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Killing other human beings is never heroic and Irish citizens must resist joining foreign forces

Letter of the day: military misgivings

A report in the Belfast Telegraph (News, January 4), headlined "Recruitment for British Army soars in Republic of Ireland", should be of deep concern to all Irish people.

Grave concerns have been justifiably expressed over Irish citizens who have gone to fight in the Middle East with certain groups, such as Isis and al-Qaeda, but the opposite has been the case with other Irish individuals who admitted fighting with militia groups that are supported by Nato states, or those Irish citizens who join British forces.

We must be clear that there is nothing heroic in helping to kill people in the Middle East in wars that are almost wholly unjustified and counterproductive, causing the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War and retaliatory terrorist attacks in Europe.

For those who wish to pursue a military career, the Irish Defence Forces provide just and altruistic opportunities towards creating international peace, instead of creating wars by joining foreign armies for mercenary reasons.

It's time we Irish matured sufficiently to put behind us our cap-in-hand colonial servitude attitude of fighting in every clime, for every cause but our own.

Legislation should be introduced that would remove Irish citizenship from any Irish citizen who joins a foreign army, or who participates in military actions as a member of a foreign militia.

Killing other human beings should never be considered an honourable career option, and the use of deadly military force should never be justified except in very clear and limited cases of justifiable self-defence, as specified in the (much-ignored and abused) United Nations Charter.

EDWARD HORGAN (COMMANDANT, RETIRED)

Limerick

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