Irish Army Set To Join EU Battle Groups

Discussion in 'Ireland (ie. Irish Defence Force)' started by IrishGuard, Aug 18, 2005.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. More opportunities to travel to foreign places and meet new people....

    Army Set To Join EU Battle Groups

    By Harry McGee.

    DEFENCE Minister Willie O’Dea is set to bring proposals to Cabinet at the end of September to pave the way for Irish troops to participate in EU military battle groups and rapid reaction forces.

    In an interview with the Irish Examiner, Mr O’Dea accepted that the main problem remained reconciling participation in battle groups with Ireland’s policy of neutrality.

    In particular, he referred to the so-called triple lock guarantee, introduced by means of the Saville Declaration in the wake of the defeat of the first referendum on Nice.

    The triple lock stipulates that Irish troops can only be deployed abroad if the mission is sanctioned by the UN, the Government and the Oireachtas.

    Mr O’Dea insisted the Government was fully committed to the triple lock but would also like to see Irish troops participating in battle groups. It is likely legislation would be required to accommodate any such participation. An interdepartmental committee, set up to examine the legal and constitutional difficulties, is close to completing its work. He referred to a number of scenarios which would not be permissible under Irish law at present.

    "If the Irish army is participating in an operation with two other countries (as part of a battle group formation), that will require interoperability or joint training. At the moment, we would not be the lead country in the battle group.

    "How are foreign troops (which are part of battle groups) going to come to this country under their own command? That’s illegal as the law stands at the moment. In fact it’s unconstitutional.

    "As far as our troops going abroad are concerned, we have to have a United Nations mandate. That’s one problem. The main problem really is how are we going to gel it in with the triple lock," he said.

    Asked whether it would be possible to reconcile the conflicting principles, Mr O’Dea said: "What we are working out is how we can do that. We will have the mechanics in place by the end of September."

    Mr O’Dea said that in any battle groups scenario, the EU forces deployed "will work under the aegis of the UN until a proper UN force comes into operation".

    The EU’s rationale for battle groups is that they can be deployed quickly in an unstable region until more permanent peacekeepers arrive. They have not been designed to take an aggressive role.

    Already, 13 battle groups have been set up or are in the planning stages, some involving neutral states like Sweden and Finland. The Government has been keen to stress Irish participation would be consistent with its commitment to bolster the UN’s peacekeeping powers.

    Source: Irish Examiner
  2. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Good thing, and about time. The 'neutrality' thing went down the tubes years ago, and the Irish Army have plenty of peacekeeping experience.

    Pity about all the EU / UN nonsnese, but then again you don't want to bite the hand that feeds you, I suppose.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. Irish contributions to any MN force are essential. Their presence in Sarajevo as part of EUFOR resulted in the best St Paddy's Day I've ever experienced - well, it was when somebody explained what I'd been doing in the 36 hours that had disappeared from my memory......
    • Like Like x 1
  4. I've seen the Irish Army and he's not having any of it...and nor is his wife (the Irish Navy)
  5. About bloody time! Ireland's so-called 'neutrality' made my mind up about joining the RN and not the Irish Naval Service. So glad I did now-don't think I could've handled fishery protection duties non-stop. Out of curiosity, does anyone have official figures on the amount of irish serving in HM Forces and also broken down into individual services??
  6. exactly 16 (...but they dont like to talk about it)
  7. I know its around 170 other ranks and 20 something officers in the army alone (parlimentary questions answer) but does anyone know how to get a more accurate figure tri-service wide?
  8. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    Ask your MP to ask a question
  9. As I didn't vote for him, he's not my MP-they're all a bunch of cnuts anyway
  10. Maybe the Home Office or MOD websites refer to it?

    (I reckon it must be more than 170 other ranks and 20 something officers?...haven't Irish men (and women) been joining for hundreds of years?- especially during the WW1 / 2....
  11. The Irish Army we saw across the border in NI looked like they were each given £20 and told to get down to a surplus shop and buy some uniforms. They looked like tramps armed with Steyrs.

    Having said that when we were on border closure Ops we had some good slanging matches across the line and they were on the whole a good laugh (scruffy buggers all the same).
  12. Does this mean they're reforming the 3rd rifle company in their infantry battalions and binning this CA reinforcement company nonsense?
  13. Snigger. The best dressed ones, to my personal knowledge, actually did go down the surplus shop and bought uniforms.

    Ex British Army uniform purchased from Milletts on Mary Street in Dublin, to be exact.

    They have scrubbed up a little since though.
  14. So its 25 officers and 175 men? Thought it's be higher.
    Lindsay Hoyle (Chorley, Lab) Hansard source
    Written answers Thursday, 11 March 2004

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel from other countries are serving in the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force; and from which countries they come.

    Ivor Caplin (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence) Hansard source

    The number of foreign nationals serving in the Army at 1 January 2004 is 5,540. The following table gives a more detailed breakdown.

    Nationality Officers Soldiers
    Irish Republican 25 175
    Australian 35 40
    Barbadian (16)— 5
    British Commonwealth 5 10
    Cameroon 0 10
    Canadian 20 45
    Dominican 0 10
    Fijian (16)— 1,720
    Gambian 0 55
    Ghanaian (16)— 395
    Grenadian 0 45
    Guyanese 0 10
    Indian 10 25
    Jamaican (16)— 870
    Kenyan 5 60
    Malawi 0 55
    Maltese (16)— 5
    Mauritian 0 15
    New Zealander 25 45
    Nigerian (16)— 45
    Pakistani (16)— 5
    Seychellois 0 5
    Sierra Leone (16)— 20
    South African 35 445
    Sri Lankan (16)— 10
    St. Lucia (16)— 215
    St. Vincent 0 285
    Tongan 0 5
    Trinidadian (16)— 60
    Ugandan 0 20
    Zambian (16)— 10
    Zimbabwean 25 485
    St. Helenian 0 25
    Nepalese 10 (16)—
    Not known/stateless 35 (16)—

    (16) Denotes less than five
  15. The Irish Army as a whole has been given a bit of an overhaul in the last few years. New Uniforms similar to CS95, new vehicles and radios from the Yanks. I beleive the peacekeepers in Liberia are using WMIK's. Still mostly old buggers though.