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Government Shamefully Vote Against Irish Neutrality- Crowe

10 March, 2015 - by Seán Crowe TD


Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, Seán Crowe TD, has described the Government’s decision to vote against Sinn Féin’s Neutrality Bill as shameful.

This legislation calls for the insertion of neutrality into the Constitution and seeks to amend Bunreacht na hÉireann to ensure that Ireland will not and could not aid foreign powers in any way in preparation for a war save with the full assent of the Dáil.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Sinn Féin tabled this Neutrality Bill to ensure that Irish Governments cannot continue to undermine Irish neutrality.

“The Bill would have triggered a referendum and given the Irish people the opportunity to vote on whether to insert neutrality in Bunreacht na hÉireann. It would also ensure that Ireland would not and could not aid foreign powers in any way in preparation for a war save with the assent of the Dáil.

“This was an extremely important piece of legislation as Irish neutrality continues to be undermined by successive Governments. Successive Governments have also made executive decisions to join NATO’s ironically named Partnership for Peace (PfP) and ensured that Shannon Airport facilitated troops being transported to join the illegal invasion of Iraq.

“This Bill was about giving power back to the Irish people and allowing them to decide if they wanted to stop the erosion of Irish neutrality by enshrining it into the Constitution.

“The further militarisation of the EU is a significant and ongoing threat to Ireland’s neutrality. This was graphically highlighted at the weekend when the President of the European Commission called for the creation of an EU Army and was supported by the German Defence Minister.

“Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil’s opposition to the positive bill and a neutrality bill is not very surprising, and Labour’s U-turn on the issue, considering they backed and voted in favour of the same Bill in 2003 is disappointing.

“By voting down attempts to debate neutrality and on holding a referendum on the issue Fine Gael, Labour, and Fianna Fáil are sending out a clear message today that they have no problem with the continued erosion and undermining of Irish neutrality.” 

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