Neutrality and sacred cows

 

Sir, – I note on the letters page (May 18th) that Prof Brigid Laffan’s call for us to reassess our outdated policy of neutrality has elicited the usual responses (“Ireland may have to sacrifice sacred cows to survive Brexit”, Opinion & Analysis, May 16th).

It is easy for Edward Horgan to call for us to “value and protect our geographical island location” when he is lucky enough to live far away from existential threats. Some of our EU partners are not so lucky.

We cannot participate in the EU, enjoying all the benefits it offers, while refusing to contribute anything to the safety and security of our fellow members. If an EU country is threatened by an outside force, we cannot legitimately shrug our shoulders and claim it is not our problem. That is not a principle. It is smug selfishness. – Yours, etc,

PAUL WILLIAMS,

Kilkee,

Co Clare.

A chara, – Brigid Laffan has many interesting ideas. But she is curiously incurious when it comes to reflection on the negative side of EU membership. Has she ever publicly mentioned the many billions of euro this country gave away via the common fisheries policy, for instance?

My experience, in and out of politics, is that even the faintest criticism of “The Project” results in one being branded a hardline Eurosceptic! – Yours, etc,

BRENDAN RYAN,

Montenotte,

Cork.