Twenty-five passengers and crew are to sail on the Irish-owned ship MV Saoirse this weekend to join the international flotilla to Gaza.

The Irish Ship to Gaza campaign said today that it hoped the ship, funded by contributions from Irish people, would join the flotilla early next week.

Dr Fintan Lane, national co-ordinator of the Irish Ship to Gaza campaign, told a Dublin press conference that the exercise was a non-violent act of solidarity with the people of Gaza.

"We will not offer any violent resistance to an Israeli boarding party, but we will make it clear to them that we are not interested in having them on our boats and we will do our best to ensure they do not board our boats," he added.

The Irish group includes former Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin South East Chris Andrews, Socialist Party MEP for Dublin Paul Murphy, Derry Sinn Féin councillor Gerry MacLochlain, Siptu trade union official Mags O’Brien and former Irish rugby international Trevor Hogan.

Hogan said he was focused on getting to Gaza but had to be prepared for the alternative. “Anything we face is a fraction of what the Palestinians face on a daily basis and that gives me strength,” he added.

The Irish Anti War Movement has also written an open letter to foreign affairs minister Eamon Gilmore demanding he publicly call on the Israeli government to allow free passage of the Irish ship to Gaza.

Dr Lane said: “They are talking about engaging in a violent attack on human rights activists, and it’s not good enough for people to say it's too dangerous to go because people in Gaza are suffering this violence on an ongoing basis.

“The violence that we experienced last year indicates the violence that is used daily against the Palestinian people.”

Nine people were killed last year when Israeli commandos stormed the MV Marmara , a Turkish aid ship trying to break the naval blockade.

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I love the Irish. Their troubles are over so they'll go get involved in someone else's.
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Bring em on bitches.

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even now, an 8 year old could go download gorilla rape porn and jack off to it.
The Irish are sticking their noses in business that really doesn't concern them?

<insert sectarian comment here>