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Sinn Féin slam Roche for supporting EU Militarism

3 April, 2008


Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh this afternoon slammed Minister of State for Europe Dick Roche during a Dáil debate on the Lisbon Treaty for misleading the Irish people following the Minister's statement that 'the treaty does not require member states to increase military capacity'.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"There is not one mention of the military neutrals in the Lisbon Treaty. The Irish government did not even try to secure recognition of the rights and responsibilities of EU neutrals. But they did agree to compatibility with NATO.

"They also agreed to a substantial expansion in the range of tasks in which the EU can engage in, which Minister Roche appears to be in denial of. Consider this. The cost to the Irish taxpayer for the EU military adventure in Chad for 2008 alone is to be €40 million.

"Lisbon also contains a mutual defence clause. The treaty allows for mini-alliances of states with greater military hardware to undertake more ambitious military missions. While we cannot be forced to participate in these missions, is anyone seriously suggesting that we could distance ourselves from actions by these alliances, operating with EU authority and in our name?

Quoting from the Treaty Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"Article 28 A 3 of the Lisbon Treaty requires states to 'undertake progressively to improve their military capabilities' - that costs money. Unlike the Danes, the Irish government have not sought or secured an opt-out from the European Defence Agency. It is disappointing that the Green Party who were so vocal on these issues in the past are now so quiet.

"They have also been silent on the fact that Lisbon breathes further life into EURATOM. It appears the Green Party now fully supports Ireland's substantial financial contributions to the nuclear industry. I can think of many hospitals, schools or community groups who would love to even see a small portion of the annual €8 million Minister Gormley and Minister Roche are having us spend promoting nuclear power.

"It is shameful that an Irish Government has signed up to and is now advocating ratification of a Treaty which undermines the interest of the people of Ireland. Government has a responsibility to protect the interests of the people - it failed to do so." CRÍOCH

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