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Ireland must be careful not to create false sense of insecurity - Ó Snodaigh

10 August, 2006


Sinn Féin International Affairs spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh speaking as a major security alert is underway at airports in Britain and responding to claims that Ireland is not as acutely aware of potential terror threats as the American and British populations, said "the most effective way to reduce any security threat to this country would be to pursue a policy of genuine positive neutrality." He said, "Ending the use of Shannon airport by the US military and intelligence agencies is just one step that could and should immediately be taken by the government in the interests of Irish security and because it's the right thing to do."

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "Throughout the morning commentators have been lining up to lament the fact that the Irish population is not as acutely conscious of potential security threats as the American and British populations are. But both the US and Britain are much more likely to have a higher potential security threat than Ireland because of their respective foreign affairs policies.

"And we must be very careful not to create a false sense of insecurity as that can be just as bad as a false sense of security. The governments of certain countries, most notably the US and Britain, propagate a culture of fear in order to gain the populations consent to go to war, to increase military spending budgets and to circumvent fundamental human rights norms such as the right to justice. This in turn increases the terror threat to these countries and the cycle continues.

"I'm not saying people should bury our heads in the sand - far from it. We've got to stop being reactive and start being proactive. The most effective way to reduce any potential security threat to Ireland is to be fully conscious of and to meet our human rights obligations, to bring an end to all complicity in human rights abuses and illegal wars and ultimately to engage in a policy of genuine positive neutrality. Ending the use of Shannon airport by the US military and intelligence agencies is just one step that could and should immediately be taken by the government in the interests of Irish security and because it's the right thing to do." ENDS

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