Sir, – During the Dáil debate on neutrality on November 28th, Mattie McGrath accused the Minister of Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin of undermining Irish neutrality by allowing Ukrainian soldiers to train with members of the Irish Defence Forces at Kilworth Camp in Co Cork (News, November 29th).
Ukraine is engaged in a war with Russia and is therefore a belligerent in this war. Successive Irish governments have declared Ireland to be a neutral state since 1939. Article 11 of the Hague Convention (V) 1907 on Neutrality states that: “A neutral Power which receives on its territory troops belonging to the belligerent armies shall intern them, as far as possible, at a distance from the theatre of war.” Ireland is in breach of international laws on neutrality by allowing Ukrainian soldiers to be on Irish territory.
Several independent polls have found that a large majority of the Irish people strongly support the continuation of Irish neutrality. Therefore, the Government is also acting against the wishes of the Irish people. Nato wars of aggression against Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq contravened the UN Charter and left these countries in chaos, so Nato has illegally usurped the role of the UN. The Government’s stated intention to remove the triple lock which necessitates UN approval for more that 12 Irish Defence Forces members service overseas, is a further example of the abandonment of Irish neutrality and the abandonment of our commitment to “rules-based international order”. Our Government is abandoning active Irish neutrality including UN peacekeeping in favour of joining the international law-breakers. – Yours, etc,