Triple ban on troop deployments abroad to be examined at public forum on Ireland’s security policy – The Irish Times

Ireland’s ‘triple lock’ policy on deployments of defense forces abroad will be examined and debated at this summer’s National Consultative Forum on Irish Security Policy.

Under the system, any major Irish deployment abroad for peacekeeping or European Union missions requires government and Dáil approval, and endorsement of a United Nations resolution.

Tánaiste and Foreign and Defense Minister Micheál Martin confirmed that the issue will be part of deliberations at the four-day forum in Dublin, Cork and Galway in June.

It is chaired by Prof. Louise Richardson, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

Mr. Martin said new threats such as cybersecurity, hybrid warfare and the risks to critical infrastructure would be discussed.

Ultimately, a report of the Forum’s deliberations could be used to inform future recommendations to the Government on Ireland’s international security policy.

Mr Martin said issues related to the triple lock mechanism would also be reviewed.

He said, “We will be allowing submissions so people can make their particular points of view known.”

Fine Gael wants an end to the triple lockdown and has expressed concern about the ability of countries like Russia – a permanent member of the UN Security Council – to effectively veto potential Defense Forces missions.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar reiterated his party’s view that the triple ban should be lifted when asked if he hopes the public forum will result in a recommendation to drop it. However, he stressed that this is not the government’s position.

The Greens have backed keeping the triple lockdown, with leader Eamon Ryan previously saying it “supports our country well”.

The issue of the triple lock will arise in the coming months with the cabinet’s approval of a proposal to send a naval vessel to participate in the EU’s Operation Irini mission in the Mediterranean. The operation aims to prevent arms trafficking to Libya.

LÉ William Butler Yeats was selected, but deployment is conditional on the EU mission receiving a renewed UN mandate in June.

Opposition parties have criticized the government’s plans for the consultation forum, with Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy claiming it was a “blatant attempt to undermine Irish neutrality” and Paul Murphy, TD of People Before Profit, saying it was a “staging ‘ to abolish neutrality.

Mr Varadkar replied that there were new threats to Ireland’s security and “there is absolutely no way we can… protect ourselves”. He said there must be cooperation with the EU and NATO, which has already happened. However, he stressed that the forum “will not result in Ireland applying for NATO membership”. Triple ban on troop deployments abroad to be examined at public forum on Ireland’s security policy – The Irish Times

Dais Johnston

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