Ireland's pension fund to exclude munitions-report

DUBLIN, March 19 (Reuters) - Ireland’s National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) plans to withdraw 27 million euros ($43 million) of investment from six firms involved in the production of cluster munitions, Irish media reported on Wednesday.

The NPRF, charged with securing funds for pension and welfare costs of an ageing population after 2025, followed the example of Norway’s pension fund, known as the “oil fund”, which aims to be a world leader in ethical investment.

The NPRF plans to stop investing in five U.S. companies: Raytheon RTN.N, General Dynamics GD.N, Lockheed Martin LMT.N, Alliant Techsystems ATK.N and L-3 Communications LLL.N, and France's Thales TCFP.PA, the Irish Times quoted a spokesman as saying.

The fund’s proposal follows a list of firms excluded by Norway’s $387 billion fund, after pressure from Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern, who is campaigning for a ban on cluster munitions, the Irish Times said.

“I saw at first hand on my visit to Lebanon last year the havoc that cluster bombs can cause,” Ahern told the paper.

“These small bomblets can look like decorations or toys and, as a result, children are very vulnerable to them.” (Reporting by Andras Gergely; Editing by Erica Billingham)