Gilmore rules out any change to “triple lock”
Move to pre empt debate on Defence Green Paper
Members of the Irish Army Defence Force leave for Afghanistan with the Internation Security Assistance Force in 2002. Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has ruled out any change in the “triple lock” arrangement covering Irish Army involvement in peacekeeping missions. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has ruled out any change in the “triple lock” arrangement covering Irish Army involvement in peacekeeping missions.
A public debate on the issue was suggested in a Green Paper published by Minister for Defence Alan Shatter earlier in the week. Under the terms of the “triple lock” Irish troops can only be deployed with the approval of the Irish government, the Dáil and the UN.
Speaking in the Dáil yesterday on the deployment of Irish troops to Syria, Mr Gilmore said that participation in UN peacekeeping missions was an integral part of this country’s foreign policy and commitment to international peace and security.
“I believe that the UN is only as strong and effective as its member states enable it to be, and I am very glad that Ireland is able to make this important contribution to stabilising this region and to strengthening the UN’s presence there.
“I would also like to reiterate my unwavering commitment to Ireland’s triple lock mechanism on which this deployment depends.”
Mr Gilmore said the triple lock enjoyed overwhelming public support, and was the essential foundation for the participation of Irish military personnel in overseas operations.
“It has served the State well, providing the fullest possible legitimisation for the contribution which our Defence Forces are making to international peacekeeping.
“I am convinced that a UN mandate is vital if a peacekeeping mission is to be effective in achieving its goals.”
Mr Gilmore said he had been working closely with Mr Shatter in response to the request from the UN for participation in the Syrian mission.
The Tánaiste spoke to UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon last night to confirm that, following the approval by Dáil Éireann yesterday, Ireland would deploy a contingent from the Defence Force to serve as a force reserve with the UNDOF mission on the Golan Heights.
The Green Paper published earlier in the week said the “triple lock” reflected the central importance of the UN in granting legitimacy to peace support and crisis management missions.
“At the same time it also constitutes a self-imposed, legal constraint on the State’s sovereignty in making decisions about the use of its armed forces,” added the Green Paper.