Neutrality provides Ireland with unique identity and ability to deliver in peacebuilding role - John Brady TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD has spoken in favour of enshrining the principle of neutrality in the Irish Constitution.
Arguing that Ireland’s long history of peacebuilding, alongside a stellar record of delivering humanitarian aid, and the state’s diplomatic reach, placed Ireland in a unique position to make a significant contribution to efforts to build peace in the international arena.
The Wicklow TD said:
“Arguably, there are many nations that are fully configured and qualified to wage war. There is a much smaller, and much more exclusive club of nations that possess the credibility, the means, and the wherewithal to make a significant contribution to building of peace across the globe. Ireland is one such nation.
“The peacebuilding record of our Defence Forces, the humanitarian record of our NGOs, and the reach of our diplomatic service have helped contribute to the establishment of a particular Irish identity in global affairs.
“This is an identity that allows Ireland access and credibility in dealing with international situations denied to other nations, whose past and current configuration leave them better prepared for war.
“And while there are those who have attempted to hijack the strong sympathy and empathy of the Irish people for Ukraine, by rehashing tired old narratives, and sabre-rattling tales, the evidence clearly points to the fact that the Irish people continue to offer strong support for our neutrality.
“Opinion poll after opinion poll show clear and overwhelming evidence that the Irish people are in full support of Irish neutrality. I believe that there is a responsibility on the government to support calls for a referendum to have Irish neutrality enshrined in the constitution.
“Both Fianna Fáil, and Fine Gael have twice refused to support Sinn Féin legislation to achieve this and have again voted last night for a third time against offering protections for Irish neutrality.
“It is particularly disappointing to witness the approach of the Green Party, who were happy to abandon their principles and join their government colleagues in voting against efforts to protect Irish neutrality.
“The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is reportedly in favour of doing away with the triple-lock system, put in place to safeguard neutrality, which requires approval from the UN, the Dáil and the government, before members of the Defence Forces can be deployed overseas.
"This is a significant departure for a senior government figure, which I believe requires clarification by both the Tánaiste and Minister Simon Coveney. It is a clear affront to the wishes of the Irish people.”