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Eamon de Valera & Irish Neutrality

Press Release 14/05/2014

"A small nation has to be extremely cautious when enters into alliances which bring it, willy nilly, into those wars.... we would not be consulted in how a war would be started-the great powers would do that-and when it ended, no matter who won... we would not be consulted as to the terms on which it should end."

An Taoiseach Eamon de Valera, 12th July 1955, speech in Dail Eireann The Peace & Neutrality Alliance was established in 1996 to advocate the right of the Irish people to have their own independent Irish foreign policy with positive neutrality as its key component.

The policy of Irish neutrality was first advocated by Wolfe Tone in 1790 but it would be fair to say that in the 20th century its main advocate was the leader of Fianna Fail, Eamon de Valera.

PANA would see itself as continuing his progress heritage in the 21st century.

In opposing the Iraq war and Ireland's participation in that war by allowing US troops use Shannon Airport to send troops to and from that war, PANA would contend we were maintaining the traditional values of De Valera & Fianna Fail, and it was the deviation from those values that resulted in its greatest electoral defeat.

However, by terminating the long standing policy on neutrality and taking part in the war on Iraq had no major impact on the Irish people, after all, Iraq was a small county, easily crushed by the US.

A war with Russia, even if it can be restricted to a proxy war in the Ukraine, will not be so benign. There were 3,249 international observers including several from Ireland for the Presidential election in the Ukraine in 2010 and there declared it to be transparent and fair.

The overthrow of democratically elected President was illegal (see David Morrison's analysis and the consequent civil conflict such as the burning to death of over 30 people in a trad union hall in Odessa couuld spiral out of control leading to a wider war drawing in more and more countries.

With such a possibility PANA is contacting Fianna Fail Oireachtas members to draw from their older tradition of support for neutrality and to terminate sanctions on Russia ( which blames only one side in the conflict) and call for inclusive negotiations.

PANA commissioned RedC poll in September 2013 to ask the Irish people did they support a policy of neutrality (see and 78% agreeded, so in advocating the restoration of Irish neutrality.

We are reflecting the view of the vast majority of the Irish people. A decision by FF to return to its values it once championed would be welcomed.

Roger Cole
Peace & Neutrality Alliance

17 Castle Street, Dalkey, Co.Dublin, Ireland.
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