11/08/2015

Govt Urged Not To Allow Weapons Testing In Ireland

The Government have been urged to ban the testing of all weapons used in armed conflicts on Irish territory.

Making the call, Dublin Sinn Féin MEP, Lynn Boylan, said the party was "vehemently opposed to Ireland becoming a testing centre for weapons manufacturers".

"Meanwhile Minister Coveney’s proposals to allow the international military to use the Irish Defence Forces to test their new weapons is a further undermining of Ireland’s neutrality," Minister Boylan said.

"His assurances that they will not be testing guns or rocket launchers are not enough considering modern weapons of war include drones and electronic guidance systems.

"Irish neutrality has been consistently eroded by consecutive Governments.

"From the executive decision to sign Ireland up to NATO's so-called ‘Partnership for Peace’ in 1997, to the opening of Shannon Airport to US military aircraft involved in the illegal invasion of Iraq, to this Government increasingly dragging Ireland into efforts to further militarise the EU.

"This attitude was evident when Fine Gael, Labour, and Fianna Fáil voted against a Sinn Féin bill in March 2015 which would have established a referendum on enshrining neutrality in the Constitution.

"Labour’s failure to vote in favour of the Bill was quite surprising considering that the party voted in favour of a similar Bill that we put before the Dáil in 2013. 

"Sinn Féin’s recommendations to the White Paper on Defence clearly outlined the party's support for Irish neutrality and a professional Defence Forces for the country that would continue to serve in overseas UN Peacekeeping missions."

(MH)

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