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Unlike Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin’s stance on neutrality is clear – Ó Clochartaigh

14 September, 2017

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has hit out at Galway West Fianna Fáil TD Eamon Ó Cuiv who stated in a Raidió na Gaeltachta interview this morning that he didn’t know what his party’s policy was on Irish neutrality. His comments come after Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes told EuroParlRadio that Irish neutrality should be reviewed.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“In the European Parliament this week, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, made clear that he believes EU foreign policy decisions should not be taken by unanimity, but instead by qualified majority voting. He also said that he foresees a fully-fledged defence union, or EU Army, by 2025.

“This is part of the militarisation of the EU that Sinn Féin has been warning about for years. We completely oppose this militarisation, the attempts to reduce sovereignty, and efforts to create a standing EU Army. Successive Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and Labour governments have eroded Irish neutrality and now they are pushing to completely dismantled it by supporting the creation of an EU Army.

“In his Raidió na Gaeltachta interview this morning, Deputy Ó Cuiv stated that neutrality is not an important issue of discussion in Fianna Fáil and he has no idea what his party’s policy is. He also said Sinn Féin had no policies on the issue. This is somewhat surprising considering Sinn Féin has led the opposition to Ireland’s eroding neutrality and EU militarisation.

“Eamon clearly forgets that on 10 March 2015 he voted, along with his Fianna Fáil colleagues, against a Sinn Féin Bill which would have created a referendum to enshrine neutrality in Bunreacht na hÉireann. Fine Gael and Labour TDs also joined with Fianna Fáil to vote it down.

“Then, on 1 December 2016, Fianna Fáil TDs refused to support another Sinn Féin Neutrality Bill and then abstained to allow a meaningless and non-binding amendment from Fine Gael and the Independent Alliance to defeat our hugely important Bill.

“Clearly Eamon, Fianna Fáil, and Fine Gael want to dismantle Irish neutrality by signing us up to an EU defence pact and EU Army. They will seemingly do anything to oppose Sinn Féin’s policy of allowing Irish citizens to vote on whether to enshrine neutrality in Bunreacht na hÉireann. Perhaps, that is because they know neutrality is hugely popular among Irish citizens.” 

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