Senator asks why UK has right to scramble fighter jets in Irish airspace

Craughwell says no evidence of Oireachtas oversight of agreement

Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell has asked the Government to explain why permission was granted to the UK to scramble fighter jets in Irish airspace.    Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell has asked the Government to explain why permission was granted to the UK to scramble fighter jets in Irish airspace. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell has asked the Government to explain why permission was granted to the UK to scramble fighter jets in Irish airspace.

“It creates a merger or a partnership in respect of our sovereignty,’’ he told the Seanad on Tuesday.

“We talk about our sovereignty all the time, yet we are allowing jets of the Royal Air Force to fly over the country.’’

Mr Craughwell said under the Constitution the right to raise and maintain military forces rested exclusively with the Oireachtas.

He said the agreement was signed by the Departments of Defence and Foreign Affairs and the Irish Aviation Authority.

“The agreement was signed before either this or the last government came to power,’’ he added.

“I can find no evidence anywhere of Oireachtas oversight of the agreement or of a ministerial signature on it.’’