What do we actually mean by neutrality?

What does Irish “Neutrality” actually mean? It’s a phrase that gets thrown around with a common assumption that we all agree on the meaning, but I doubt that’s the case. For example, are we neutral between Israel and Palestine, or Russia and Ukraine? I would say no, and I would say that the majority of the Irish are comfortable (as much as they give it any thought, which is another issue) with our state’s heavy leaning towards one side in those conflicts.

Being a constitutional republic, we have a written (as opposed to hearsay) constitution which allows us to declare specifically as to what values we identify with. With that in mind, I’ve attempted to write a rough draft of what a constitutional amendment on neutrality would actually attempt to say.

One interesting thing: when you put this stuff down in black and white, it has sometimes unforeseen consequences. For example, if we recognised Palestine as a sovereign state, wouldn’t it mean we’d have to stop funding the Palestinian state as that would be a breach of neutrality as we would have defined?

Maybe it’s better just to stick with the “Whatever you’re having yourself” model we currently have.

Anyway: here’s the draft for divilment.

1. Ireland is a neutral country. We shall not assist any country, including other EU members, in their defence from attack in any way.

2. No Irish government shall seek or accept any military or any form of other assistance in the event of any form of military or other security attack upon Ireland.

3. Ireland shall not source any military or security related material from abroad but shall manufacture those required domestically.

4. Ireland shall not contribute or supply resources of any kind to any state involved in any form of military conflict with another state.

5. Ireland shall primarily place her security in the hands of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, namely the United Kingdom, the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, the United States, and the French Republic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *