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National Security

Consultative forum to hold first meeting today in Cork

Topics for today’s meeting includes the international security situation, cyber defence and threats against critical infrastructure.

THE PUBLIC FORUM on Ireland’s international security policy will begin today in Cork.

The consultative meetings will take place in University College Cork, Galway’s NUIG tomorrow and two days over next Monday and Tuesday in Dublin Castle.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said that the event will focus on a range of issues, including Ireland’s commitment to the international rules-based order through peacekeeping and crisis management.

The department also said that it will look at disarmament and non-proliferation, international humanitarian law, and conflict prevention and peacebuilding, as well as allowing for a discussion on Ireland’s policy of military neutrality.

It is understood that 1,200 people have registered for the four events and upwards of 300 submissions have been received. 

Today’s event in Cork will begin with an examination of the current global security environment. 

This will have speakers from academia as well as from international security think tank RUSI and an expert from aid agency Concern. 

It will then examine the impact of the Russian invasion on Ukraine and how it’s implications on Ireland. 

Again, this talk, will have speakers from academia but also from influential English think tank Chatham House and Kate Fearon from the OSCE’s conflict prevention centre. 

In the afternoon there will be a discussion on cyber security chaired by Richard Browne, the director of the National Cyber Security Centre.

This will have panelists from academia but also an Irish military officer who is working in the EU’s cyber defence centre and a senior executive from Dell Technologies. 

The day will finish with a talk entitled “New and Emerging Threats: Maritime Security and Critical Infrastructure”.

The participants in this will include academics from University of Galway, Coventry University, University of Copenhagen and Laura Brien of Maritime Area Regulatory Authority. 

In an interview with the Business Post President Michael D Higgins strongly criticised the Consultative Forum on international security policy.

He also subsequently apologised in regard to his comments about the chair of the forum Louise Richardson.

Sinn Fein’s Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, will be at the event.

He said that neutrality and an independent foreign policy has served us well, and that neutrality should be enshrined in the Constitution.

“The legacy of neutrality and an independent foreign policy is a positive one for Ireland.

“Sixty-five years ago this month, in June 1958, Irish troops first took part in a UN peacekeeping mission. Our record in those sixty-five years is something we are very proud of.
“Our strength on the international stage has been rooted in our contribution to peacekeeping, diplomacy and world security. We cannot allow neutrality to be recast as a weakness by those who would have us further aligned to NATO,” he said. 


The Government is streaming the event and it can be followed along here.  

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