this government wants to erode Irish neutrality and gradually pave the way for an entry into NATO. A recent report indicates that Micheál Marin wants a new partnership programme with NATO in areas of cyber-attacks and maritime intelligence. But does it not occur to him that NATO members may also be gathering maritime intelligence on their declared strategic rivals China and Russia. If we are neutral, why should we turn to one intelligence gatherer to protect against its rivals?

We are opposed to cyber-attacks on basic public services, as occurred recently with the HSE. But surely a government that was honest and a real supporter of neutrality could put in place safeguards against such attacks. It is a matter of protecting ourselves from criminal gangs and should not be an excuse for bringing us closer to the NATO war machine.

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