Unease about change of role for Irish Navy in Med

The role of the Irish Naval Service which has been involved in humanitarian rescue work in the Mediterranean is to change.

A notice from the Department of Defence says:

“Transferring to Operation Sophia will result in the redeployment of Irish Naval Service vessels from primarily humanitarian search and rescue operation to primarily security and interception operations.”

Full text at this link:

http://www.defence.ie/…/R…/403656F038055CD08025815C0067C5A9…

Although passed by the Dail (80 – 38) there was strong opposition, a Sein Fein amendment calling for the matter to be deferred until it was considered by the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee was rejected by 78 votes to 39.
Sinn Féin defence spokesman Aengus Ó Snodaigh rejected the Government’s claims of urgency in the matter. “Why would we sign up to an operation that is nearing the end of its mandate in December given that it would take three months at least to prepare for it”.

Mr Ó Snodaigh claimed “there has always been an element in the military here who want to play with the big boys”.

Report from the Irish Times:

https://www.irishtimes.com/…/d%C3%A1il-votes-for-defence-fo…

Image: Aengus Ó Snodaigh – Sinn Fein Defence spokesman in the Dail

BERNARD MOFFATT
pp Celtic League

25/07/17

 

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