School kids trade arms here in Ireland - Afterschool Arms School - Political Quote

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

School kids trade arms here in Ireland - Afterschool Arms School

In April of this year the Leaving Certificate students of Colaiste Chríost Ri in Portlaoise set up a company called 'Seachtar" to buy and sell arms.

Even more shockingly they did this legally as Ireland has some of the weakest arms control legislation in the EU. Despite the thousands who died in the troubles we don't bother to restrict the control of deadly arms or torture devices such as thumbs cuffs, leg irons and stun sticks.

This disgraceful situation was highlighted by UK activist Mark Thomas in a programme for Channel 4. Using pupils from the UK to trade guns he discovered that in the UK a licence was required to trade guns but not required in Ireland. So he got pupils to travel over and use their mobile phones at the side of the road here in the republic of Ireland.

Mark Thomas also used pupils in Ireland to buy and sell arms, importing them to Ireland and exporting them to contacts all over the world without question or hinderence from the Irish Government. To do this he secured the cooperation of six schoolgirls and Sr Barbara Raftery. They were so good at trading that they were asked to become agents for Korean electro-shock equipment dealers.

This is more than just a possiblity it is acutally happening and Ireland is being used to faciliate this deadly trade. According to Amensty International (Ireland) "arms brokers operating out of Ireland, despite clear evidence linking them to shipments to Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone."

What also surprised me and disapointed me was the lack of coverage of the story and the lack of public outcry though some paper's did cover it and the Irish Times did an excellent follow-up interview here.

The programme was called ‘After School Arms Club’ was screened by Channel 4, as part of their Dispatches series on Monday April 3rd.

Download the video here (it takes five minutes on Broadband if you are lucky enough to live somewhere that you can get Broadband). This download is courtesy of

For more information visit the
After School Arms Club and read the article by Mark Thomas entitled Mark Thomas - plays "let's start an arms company"
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