NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
The Irish Government is committed to the policy of military neutrality the Minister of State for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, told the Dail yesterday. He was speaking during a debate which saw an attempt by Sinn Fein to introduce a Bill which would enshrine neutrality in the Irish Constitution.
The Private Member’s Bill, moved by Sinn Féin TD Sean Crowe, if adopted would have ensured that Ireland could not, and would not, aid foreign powers in any way in preparation for a war, except with the assent of the Dáil. The Bill also would have allowed for a referendum seeking the publics view on whether they wanted Ireland to be a neutral State, something that Deputy Crowe believed there was overwhelming support for.
The Ministers response was that it was not necessary to incorporate such a commitment in the Constitution because military neutrality was firmly committed to by the Government.
How he managed to keep a straight face when he and the Dail know that ‘the ink is scarcely dry’ on the new British-Irish Military agreement signed by his colleague the Defence Minister, Simon Coveney, in mid January 2015.
Of course the new agreement we were told is simply being put in place to ‘help’ the UK Armed Forces ‘hone’ their peace-keeping skills. Only as we pointed out in our major analysis of the two countries defence forces histories there’s precious little evidence of any peace-keeping by the UK in recent years – but lots of involvement in aggressive conflict (see link).
In any case the Irish Army (and Defence Forces generally) have been involved in peace-keeping globally with scores of States over the past fifty years but Ireland hasn’t felt the need to strike a pact, agreement or accord with any of them.
Minister Deenihan’s statement is disingenuous especially as Ireland’s neutrality started to unravel when it agreed to participate in the so called (NATO/EU) Partnership for Peace, the process accelerated as Shannon Airport was used for logistics support on a staggering scale for successive Middle Eastern conflicts and neutralities door was well and truly ‘kicked in’ by the British-Irish agreement.
Deputy Crowe’s Bill failed this time but the issue will undoubtedly resurface and hopefully the proponents of full Irish neutrality will be energised by this initial setback.
Related video here: Roger Cole of PANA sets out the case for neutrality:
You can also access this via the PANA web site:
The British – Irish military agreement is down for discussion on the Celtic League AGM Agenda. The meeting will be held in Dublin on 10th – 12th April.
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur).
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