Taoiseach says opposition is whipping up 'corrosive anti-EU' sentiment

Speaking at a commemorative event to mark the dead leaders of the 1916 Rising, Mr Martin strongly defended Ireland’s place in Europe.
Taoiseach says opposition is whipping up 'corrosive anti-EU' sentiment

Kenneth Fox

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has slammed what he called “corrosive anti-EU” diatribes from opposition TDs and MEPs who blamed the Union for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking at a commemorative event to mark the dead leaders of the 1916 Rising, Mr Martin strongly defended Ireland’s place in Europe.

As the Irish Examiner reports, he said: “As a country, we have to stop indulging the corrosive anti-EU sentiment of far too many in our politics,” he said.

One-third of Ireland’s MEPs are reliable votes for attacking the EU and defending its opponents.

“The recent shameful diatribes blaming the EU for Putin’s aggression are not new," Mr Martin said.

"Look back on the record, and you will see one party and a range of other self-described radicals attacking everything the EU does.

"Sometimes they claim that they are just calling for reform, but the bottom line is that they have constantly misrepresented and distorted the European Union and attacked our partners,” he said.

With the exception of a handful of courageous journalists, they have not been held to account and have got away with their constant “what about” claims where Europe is to blame for everything, he said.

We do not belong to a military alliance, but we are not neutral in the face of this aggression.

“Anyone who indulges in talking about ‘both sides’ is failing the basic moral challenge of calling out clear evil,” he added.

In contrast, he said his party is a proudly pro-EU party. It was the final political act of our revolutionary founders to set our country on a European course.

He said Ukraine’s struggle is Ireland’s struggle.

“That is why we will continue to host people fleeing the conflict. We will continue to support their freely elected president and government.

"We will never accept the idea that Russia has a right to control any part of Ukraine,” he said.

There can be no more frozen conflicts — where brute force imposes partitions on countries and is used to destabilize regions, he added.

For far too long we have ignored the real differences between parties on where they stand on Ireland’s place in the world, the Taoiseach said.

This year we mark 50 years of our membership of the European Union — a membership which has directly enabled prosperity and peace on this island, he added.

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