Local media in Ireland is reporting that a politician was angry the UK ‘had not informed Irish civil aviation authorities that they had unleashed their Typhoons’ into air space near Ireland.
According to Irish Central, Fianna Fáil’s Transport Spokesperson Timmy Dooley was ‘incensed’ that British aircraft did not notify Irish authorities of their actions (despite them being fully visible to all air traffic control facilities).
“These maneuvers were not sanctioned by the Irish Aviation Authority and had put Irish air traffic controllers in the invidious position of not being able to carry out their duties effectively. This should not be tolerated.”
Ireland operates ‘The Air Corps’ who fly a fleet of fixed and rotary wing aircraft (but no jet aircraft capable of intercepting Russian bombers), it provides military support to the Irish Army and Naval Service. Their only combat capable aircraft is the Pilatus PC-9M whih can be armed with a heavy machine gun or rocket pods. Their primary airbase is Casement Aerodrome located at Baldonnel, County Dublin.
According to journalist Ray O’Hanlon, writing in the piece linked to above:
“His anger over the British reaction was not likely to provoke as much sympathy. That is because his own party, during a period when it was in government, let slip that the Republic of Ireland was, de facto, under the protective wing of the Royal Air Force when it came to the defense of Irish skies. This came to light after 9/11 when then Fianna Fáil defense minister, Michael Smith, let slip in the Dáil that the RAF would come to Ireland’s aid if there was a 9/11-like incident over Ireland.”
O’Hanlon also adds:
“Nobody panicked or fired a shot. Nobody was hurt, though Irish pride was somewhat dented.”
Last year we reported that British combat aircraft were to ‘shoot down aircraft over Ireland if they are hijacked by terrorists’, according to local media. According to the Irish Examiner, “five well-placed sources in Ireland and one in Britain have pointed to the agreement being in place, with a number saying the Defence Forces was not involved in negotiating it, despite the RAF asking for its inclusion.”
Ireland lacks aircraft that can climb high enough or go fast enough to intercept Russian aircraft which came close to Irish airspace a few times in the last few years, being driven away by British jets.