Open Letter to the Government of Ireland: Restore Neutrality

By World BEYOND War Ireland Chapter, May 29, 2024

Dear Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs,

World BEYOND War Ireland Chapter welcomes the decision by the governments of Ireland, Spain and Norway to recognise the State of Palestine. We also welcome the initial ruling by International Court of Justice (ICJ) in January 2024 following a submission by South Africa, that Israel had a case to answer on a charge of genocide against the Palestinian people, and a further ruling by the ICJ on 24th May 2024 ordering Israel to halt its military operation in Gaza.

All states including Ireland who have ratified the Genocide Convention are obliged to comply with all the articles of this convention including Article III (e) that forbids being complicit in genocide. Compliance with Article 29 of the Irish Constitution and pursuing a policy of active neutrality are essential prerequisites for the Irish Government’s compliance with international and humanitarian laws.

We welcome also the decision by the International Criminal Court to seek arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders for crimes committed on and after 7th October 2023. Over the weekend 25/26th May 2024, over 200 Palestinian people, mainly women and children were killed in a series of bombing attacks in several locations in Gaza.

Since 7th October 2023 over 100 aircraft associated with the US military have been refuelled at Shannon airport on their war to and from the Middle East and eastern Europe, making Ireland complicit in serious war crimes.

With limited resources and a small population, Ireland can never be a military power. Our only role in military alliances will be towards providing our precious young people as soldiers whose role will be to kill the young soldiers of other countries, before being killed themselves. In World War 1 up 50,000 Irish soldiers died in a war they were told was a war to end all wars.

A nuclear World War 3, will be a real war to end all wars, as there may be no one left to fight a World War 4. The only sensible military and defence option for the Irish people, including our Irish diaspora, is to pursue a policy and practice of active neutrality with the active element focused primarily on promoting international peace and global justice, thereby lessening the risk of World War 3.

Since the end of the Cold War successive Irish Governments, have been eroding Irish neutrality contrary to the wishes of the majority of the Irish people. Examples include:

  1. Joining NATO’s Partnership for Peace.
  2. Sending Irish soldiers on NATO and European Union led military missions that were falsely claimed to be peacekeeping or humanitarian.
  3. Allowing the US military to use Shannon airport and Irish air space to wage wars of aggression against Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere.
  4. Sending Irish soldiers to train Ukrainian soldiers and providing them with so-called non-lethal military equipment, for their war against Russia.
  5. Planning to remove the triple lock under which Irish soldiers can be sent on overseas missions.
  6. Being complicit in Israeli war crimes and probably genocide against the Palestinian people, by continuing to allow US military to use Shannon airport.
  7. The most recent example of the erosion or ending of Irish neutrality is the appointment of Lt. General Sean Clancy to the position as Chairperson of the European Union Military Committee (EUMC). The Irish Government should not have nominated Lt General Clancy for this position, because in so doing it is a further substantial step towards ending Irish neutrality.

Historically since the foundation of the state, and especially since we joined the United Nations our senior politicians, diplomats, and the Irish Defence Forces have been to the forefront in promoting intenational peace, global justice and decolonisation. By abandoning active Irish neutrality, Ireland will be joining the US and NATO led West against the rest of humanity, and Ireland will end up on the wrong side of history.

World BEYOND War Ireland Chapter earnestly supports the restoration of Irish neutrality and the continuation of Irish government support for the United Nations and for reform and compliance with international and humanitarian laws.

Yours sincerely,

Barry Sweeney

Signed on behalf of World BEYOND War, Ireland Chapter.


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