Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, Seán Crowe, has criticised the Government over their refusal to back Sinn Féin’s Neutrality Bill in the Dáil, but also said he is not remotely surprised at their decision.

The Neutrality Bill sought to trigger a referendum to amend the Constitution to affirms that Ireland is a Neutral State

Deputy Seán Crowe:

“Sinn Féin moved this Bill to open a debate on Irish neutrality and to get the support of the Oireachtas for a referendum on whether to assert neutrality into Bunreacht na hÉireann.

“Successive Irish Governments have clearly breached Articles on the Hague Convention concerning the actions of neutral countries and undermined Irish neutrality. They have sold Irish neutrality piece by piece against the wishes of the people.

“The ongoing court case of Mick Wallace TD and Clare Daly TD, has heard important evidence from military experts that details how foreign militaries transport weapony on aircrafts going through Shannon.

“Dr. Tom Clonan, a former Irish Army officer and security analyst, in his evidence stated that 2.25 million US troops had passed through Shannon since 2002 and it is a virtual forward airbase of the US military. He also stated that he personally saw weapons on board these planes.

“It’s long past the time power was given back to Irish people to allow them to decide on Ireland’s on future and whether neutrality should be at the core of that policy.

“This Bill was the opportunity to that. It is disappointing but not remotely that the Government is opposing this.

“Sinn Féin tabled a similar Bill in 2003 which Labour, then in opposition, voted and spoke in favour of. It is shameful that now, in Government, they will cobble together reasons to vote against it.”