An article in The Irish Times has shown the government falling over themselves to attend the meetings of a US-led alliance designed to send military equipment to Ukraine. This is more evidence of the government’s desire to slowly but surely cosy up to NATO and erode our neutrality, according to Gerry Rooney, Workers’ Party representative for Ratoath LEA.

Rooney, who is a former General Secretary of the Permanent Defence Forces Other Ranks Representative Association, said: “Participation in the Ukraine Defense Contact Group is clearly a priority for the government. Having failed to receive an invitation to one of the group’s meetings at a US Air Force base in Germany, a government official was quick to email an American counterpart looking for the invite to attend.”

“It is unbecoming of a neutral state to attend such a meeting. Instead of talking about sending tanks and fighter jets into a warzone, one which has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths since the conflict began in 2014, Ireland should be talking about peace and diplomacy as a means to end the war and bring about a peace settlement.”

“The war in Ukraine, and the support which that country has received from NATO, is part of a larger conflict in which the United States seeks to assert its dominance worldwide. This is why the Irish government is happy to row in behind the war effort; it is hoping to suck up to the Americans.”

“There are a million other things that should take priority in terms of Ireland’s defence policy. Conditions, recruitment, reports of bullying and harassment within the Defence Forces are yet to be properly addressed, but instead the government is attempting to erode our neutrality to please Washington.”

“It is consistently clear from opinion polling that the majority of Irish people support our neutrality. It is also clear that, in spite of this, the government is gradually cosying up to NATO. The Workers’ Party commits to defending Irish neutrality as a hallmark of Ireland’s defence policy.”