Ireland’s Peace and Neutrality In Jeopardy: Activists call on a NO vote in “Seanad” [Senate] Abolition Referendum

Global Research -

Abolition of Seanad could pose increased dangers for Peace & Neutrality issues say campaigners

Irish neutrality is once again a referendum issue as a number of prominent Peace and Neutrality campaigners come together to call for No vote on the amendment to abolish the Seanad.

The group includes retired Army Commandant ,Edward Horgan, UCD lecture and peace campaigner, Dr.John Lannon of Shannonwatch, Professor John Maguire of UCC, Galway Councillor Catherine Connolly, Shannonwatch activist Niall Farrell and former Green Party MEP Patricia McKenna.  In a letter issued to national newspapers today the group warns of the negative impact Seanad abolition could have for the peace and neutrality agenda.

Dr. Lannon of Shannon Watch warned that the abolition of the Seanad will make the adoption of EU decisions and legislation easier for a government that is determined to do so, even if those decisions are inconsistent with the stated views of the Irish people. Edward Horgan stressed that abolishing the Seanad would eliminate the chance of ever establishing a reformed institution that could scrutinise future EU military issues and will make it less problematic for Enda Kenny and his successors to pass controversial legislation.

Professor Maguire pointed out that, with the EU pushing for more militarization there is a need to increase scrutiny and accountability not support a decision that will allow for the easier passage of such decisions.  Compared to Scandinavian countries, Germany and many of the new member states, Ireland’s has one of the least effective scrutiny systems of EU legislation.  A reformed Seanad could provide real potential to correct this weakness in Ireland’s oversight of EU policy making particularly on military issues.

The former Green MEP, Patricia McKenna supported this view by highlighting the recent European Parliament session in Strasbourg, which approved by a large majority a report on ‘EU’s military structures: state of play and future prospects,’ demonstrates that the further erosion of Irish Neutrality and the continued militarization of the EU are on the EU and Government agenda and will be made easier by the removing the threat of a reformed Seanad. She said it was alarming that all Fine Gael MEPs – the party that wants the Seanad abolished instead of reformed – supported this report.


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