Nonviolent News supplement for August 2022

Hiroshima commemoration – Dublin

Irish CND will mark the 77th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, which took place on 6th August 1945, by holding the customary annual commemoration in Merrion Square in Dublin. The ceremony will take place at the memorial cherry tree in Merrion Square Park, at 1.10 p.m. on Saturday 6th August. There will be short speeches by Deputy Lord Mayor Darcy Lonergan, Japanese ambassador Mr Mitsuru Kitano, and Irish CND president Patrick Comerford. There will also be contributions of music and poetry, and a wreath of flowers will be laid at the tree at the close of the commemoration.

An estimated 80,000 people were directly killed by the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, with casualties reaching 140,000 within a year. Approximately 14,000 nuclear weapons remain in the world today. While this is less than the Cold War peak, it is still enough to destroy life on earth as we know it many times over.

Irish CND go on to say “Sadly, the past year has seen the dark shadow of the possibility of nuclear war return to our consciousness in form of explicit threats from both Russia and North Korea – chilling reminders that there is still much to be done before the world is free from the menace of nuclear annihilation. On the positive side, the first meeting of states under the auspices of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons took place just weeks ago in Vienna, and agreed a strong concluding Declaration and Action Plan. We must meet darkness with positive hope and determination.”

They ask that those attending to be familiar with current public health advice on appropriate measures aimed at minimising the risk from Covid-19 .They conclude “Wherever you are, even if you are not in a position to join us in person this year, please do join us in spirit to stand in solidarity with the victims of these horrific weapons of mass destruction, and to affirm our determination to work for their elimination, the only way to ensure that the ghastly events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will not be repeated.”

Hiroshima commemoration – Galway

The Hiroshima event organised by GAAW/Galway Alliance Against War takes place on Saturday 6th August, 2pm at Eyre Square, Galway City; the guest speaker is Roger Cole (Peace & Neutrality Alliance) with music, speech and song lasting around an hour. This marks the anniversary of the horrific atomic bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki by the USA, the legacy of nuclear weapons, and the very real threat of nuclear warfare today. GAAW asks people to bring along any placards, flags or literature that they wish to display or distribute, or any food/drink that they may wish to share out – “food not bombs!”GAAW goes on to say that this year’s theme is defending Irish neutrality, which is under severe threat from Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, and the Greens, with pressure to join an EU army and NATO.

AFRI statement on PESCO and Commission on Defence Forces

Afri issued a statement in early July on PESCO and the Commission on the Defence Forces. They state “The debate on PESCO in Dáil Éireann on 5th July has revealed the undemocratic and damaging approach of the Government to the role and future of our Defence Forces.

For decades now, governments have been entering into ever deeper military engagement with an increasingly NATO-directed EU ‘defence’ structure, while claiming that something they call ‘military neutrality’ allegedly hovers unharmed above the fray.

The decisive majority of the people of Ireland – the ultimate owners of our defence policy – know that neutrality flows from the clear, practical commitments of Article 29 to ‘peace and friendly co-operation amongst nations… the pacific settlement of international disputes… [and] the generally recognised principles of international law.’ “

They go on to say that one of the most alarming aspects of the recent debate is Minister Coveney’s explicit promotion of the new PESCO engagements as choices made not by the Government but by the Defence Forces themselves.

The Government is eager for yet more involvement with PESCO, while An Taoiseach vaguely muses at the NATO summit in Madrid that ‘to change neutrality is something that ultimately the Irish people would have to have a say in’. He seems to forget that under Article 6 of the Constitution the Irish people have not ‘a say in’ but rather the say over such vital matters as defence and security.”

The Report also proposes upgrading the Army Ranger Wing to ‘Ireland’s Special Operations Force (IRL SOF) to align to international norms’ (p. 66). And the Commission know where those ‘norms’ come from: ‘NATO standards have become the accepted standard‐setting benchmarks for modern military forces’ (p. 57).” And Afri asks “what standards of behaviour does NATO’s record from Kosovo to Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, uphold?”


l A discussion on Newstalk radio including Afri coordinator Joe Murray on the increase in the spending on the Irish Army can be found at while a look at the history and potential of Irish neutrality by John Maguire can be found on the Afri website at

Mairead Maguire statement on NATO

A statement by Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire on ‘NATO – the US dominated global war machine’ can be found at In this she states that NATO’s purpose has been “ to act as an instrument for US world domination and to prevent all challenges to US hegemony”. She goes on to say “Now is the time for dialogue and those western Political leaders who stoke the fire of fear, division, and hate in Ukraine, instead of calling for ceasefire and negotiation, must consider the misery brought upon the poor people that most live with the horrors of war.”


An hour long discussion with INNATE members has been screened on Belfast’s community TV station NVTV (divided into two half hour slots) available at and recorded in June 2022. The topic was ‘Exploring nonviolent approaches to conflict and social change issues’, including discussion of the arms trade, security, and the war in Ukraine. The participants were Stefania Gualberti, who acted as interviewer, along with Mark Chapman and Rob Fairmichael. NVTV’s online content in general is available at

Good Relations Week

Good Relations Week in Northern Ireland, on the theme ‘Change starts with us’, takes place from 19th – 25th September and a guide to possible involvement, a ‘toolkit’, is available on the website at The deadline for submissions is 26th August.

Spirit AeroSystems role in new UK military helicopter

It seemed that no sooner had the news come out that engineering firm Spirit AeroSystems (ex-Bombardier) in Belfast was no longer involved in developing a military drone (‘Loyal Wingman’) for the RAF (see NN 301) than it was announced they are part of a conglomerate in a project to create the H175M military helicopter for the UK Ministry of Defence.

FOE Climate Justice Youth Gathering, Wicklow

As this news supplement goes out, a Climate Camp is starting in Tarbert, Co Kerry, organised by Slí Eile However later in August, Friends of the Earth is hosting a Climate Justice Youth Gathering from 21st to 24th August for people between 18-30. It will feature four days of campaign and action planning, skillshares and capacity building in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. This gathering will help shape the activities that Young Friends of the Earth does over the coming year. Places are limited and applications close on the 5th August. More information and apply at

The next, full, issue of Nonviolent News is for September with a deadline of 1st September. This is a short supplement with mainly time-limited or immediate information, not a full issue