Tanks but no tanks

Sir, – I was surprised to read that members of the Defence Forces recently fired two anti-tank missiles in preparation for their upcoming deployment to Lebanon (News, October 7th). At a cost of €300,000, could this money not have been put to better use elsewhere? When has our Army last fired at tanks in the actual heat of battle? This is madness. It would have been cheaper if they had shouted "bang" and saved the money. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.


Sir, – Your paper prominently reports upon the recent firing of two “Javelin” anti-tank missiles, by Irish soldiers, against a metal container two kilometres away. These missiles are being brought to Lebanon, as part of the Irish contribution to Unifil there, solely for use against hostile tanks. There are two opposing factions in that unhappy area – Hizbullah and the Israeli IDF. To the best of my knowledge, Hizbullah possess no armour, although they seem to have every other conceivable weapon. That leaves the IDF, one of the strongest armies in the world. A Goliath compared to this tiny Irish battalion.

I cannot even in my wildest dreams imaging any Irish officer giving the order to fire a Javelin missile against a hostile IDF tank. Moronic suicide would scarcely describe the outcome. So, it begs some questions. Why bring a weapon that you could not possibly use? Why even possess these useless weapons? Above all, when the Government is agonising over the cost of increasing the old-age pension, why is the Army allowed to spectacularly waste €300,000 of our money, at the same time inviting journalists to celebrate the event?

Maybe, as a soldier observed to your journalist, “it will be a bit of craic”. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.