Active Irish Neutrality and Humanitarianism Can be a Force For Peace and De-escalation
Responding to the statement by Leo Varadkar that Irish Neutrality should be ended, Aontú leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín stated:
“Irish neutrality is a foreign policy tradition stretching back over centuries. Irish political leaders from Theobald Wolfe Tone, Daniel O’Connell to James Connolly have advocated neutrality as a way to serve the common good and prevent militarism. Historically small countries have rightly been sceptical of the intentions of Military Blocks and it s clear that small countries such as Ireland would have little or no influence on the decisions of large Military Blocks. Having young men and young women fight in wars that he have little or no influence on would be a grave mistake”.
“Active neutrality allows for a courageous non-aggressive engagement with the rest of the world. Our record on UN peacekeeping, nuclear non-proliferation, decolonization, accepting refugees, significant aid to developing countries and supporting Palestinian self-determination has given us an internationally recognised position of an honest broker. We are well placed to push for peace, de-escalation and negotiated solutions. The problem is under Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil we don’t exercise this competency. Our government has increasingly outsourced our international policy to the European Union. Now Fine Gael want to use this crisis to plug us further into the development of a European Army”.
“The Irish people of Ireland strongly support Irish neutrality. The RTE/RedC exit poll in May 2019 showed 82% of the country in support of Irish neutrality. There is no doubt that the shocking invasion of Ukraine by Russia has created a strong desire in Irish people to help. There is no doubt that we should not stand idly by. We should be actively agitating for peace. I so no evidence of this by the government. Also There is a catastrophic humanitarian crisis unfolding before us. We have in no way exhausted the help that is need or that we can provide. We have only touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is needed. Before we consider providing lethal force, surely we must ensure that hospitals have the medicine they need. That food, water and heat are provided to those fleeing and that we provide a shelter for those seeking refuge.