Greens challenge Government over Iraq

 

The Green Party has attacked the Government over its position on the proposed war against Iraq and the use by the US military of facilities at Shannon Airport.

Speaking at the launch of the Green Party's position paper on Iraq, he accused the Government of "spinelessness", and said the its position on neutrality and on the Nice Treaty could not be trusted.

Green councillor Ms Deirdre de Burca said the use of Shannon Airport and Irish airspace was contrary to article 28.3.1 of the Irish Constitution.

Calling for the Dáil to be recalled to debate the issue, Mr Gormley accused the Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Cowan, of having "done more than any other minister to dismantle Irish neutrality".

On the US Military's use of airport facilities at Shannon, he said the assent of the Dáil had not been sought as had been done for the Gulf War in 1991.

He said Irish neutrality was now in "tatters" and asked if the Government supported the Bush Administration's push for a "regime change by force of arms". Referring to a visit to Iraq last year where he saw suffering "first-hand", he said any attack on the country would be "unethical and unjustifiable".

Instead, he called on the Government to oppose any war on Iraq and called for the lifting of sanctions which he said were targeting civilians. The Party also advocated a total ban on the use of uranium-tipped weapons and the enforcement of "illegal no-fly zones" in Iraq.