The Workers’ Party have condemned the government’s granting of permission to three British naval vessels to berth inside Haulbowline Naval Base today (Tuesday).
Cork Workers’ Party Councillor Ted Tynan said the presence of the naval vessels at Haulbowline, for the first time since the return of the Treaty Ports in 1938, was an outrageous breach of Irish neutrality and also threatened the country’s national security as Haulbowline was a secure base and headquarters of the Irish Naval Service.
Cllr. Tynan said that the arrival of the vessels was the clearest signal yet from the present government that it is preparing to abandon Irish neutrality in its totality.
He said: “It does not matter that these are three training vessels, their very presence in Haulbowline has massive significance and has no justification whatsoever. This is not just a routine naval visit, it is loaded with symbolism, amounting to a clear statement of intent by the Irish state that it has not only abandoned an independent foreign policy but clearly now has abandoned any trace of neutrality”
The Workers’ Party councillor has called for the holding of a referendum on the question of Irish neutrality. “Irish neutrality is not Fine Gael’s to give away, it is a policy which has served Ireland well over many decades and won us huge respect worldwide. It should not so easily be surrendered”, said Cllr. Tynan