Gormley and the Lisbon Treaty

 

Madam, – So John Gormley is urging a withdrawal from the European Defence Agency in the hope that that would help the Lisbon Treaty to win approval in a second referendum ( The Irish Times, March 3rd).

At a time when many of Ireland’s so-called elites have been found lacking in ethics, or even a prosaic sense of decency, the Army has been one of the few agents of the State that has consistently behaved with honour and dignity.

Even after their Army careers are over, individuals such as the heroic John Ging of the UN Relief and Works Agency have brought international credit to Ireland, a scarce enough commodity these days. – Yours, etc,

MELVYN WILCOX,

Dundanion Road,

Blackrock,

Cork.

Madam, – When Jamie Smyth writes that the European Defence Agency is “an EU agency that helps states improve defence capabilities”, he is in my view exceeding his remit as a reporter and transmitting government propaganda.

To define the EDA as “an EU agency that helps arms manufacturers sell arms and make profits” would be less flattering, but closer to the truth. – Yours, etc,

RAYMOND DEANE,

Dun Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

Madam, – The course of action suggested by John Gormley would damage and marginalise Ireland in Europe, weaken our foreign and defence policies, reduce the effectiveness of Irish peacekeeping, damage jobs and economic development and ensure that the Defence Forces were worse but more expensively equipped than they should be.

He is quoted as saying: “The point is the treaty itself says that member-states shall improve their military capability and that is not acceptable to the Green Party”.  A charitable translation of that remark would suggest that the Minister confuses spending more with spending better. I cannot imagine that any Minister could argue that providing the Defence Forces with the most appropriate resources to do the very dangerous jobs that we ask of them was “unacceptable”. – Yours, etc,

BEN TONRA,

Jean Monnet Professor

of European Foreign and

Security Policy,

UCD,

Dublin 4.