Armed US and UK police are an insult to Ireland
“The decision to allow hundreds of armed officers from UK and US Special Forces into this country during the visits of Queen Elizabeth II and President Obama is an insult to the Garda Siochana and the Irish state", stated Michael Finnegan, Workers' Party president at lunchtime today.

. "Unfortunately this is not the first time that this type of think has happened, and occured as far back as 1984, when Ronald Reagan made his very unwelcome visit here as part of his re-election campaign. Then, hundreds of US forces essentially took over our capital city and were allowed by the then government to take operational control away from the Gardaí".


"The Gardaí and the Irish security forces have a long history and experience in successfully facing up to terrorism. Even during the most fraught and dark times over the '70s, '80s and '90s they successfully ensured the safety of every member of the government and judiciary. The Irish record stands up well to international scrutiny. It stands particularly well against the record of the US and the UK who actively funded international terrorism, most notably through the funding of Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden during the 1980s".


"We must ask a number of very serious questions about the presence of these armed foreign forces on Irish soil. Will these forces be under the direction and discipline of the Garda Commissioner? Will their use of weapons be subject to the protocol used by the Gardaí or the shoot to kill policy of the FBI / MI5? Will any UK or US officer who discharges a weapon and / or injures a person here by any other means be detained here until a full investigation is carried out? If a member of the US or UK forces are suspected of acting illegally will they be made to stand trial in this country?


"The Irish government should take a firm stand on this matter. Having lost our economic sovereignty to the EU/ECB /IMF the government now seem happy to farm out our national security willy nilly to foreign forces.  If this government has no self respect how do we expect to be taken seriously in an international context?" demanded Mr Finnegan.


Issued: Monday 16th May 2011
Peace, Work, Democracy and Class Politics