FF/FG/Greens to scrap our neutrality & outsource our military policy to the EU. – Tóibín
Aontú Leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has castigated the announcement from the Tánaiste that Ireland is about to scrap the Triple Lock. He stated:
“There is growing pressure at EU level to create a Defence Union. The Irish Government, true to its instincts to outsource decision making and policy to the EU, appears to starting the process of watering down out neutrality in order to facilitate Ireland’s participation in EU missions. Indeed foreign policy used to be a nation state competency but increasingly Ursula Von Der Leyen is striding the word stage speaking for the EU. However her words are a grave distortion of the views of the Irish people”.
The government are making a serious mistake. Military Neutrality is very dear to the Irish people. It stretches 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. Small countries are naturally sceptical of the intentions of military blocks. Military blocks orientate their military actions around their own national interest which usually means economic interests. The actions of the US in the Middle East are a clear example of this”.
“Also 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. Irish neutrality has served us very well in the past. Just think of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya. There is no doubt that the shocking invasion of Ukraine by Russia or Israel of Gaza 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. But there is no evidence of this by the government. I asked the Government a number of times, has there been a material offer by the government to act as a mediator, an interlocutor or a facilitator of Peace. The Government has said no. I asked a number of times does the government have any plan to offer Ireland as a mediator for peace, the government has said no. I know that there would be difficulties with this. I know that Israel may say no. But we are squandering our position as an honest broker by not even offering an opportunity for peace”.
“The Tánaiste talks about the need to provide security. Never before have I seen such as gulf between rhetoric and action by any government Minister. The Irish government is the biggest threat to our security and defence forces. Our defence forces have been massively underfunded for the last 20 years. Irish defence force personnel have been completely under paid for the last 20 years and conditions within the services have collapsed. Our ability to provide security for this country is being dissolved every day. Defence force numbers have dropped to a new low of just 7,500 personnel in the army, the navy and the air corps. Naval Service ships are being withdrawn from active service due to crew shortages. We can now only float 2 Naval ships on the high seas. The lowest number since the 1970s. Under your government Ireland is simply unable to monitor its territory terms of land, sea or cyber systems.