Micheál Martin speech gatecrashed by anti-NATO protesters
The Tánaiste labelled the actions of the protesters as "undemocratic".
Protesters this morning interrupted Tánaiste Micheál Martin's opening speech of the government's Consultative Forum on international security at UCC.
Prior to the Fianna Fáil leader beginning his remarks, a collection of protesters shouted "No to NATO", whilst unveiling a red banner which read "NATO Wars. Millions Dead".
The protesters were then promptly removed by attending Gardaí, with Mr. Martin then directly addressing the protests.
Taking to the podium, the Tánaiste said that;
"The most undemocratic thing you can do is trying to shut down debate. And that's what you are trying to do".
Included in those removed from the UCC auditorium was a former Cork county councillor, who was reportedly involved in the staging of the protests.
Professor Louise Richardson, who was chairing the Consultative Forum, also had her opening remarks interrupted.
During the professor's speech, a number of points of order were raised from the crowd, however she declined to take them.
The forum has been accused of being unfairly weighted towards those who support the increased militarisation of Ireland, prompting the protests.
The meeting is the first in a series of four which will be held to assess Ireland's global security involvement, focusing on issues such as the threat to EU security from the war in Ukraine, emerging cyber security threats and issues around maritime security.
Speaking at the forum, Sinn Féin's foreign affairs spokesperson Matt Carthy told the floor that the government should be seeking to help end conflicts, rather than participating in them.
The forum itself comes fresh off the back of President Michael D. Higgins' controversial remarks last week, where the 82-year-old warned that Ireland was "playing with fire" with its' neutrality status.
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