Senator Mark Daly has called on the Minister for Defence Alan Shatter to apologise to both former and current members of the defence forces for describing Ireland’s position of neutrality as “morally bankrupt”.
On this the anniversary of Ireland’s adoption of a position of neutrality following the commencement of World War Two, Minister Shatter should withdraw his insulting comments directed towards the army and members of the local defence forces who were prepared to defend the nation against any attack during World War Two. The position of neutrality was approved by the passing of the Emergency Powers Bill on the 3rd of September 1939, which was supported by all parties in the Dail at the time, including Minister Shatter’s own party. Following on from this, a policy of neutrality has been supported by the majority of the Irish population.
Senator Daly commented “The Ministers position is indefensible in light of his own inaction during conflicts such as the genocide in Rwanda and Burundi, where Minister’s Shatter only action was to call on the Department Of Foreign Affairs to examine reports that French soldiers in Burundi had stood by while people were being killed. His silence on the genocide in the former Yugoslavia was equally deafening. On this day it would be appropriate for the Minister to retract his comments and show his support for the honourable history of the defence forces.”