The Workers’ Party have called on the Minister for Defence to explain why Irish Troops based at Collins Barrack’s in Cork are to travel to Sweden next October to participate in “warfare training” as part of the EU Nordic Battlegroup set-up.
Cork Workers Party Councillor Ted Tynan said he was appalled to learn that a Swedish Brigadier General, Jan Stephan Andersson, had been in Collins Barracks last Monday to inspect Irish troops who will be under the General’s command for warfare training in next Autumn’s military exercises in
“We were told on numerous occasions”, said Cllr. 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”
“This was no courtesy visit of a foreign dignitary, but a military inspection by a very senior officer who regards these as his troops and who will instruct them under joint EU / NATO command in a mission which is preparation for full-blown warfare and not humanitarianism”.
“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 and are reminiscent of Comical Ali’s denials of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Except that this is a deadly game and the lives of Irish troops and our national sovereignty and security are being put at risk by this government”, said Cllr. Tynan.
Issued Thursday, 1st April 2010