• August 16, 2020

Ireland was naturally elated when it got a seat on the UN Security Council effectively ‘the top table’ of the United Nations. It is seen by many as a reward for the role Ireland plays in International diplomacy and the reputation its armed forces have won for peacekeeping.

So why has Ireland not signed the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries? Let’s be blunt many of the countries who enthusiastically endorsed Ireland’s elevation to the Security Council are signatories.

One reason may be that if Ireland did sign up and ratify the Convention it would proactively implement it and that would end the policy of allowing residents of the State to join foreign armed forces such as the British Army. There are currently just under 400 Irish citizens in the British armed forces.

Celtic League has periodically raised the issue of the recruitment of Irish nationals by the British armed forces with the Irish government particularly the recruitment of young people:


(related correspondence on the main site – use archive search)

Perhaps the new Irish government should revisit the issue and ‘make the offences set forth in the present Convention punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account the grave nature of those offences.’

Ireland’s armed forces have a solid reputation Internationally for their peacekeeping and are undermined by the Irish government allowing foreign armies (be they British or otherwise) to recruit nationals from the State.

Image: Irish peacekeepers hard won reputation is undermined by failure to sign mercenary convention.

Related links:


Bernard Moffatt
pp Celtic League Military Monitoring

Note: The Celtic League opposes military activity by the UK and French Armed forces in the Celtic countries. It’s Manx branch adopted this as policy in the 1970s and it was extended to the League generally by resolution of the Leagues AGM in the early 1980s. The Celtic League cooperates with International peace groups and those opposed to the recruitment of children into the armed forces.

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