The full incorporation of the Defence Forces into foreign military alliances has come a step closer with the announcement that Irish troops are to participate in “warfare training” as part of the EU Nordic Battlegroup set-up.
Troops based at Collins Barracks in Cork are to travel to Sweden next October to take part in the military exercises. Cork Workers’ Party Councillor Ted Tynan said he was appalled to learn that Swedish Brigadier General Jan Stephan Andersson had been in Collins Barracks at the end of March to inspect the troops who will be under his command next Autumn.
“We were told on numerous occasions”, said Tynan, “in both the Nice and Lisbon Treaty referendums, that the EU Battlegroups were about humanitarian missions and crisis management through the so-called Petersberg Tasks. We had it rammed down our throats that Irish neutrality was not at stake. Now we learn that Irish troops are to undertake warfare training and we have the spectre of a foreign military commander inspecting Irish troops on Irish soil in Cork City”
Tynan added, “Quite clearly the Irish people have been lied to once again and the integration of our defence forces into the EU/NATO structures goes on at pace while the myth of a neutral Ireland continues to be portrayed by the present Fianna Fáil/Green Party government. Their denials about Irish military entanglement in an emerging EU superpower are farcical. The lives of Irish troops and our sovereignty and security are being put at risk by this government.”