Irish Army Set To Join EU Battle Groups

#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
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#2
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.
 
#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......
 
#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??
 
#7
moving-target-survivor said:
exactly 16 (...but they dont like to talk about it)
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?
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
Ask your MP to ask a question
 
#9
Mr_Fingerz said:
Ask your MP to ask a question
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
Baghdad-Brit said:
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.
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.

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2004-03-11.156134.h&s=Irish+Army#g156134.r0
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
Baghdad-Brit said:
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).
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.
 
#17
This is all jolly good and I'm sure the Irish will be very proud but is it going to add anything to the EU 'Battle Groups". Is this just another wannabe army looking to be part of the effort in training with no intention of deploying on operations. How can they be Neutral but be aligned? Sort of like being half pregnant. Would they deploy to Afganisatan? If they did would that not be in breach of their neutrality?

Typical Irish, all smoke and mirrors. Come on boys you've been happily living off the security provided by NATO for 50 years and in particular Britain for longer. Make a grown up decision. Commit yourselves or just fukc off back to being a sponge state. Perhaps you should form your own alliance with New Zealand.
 
#19
Just this last week in New Zealand some nutter in a light aircraft flew around Wellington (I think) threatening to deliberately crash into the tallest building in town (and the Southern Hemisphere). The authorities took it absolutely seriously and evacuated the building, and then waited and waited. There was nothing else they could do as they have disbanded the fighting element of their airforce. They have a couple of old helos with M60s mounted in the door. It is one thing to surrender a global or even regional defence obligation but it is entire madness to abandon your ability to defend yourself. Eventually the plane ditched in the bay.
 
#20
Birdie_Numnums said:
This is all jolly good and I'm sure the Irish will be very proud but is it going to add anything to the EU 'Battle Groups". Is this just another wannabe army looking to be part of the effort in training with no intention of deploying on operations. How can they be Neutral but be aligned? Sort of like being half pregnant. Would they deploy to Afganisatan? If they did would that not be in breach of their neutrality?
We'd love to help. Just try convincing our government of that........
 

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