The European Union has decided to play an increasing role in responding to emergency crises, in providing humanitarian relief and in supporting the maintenance of international peace and security. Many Forum members believe that Ireland, as a member of both the EU and the United Nations, should take part in EU humanitarian operations when there is a UN mandate, Oireachtas agreement and Government decision (known as the triple lock). Others feel that such a course may threaten our traditional policy of military neutrality. What do you think? Please keep your comments to under 500 words.
I do not think "Neutrality" is the issue. My concern would be to ensure that the Island of Ireland and its surrounding waterways would be used as a training base or excercise area. I ahve lived in three NATO member countires and tanks rumbling through the streets at 2am and low flying jets is not something Ireland should experience.
Name: David JoyceLocation: WicklowDate: 6 June 2008
As an Irishman of 75 years I want to see a strong Europe that is why I am voting yes.I never considered that Ireland was neutral. Anti British, yes but not neutral.I would have concerns about Europe being drawn into war with China or Russia or even the U.S.A. The 3rd world war is looming in the middle east and we will need to be united in ourselves to protect our interests.As a largely Christian Community I am very dissapointed that we have ruled God out of our constitution.
Name: David EganLocation: DublinDate: 5 June 2008
I don't fully understand what the Lisbon Treaty is all about!! I know I'm not the only one.. My biggest worry is Neutrality..My son is a member of the defense Forces And is in Kosovo at the moment, I am extremely proud of him. My fear is that he will be sent off to fight for something that has nothing to do with us (Iraq?) I know a lot of people are saying we should be fighting and defending our country but how many of them are members of the Defense Forces or have a loved one that might one day be sent off to war? Unless someone can guarantee my son wont be sent to fight I will be voting no as all my family and friends are doing. Can ANYONE give me that guarantee???
Name: LorraineLocation: DublinDate: 27 May 2008
Brendan et al, Look what happened to the Romans when they decided not to join their legions anymore...and to let others do their fighting for them !!! Those states that refuse to defend themselves soon end up over run !!! We must be prepared to defend the goose that lays the golden egg !! In otherwords, we must be prepared militarily to defend our borders and by so doing have a serious enough a consequence for any aggressor that they back off altogether and not fight. If we don't set up our defences now our grand-children may have to fight whether they wish to or not. Jim Kelly Sligo & Longford
Name: James KellyLocation: Sligo and LongfordDate: 12 March 2008
Where did this stupid idea of irish neutrallity come from ? Did you know that during WWII the british goverment was preparred to give us nortern Irland in exchance for simply defending ourselves from Germany but we truned it down ? Ireland is not neutral, just unaligened.
Name: IwasfrozenLocation: MonaghanDate: 2 March 2008
The recent deployment of Irish troops to Africa as part of a EU peacekeeping excercise highlights the potential dangers involved in closer military cooperation with our neighbours. By association with France as a former coloniser we will enevitably tarnish our reputation as a neutral country. How many more potential and similar situations will arise in the future? Will Irish troops be used to carry out the political/economical aims of certain member states? These kind of actions will eventually result in security issues at home. Regardless of promises to respect our neutrality these mean nothing without neutrality being enshrined in the Irish Constitution. The Irish Government's failure to do so, increased military training of our 'Military' and 'civilian'(FCA) on foreign soil and Lisbon's demand to improve military capabilities all suggest a move away from neutrality.The Irish people should vote against Lisbon until our neutrality is enshrined. we should not allow our soldiers to die fighting somebody else's dirty war.
Name: BrendanLocation: GalwayDate: 14 February 2008
re Neutrality: like sitting on the fence and letting others defend our space......embarrasing really..Ireland, in a thousand years, only has been a 'sort of' neutral since 1940 or a little over 50 years. All that is necessary for evil to trimumph is for good men to do nothing. Ireland. We cant even defent ourselves internally. I have no problems with ireland doing their bit to defend tHe EU. A strong defence will always make agressors stay away. Jim Kelly
Name: james W. KellyLocation: Longford and SligoDate: 20 December 2007
Nuetrality is a tradition which major leaders such as Develera committed to, It has done major things for our country and has benefited us greatly. I'm proud to have an Irish passport simply because of the simbolism of peace and neutrality it represents
Name: GillianLocation: mullingarDate: 13 November 2006
To put this issue into better context, a % of our Defence Forces funding comes from the EU. Any new equipment can be funded as long as it does not include weopon systems. Look at the Naval Corps, great new ships for patrolling our waters but nothing else if things got hot (though provision is made for the future). So, we take the EU money, equip our troops with it then and just say thanks? We have a role to play and that we should want to take up. Our troops have an excellent reputation abroad and we can keep building on that. Yes, there are obvious risks. But you do not join to "play" soldiers. We had a presence in 52 countries (at the end of the 90's) through the UN. Mostly admin, but why back out now as the EU attempts to set itself up as a genuine alternative to other larger countries which are less welcome? Who better then Ireland to play a leading role? We can say yes to humanitarian ops and even defensive ops of the EU. We should be clear of our position should the EU decide to launch an attack (even with a UN Mandate) but also be prepared to debate it at the time.
Name: Keith DrummondLocation: EnfieldDate: 21 October 2006
Peace keeping is not a duty of a civilised nation. Committing yourself to obligations that are not fully defined or comprehended is an inherently dangerous thing. For instance, has anyone defined the role of the European battle groups, or whatever they are calling them now. Does it include peacemaking? Does peacekeeping include taking sides in internal conflicts such as in Afghanistan, Ugoslavia, Sudan, Somalia? For that matter what is a humanitarian mission? Does it include the bombing of Yugoslavia or, the positioning of troops in Somalia and support of various factions within the conflict? You bet it does -according to EU high commissioner Javier Solana and the Clinton administration respectively. When the result of your decisions will inevitably result in people losing their lives, especially civilians, we shouldn’t take that lightly or irresponsibly.
Name: lorcánLocation: DublinDate: 17 October 2006