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Crowe introduces Neutrality Bill

10 December, 2013 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, has moved and introduced a bill in the Dáil which seeks to amend the Constitution to ensure that Ireland would not and could not aid foreign powers in any way in preparation for war save with the full assent of the Dáil.

The Bill also affirms the view that Ireland is a neutral state, and that the State would have a policy of non-membership of military alliances.

Speaking after introducing the Bill at First Stage, Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“I have sought to introduce this Bill to ensure that this Government cannot continue to undermine and erode Irish neutrality.

“The continued use of Shannon airport for foreign armies to facilitate war, coupled with the increased militarisation of the EU and this State’s deeper integration in the EU’s military system, ensures this bill is coming up for debate at a good time.

“Additionally a recent Red C Poll commissioned by the Peace And Neutrality Alliance (PANA) suggests that approximately 8 out of 10 Irish people are in favour of neutrality.

“Sinn Fein’s support for neutrality is the product of a developed and coherent republican position stretching back over 200 years of Irish history.

“Sinn Féin continues this republican tradition and is committed to promoting positive Irish neutrality and an independent foreign policy. We believe Ireland should actively work to promote conflict resolution, peaceful democratic settlements and the right of people throughout the world to self-determination.

“The continued stockpiling of nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, and other weapons of mass destruction by some countries, poses a major and serious threat to international security and human survival.

“Sinn Féin fully supports the role of Irish troops in peacekeeping missions around the world under the auspices of the UN. We believe that this state’s history of serving in UN ‘Blue Helmet’ peace keeping missions is a matter of pride and can enhance our standing as a neutral state.

“Sinn Féin believes in Positive Neutrality and believes this is the best policy for Ireland and its people.

“Positive Neutrality is not about sitting on the fence. It is certainly not about taking no action. It is not about pacifism. It is about actively seeking to promote and participate in conflict resolution, demilitarisation.

“It is quite simply about making politics work to redress legitimate grievances, inequalities and achieving needed social and economic changes – at both the state and international levels.

“Sinn Féin recognises that increased global militarisation does not increase security because the biggest threats to people’s safety and security are not perceived military threats; they are poverty, hunger, disease, and injustice.

“We believe that a policy of Positive Neutrality recognises the need to adopt a holistic Human Security approach – which essentially means understanding, confronting, and redressing the social, political and economic roots of conflict.

“Sinn Féin believes that if Ireland takes the path of Positive Neutrality this State could make a highly significant contribution towards the long-held global objective of international peace with justice and equality.

“I hope this bill will reenergise a debate around Irish neutrality and eventually ensure neutrality is enshrined in our constitution.”

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