Dublin should be challenged on neutrality: TUV

A US Congressional delegation visiting the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic should be challenging the Dublin government over its “immoral” military neutrality, the TUV said last night.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 7:44 am

Lorna Smyth, military veteran and TUV representative in Lagan Valley, called on the nine-strong team from the US House of Representatives to ask why the Republic hasn’t sent a single bullet to help Ukraine in its war against Russian invaders.

Back in Washington DC the Biden administration has warned the UK government not to provoke a clash with the EU over the NI Protocol claiming it could weaken Western solidarity in helping Ukraine repel Vladimir Putin’s forces.

But ex-servicewoman Ms Smyth questioned why there appears to be no interest among US politicians and in particular the Congress members on a four-day visit to the island over why the Irish state is militarily neutral.

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The TUV's Lorna Smyth

She said: “While predictable characters from the US seek to lecture unionists and the UK government about the protocol, which continues to divide our country in a fashion no sovereign nation can accept, it is telling that we have yet to hear any comment on the failure of the Republic to supply the assistance that the people of Ukraine have been crying out for months for.

“While Northern Ireland can be proud because of the contribution she is making to the fight for freedom with Belfast-built NLAW anti-tank weapons being deployed to slow the Russian advance, the Republic maintains its immoral position of neutrality.

“Northern Ireland’s position in the UK means that we are unequivocally on the side of right in this situation.

“The Republic has decided, as usual, to sit the issue out and let others aid the fight for freedom.”

She added: “Why is it that there is no interest in highlighting this situation from those who are visiting from the US?”

At the end of last week US State Department diplomat Derek Chollet spoke in London after the UK government signalled that it is prepared to unilaterally override some core provisions of the protocol.

Mr Chollet said in an interview: “The last thing we want right now is a big UK-EU spat. This a moment where we should be sending a message of unity overall.”

While the Republic has sent “non-lethal” assistance to Ukraine such as medical supplies, body armour and helmets, the policy of neutrality prevents it from sending weapons.