Irish people will resist EU reaction force, says Cork TD

He said he believes the rapid reaction force will ultimately lead to a European army
Irish people will resist EU reaction force, says Cork TD

Solidarity TD for Cork North Central Mick Barry said there will be “major opposition” to Ireland potentially joining the rapid reaction force.

A Cork TD has warned the Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney that it will be the “sons and daughters of working-class people” who will be asked to die for French or German capitalism if Ireland join the European Union’s rapid reaction force.

Fine Gael TD Simon Coveney earlier this week told RTÉ that there is a good chance Ireland will be involved in the European Union’s rapid reaction force despite the State’s tradition of military neutrality.

“As regards a rapid reaction force, yes, I think there’s a good chance that we’ll be involved in that,” he said.

Mr Coveney added that the force which is due to be operational by 2025 would be about trying to find a more coordinated common policy for collective intervention when and where the EU needed to be a peacekeeper.

He said this could include the Irish Defence Forces, which already works with other EU states in peacekeeping units.

Solidarity TD for Cork North Central Mick Barry said there will be “major opposition” to Ireland potentially joining the rapid reaction force.

“What I’m saying to Minister Coveney is that there is no chance that Ireland will be involved in a European rapid reaction force without major opposition in Irish society.

“I just want to mark the Government’s cards that this won’t be allowed to happen without a fight from home. I think people who are opposed to militarisation need to start raising their voices now,” he said.

EUROPEAN ARMY

Deputy Barry said he believes the rapid reaction force will ultimately lead to a European army.

“I think the top brass in the EU are aiming for a European army, but as a step along the road they want a rapid reaction force that can be sent to conflict zones at very short notice.

“It will not be fortunate sons or daughters of ministers who will be asked to die for French or German capitalism, but it will be the sons and daughters of the working class,” he added.

Deputy Barry said he believes the leaders of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are planning to push hard to increase Irish military co-operation with the other member states of the EU.

“I think that the leaders of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael feel that there is an opportunity here to push forward a prearranged agenda to increase Irish military spending and to seriously increase Irish military co-operation with other EU countries. I think they are planning to push hard on that.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin this week raised again the possibility that Ireland might hold a citizens’ assembly as part of a nationwide debate on what he called “broader issues of European Union security”.

Ireland is a militarily neutral nation and has been sending non-lethal aid to the Ukrainian army.

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