NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller praised the Alliance’s partnership with Ireland in a visit to Dublin on Friday.

Meeting with Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Niall Burgess, the Deputy Secretary General praised Ireland’s contributions to international peace and security, including through its contributions to UN and EU peacekeeping operations, as well as the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo.

While stressing NATO’s firm respect for Ireland’s military neutrality, she praised the country’s cooperation with NATO, which benefits both NATO and Ireland in today’s challenging security environment.

“The Deputy Secretary General also held separate talks with the Secretary General of the Department of Defence, Maurice Quinn and the Irish Chief of Defence, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett. The leaders discussed Ireland’s expertise in fields that are important to NATO, such as peacekeeping, countering improvised explosive devices, and women, peace and security.

As part of her visit, the Deputy Secretary General met with women who were involved in the Northern Irish peace process, as well as international peacekeepers, academics and senior civilian and military officials. She stressed that Ireland is an international leader in peacekeeping operations, and praised the country’s efforts to enhance interoperability with Allied forces.”

Ireland currently contributes an advisor to the Office of the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security. The Deputy Secretary General also explained how NATO makes a difference in the field of gender equality, including by deploying gender advisors in NATO missions, protecting civilians, and promoting women at all levels of the Alliance.

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dave12
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dave12

Yes because Ireland’s military would really make a difference.

geoff
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geoff

Exactly Dave. And of course they don’t need an Air Force because the RAF protect their airspace free of charge and subject to regular abuse. Also, I can sort of understand Switzerland being Neutral but Ireland-what does that mean? In the event of a conflict would they not support their EU buddies, the UK or the USA against say, Russia? Sorry-Varadkar and his merry men are not my favourite people at the moment

Mark
Guest
Mark

That RAF is barely mentioned in Ireland, let alone “regularly abused”, also the UK Government made that agreement, take it up with them.

Also Johnson and his shower aren’t the favourite people in Ireland either.

geoff
Guest
geoff

The RAF have been criticised on several occasions at Ministerial level in the ROI for breaching Irelands airspace-gift horse in mouth Mark. The UK government made that agreement as Ireland has no Air defence of its own and this leaves a large part of its Western approaches vulnerable. Johnson and his shower are also not the favourite people in large parts of the UK either Mark-I have decidedly mixed feelings about him myself. My view of Varadkar is that he has been in both manner and utterance, deliberately obstructive in trying to find a solution to the Border issue-playing politics… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

Think you mean at TD level, we like most have plenty of Independents that happen to be anti any military and complain left right and center about everything. But they are random people with no influence on anything.Show me the link to Ministerial level comments.

Varadkar has been no different to any other Irish politician in regards to the issue of NI after Brexit, and as yet the UK still hasn’t put forward solutions that don’t have issues. In fact he and FG would be the more UK friendly party in the Daíl.

geoff
Guest
geoff

The one article was in the Irish Times. Senator Gerald Craughwell was most offended that RAF jets were allowed to encroach Ireland’s Sovereign Airspace! There was another more strident attack-will try to find Mark.

Mark
Guest
Mark

In terms of political power Senators are above Local Councillors and thats about it. They have zero influence or powers and apart from one or two that have done things outside of the Seanad most people woudn’t know them if they met them.

Again you are pointing to effectively “cranks” who complain mostly for the sake of complaining, not anyone of actual Governmental control.

geoff
Guest
geoff

Hi Mark-let me give you some background in this interesting and civilised exchange. I am the son of NI Protestants’ married to a wife half Irish Catholic and half Jewish. I would describe myself first and foremost as British. I have a strong attachment to the ROI and its peoples. I can sing God Save the Queen and God Save Ireland. I visited the Post Office in Dublin to imagine those days in 1916. I admired the bravery of those men who were celebrated” I’ll sing you a song of a row in the Town”. I acknowledge the atrocities visited… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

To be clear I’ve zero time or support for anyone involved in the Troubles on either side. It’s perhaps sometimes forgotten that the PIRA was also against the Irish State. I live by the Irish Naval Base and my childhood school runs had regular Army/Gardaí checkpoints every week due to the next town over being (and still is) an IRA hotbed. As to why I post, well Irish military affairs don’t get much coverage at home (some lack of interest, some the DF likes everyone to think it’s just sitting around in white vehicles rather than some of the combat… Read more »

geoff
Guest
geoff

Thanks Mark. nice chatting to you

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

ROI need to provide credible force for size of country and perhaps show appreciation for nearby NATO forces and not dwell on the past. For better or worse we have chosen a path and would like friendly countries to support the UK’s choice. Cooperation on this issue can only strengthen ties and benefit everyone.

Mark
Guest
Mark

You know that “sovereignty” thing… The Republic is fully within it’s rights to have whatever DF size the public will support (sadly that’s not much) as for the path you’ve chosen, on you go nobody is stopping you, all we want is for you to come up with a way of not setting NI on fire that doesn’t require Unicorns to be involved.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

True have whatever DF size you like. It is a fair topic for discussion however between other NATO members is it not? Brexit & politics are rarely discussed on this site however I would like to point out there is a lot of concern from people here that Brexit should not cause problems in Ireland and we are attempting to provide potential solutions which work for all sides. This will require good faith all round.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Why would NATO members waste their time discussing the defence state of a Non NATO member? I mean they can just seems a waste of time for them.

The UK originally didn’t propose any workable solutions for the issue and didn’t even consider it, even the latest suggestion has been utterly destroyed in Northern Ireland by everyone including Unionists for what Johnson proposed.

As to “Good Faith”, yeah that’s not going to happen.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Mark, That is the point of this article. NATO should and must study their relationships with all countries considering how their policies affects the overall defensive position. I sense the anger over Brexit – we have that on all sides but sooner or later it will be resolved one way or another.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Actually as I said I wonder if this was actually more discussing Ireland joining the Cyber Defence Center.

As for resolving Brexit, given what it’s kicked over in NI, try “later”, UK-EU relations are going to be a long running issue.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

There has been cooperation with Ireland for years in many areas. Cyber is the new kid on the block so why not. I think the plan for Brexit is closing fast like it or not.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Don’t disagree, just interesting timing that this is done now after the visit.

As for Brexit, one way or the other the Exit part will be done, sure. But as the other non-EU European nations have been pointing out that just brings years of talks on everything else the UK-EU relationship will bring.

And it won’t put the genie back in the bottle in regards to NI.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Mark, the future of the Ireland of Ireland is in the hands of the Irish nobody else. It will be resolved when you ALL decide to resolve it. We will not be surprised if trade agreements run into problems due to anti British sentiments we are used to them. But many will want to trade with us. Brexit may or may not be a disaster but we ignore democracy at our peril.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Actually since only the UK can call a vote if ever the situation demanded it technically it’s in Westminsters as well.

And it has nothing to do with “anti British” sentiments, I mean look at the 20 year running arguments between the Swiss and the EU. The UK can’t escape the fact that it’s going to have to engage with the EU and as a “Third Nation” that’s going to be very different to as a member.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

I’m positive that when (and not if) the Irish speak with one voice any UK Government will be falling over themselves to play their part in resolving this issue once and for all. Currently NI is in the UK with all the protections normally discussed on this site however we will support that democratic change when it comes. The EU is bubbling with nationalist sentiments which suggests it has not waited an appropriate amount of time and is forcing ever closer union faster than its population is comfortable with. Those on both sides not wanting a quick free trade deal… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

Really the UK Government who now has a “Minister for the Union” and whose last one repeatedly banged on about the Precious Union when she was speaking?

I won’t hold my breath.

As for “quick trade deals”, as some of the UK’s own former Negotiators put it, “you can have two of three, a quick deal, a fair deal, a deep deal”. The UK won’t get the same access as it had as a Member.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Yes because we have a Union which will be promoted and defended – the only thing that will change that is democracy. I detect that anti British thing again – the bad Brits stopping us. Time & friendship is the solution and you are part way there. As for the trade it cuts both ways – its your opportunity to punish us. You must do that if you wish.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Not really, I was actually paraphrasing one of Cameron’s No. 10 staff that worked during the Scottish vote and until Cameron quit, it was his view that Whitehall became far less willing to consider any “unification” situation after coming so close to losing Scotland. Also of course there’s the issue that the UK Government is meant to be impartial in running NI and yet particularly over the last two governments there has been a large favouritism towards the Unionist position. As for “punishing the UK”, it’s not punishing it’s simply applying the same standards of a third nation to the… Read more »

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

The British Government are effectively out of the equation and neither the British parliament nor people have any legal right under this agreement to impede the achievement of Irish unity if it had the consent of the people North and South… Our nation is and always will be a 32-county nation. Antrim and Down are, and will remain, as much a part of Ireland as any southern county. Bertie Ahern

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Ireland is a special case. The Good Friday Agreement is path to peace. All the Irish have to do is walk it. Cameron was getting carried away with his referendums sooner or later one wasn’t going to go to plan – which is where we are now.

Mark
Guest
Mark

As I said it wasn’t just Cameron, it was in his opinion a hardening of Whitehall itself to the idea, for example reportedly May was challenged to put a Border Poll to NI to remove the issue of the Backstop and according to the leaks answered “No, as I’m afraid we might lose”.

I have no doubt that the UK would love to be rid of the burden of NI, but equally I have doubts that Westminster is ready or willing to accept the constitutional fallout afterwards.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

On the subject of trade nobody knows what will happen or the impact. It is all crystal ball gazing. All sides will simply adjust as best they can, find alternate suppliers and/or clients if necessary.

David
Guest
David

… and the EU won’t get their billions/yr when we were a member. I was born and raised in Northern Ireland and grew up through the height of the Troubles and felt the effect in full. My own Father was hijacked on multiple occasions just going about his business earning a living for his family. VCPs and Army searches were second nature and nightly news reports of car-bombs, shootings, beatings, etc., were the norm. All this nonsense about the Good Friday Agreement collapsing post-Brexit is just that – utter nonsense. We have been through too much before 1998 and have… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

Well no of course we won’t, that’s an already factored in price of Brexit since 2016. As to you’re view on what might or might not happen, the head of the PSNI and Gardaí (whose former PSNI) along with the intelligence services and “former” terrorists hold a different view. Attacks are increasing, that’s a fact, new Arms shipments have been intercepted and former caches moved, fact. Stormont is effectively dead with nothing like the relationship between London and Dublin for the last 2-3 decades. Or as someone who also lived the Troubles put it recently, look back to the papers… Read more »

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

The violence of the past achieved nothing and I hope the relationships you speak of might be strained but are strong enough to withstand the current issues.

David
Guest
David

So which poor EU taxpayer is going to be told (because they won’t be asked) that they have to make up the difference? How do you think they will feel? The EU is trying to make an example of the UK as they are heart scared that it would mean a mass exodus if referenda were offered to other EU countries. Public sentiment in France and Italy is currently leaning toward ‘Leave’ if given the opportunity and the EU knows it. As for your reference to an increase in attacks. Increasing from what? There have always been sporadic attacks from… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

Some nations will pay more in contributions, some nations will get less transfers out of the budget. That will be sorted out during the talks on the next budget cycle, but I’m not sure of your point tbh. That was the natural end point of the decision in 2016, it’s not a threat or leverage, just reality that the UK is gone. As for EU nations, most have actually seen a decline in “Leave” polling as the members have watched the UK “struggle”, even Le Pen switched to a “Remain and Reform” type platform post Brexit. As for NI, I’m… Read more »

Mike
Guest
Mike
Mark
Guest
Mark

Ah no, I think if you actually read the articles of the time what he was referencing is that in a No Deal situation the UK will fall out of the current EU based “Open Skies” agreements without replacement which has impacts on landing rights of UK airlines.

Nothing to do with RAF overflights.

Barry Larking
Guest
Barry Larking

The E.U. does not have control over matters of airspace. These rules are international and governed by long standing arrangements and treaty.
Ireland should have invested in port facilities if they wish for independence from the U.K.’s borders long before 1973. They chose not to possibly because of the unnecessary expense of such infrastructure. Fully 75 per cent of Ireland’s produce is sold in the U.K.
Ireland has a fine record of peace keeping around the world; just not in the island of Ireland itself. I like the Irish but I can do without the blarney.

Mark
Guest
Mark

The EU is the authority through which the member states signed the Open Skies Agreements. If the UK leaves without a deal then it won’t have those agreements and will default to those agreed I think in the late 60’s. The UK has tried to get agreement with the US but last I read the US demands were such that the UK won’t accept. Also we have invested in Port facilities (and we were independent long before 1973), and no “75%” of Ireland’s produce is not sold in the UK, not even close to that amount even in agri goods.… Read more »

Barry Larking
Guest
Barry Larking

The arrangement whereby the Royal Air Force is committed to protecting Irish air space was attacked in the Dail. There are reports online I should imagine if you look for them. You last point seems gratuitous if I may say so.

Mark
Guest
Mark

The comment was about Ministers. You know as in the Government, not “random TD taking shots for the sake of it”, are you suggesting that the Commons doesn’t have random MP’s that come out with stupid things. Those TD’s tend to be either SF which I don’t need to explain or hard left idiots that I shouldn’t need to explain.

Post anything that has a Minister or Junior Minister attacking the deal, hell even mentioning it.

dave12
Guest
dave12

yep buddy

David Flandry
Guest
David Flandry

Well, it would if they were fighting Monaco, or San Marino.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Don’t tell the Lefties of the Daíl…

John Hampson
Guest
John Hampson

Ireland has however signed up to PESCO, This is the EU’s preliminary step to forming an EU army.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Not really no, there are some that would hope for that, others that don’t so for the forseeable future it’s not going to happen. It’s far more of just rationalisation in the Defence Sector.

John Hampson
Guest
John Hampson

Mark. Drunker, Merkle and Macron have stated their support for an EU army. See “Merkel joins Macron in calling for EU army to complement NATO”.. Headline in Politico 14/11/18. the article continues, “Merkel threw her support behind the idea in an address to the European Parliament, part of a series of leaders’ speeches on the future of Europe”. “Jean-Claude Juncker already said that a common European army would show the world that there would never again be war in Europe,” Merkel said, referring to the European Commission president, who was in the Parliament chamber. “This is not an army against… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

In case you hadn’t noticed Juncker is effectively gone, just waiting for the new Commission to be finished voted on, Merkel is politically gone just running out the clock and Macron is busy with other domestic issues.

And even then still doesn’t change my point that there’s not the needed numbers in the Council to get what you are calling an “EU Army”.

John Hampson
Guest
John Hampson

Mark. What a load of rubbish. Merkle was expressing her support for the Drunker/Macron plan for an EU army not to an insignificant audience but to the EU Parliament in Strasburg. How on earth can you try a dimiss or discredit this absolutely clear statement of intent? Why do EU supporters bend over backwards to deny that the EU is embarked on creating a United States of Europe.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Merkel is effectively a lame duck Chancellor with no certainty that her chosen successor will be able to win the next election, so her power within EU politics is waning. That is Fact. Juncker is now a non entity. It doesn’t matter what he wants he’s gone, new person, new policies and positions. Macron as I said has plenty to deal with at home. As for creating a “UES” or “EU Army” I dismiss it as there is no unanimous or majority support within the Council for such a move, until that changes then it won’t happen and if such… Read more »

McZ
Guest
McZ

The new commission president is a Merkel disciple. Down to current polls, the next German government will be even more pro deepening EU ties. Add to this, that this is the perfect show to hide Germany’s tiny defense expenditure, and you have the perfect reasoning, why an EU army will come. France wants to become the defense industry powerhouse of Europe, delivering all the next gen stuff. Germany is backing this, because they can wave the friendly hegemon flag, while supplying the machinery. They are only interested in using the common market as a means to secure trade surpluses. PESCO… Read more »

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

Big deal, they have very little to contribute towards an EU army. I don’t think Putin will be concerned by Irelands contribution. Zero fast jets, no air defence systems worth talking about, no heavy armour. No navy really. Yep Ireland sound like the EU average and a perfect partner for NATO.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Yeah they are active operationaly in Kosovo with at the last count with 14 personnel. And they have an advisor at HQ level “special representative for women blagh blah”. And last year Ireland wanted to increase the number of EU countries contributing to UN operations around the world. What a great and noble idea you say, until you learn that they only did that as the Finnish pulled out of UNIFIL and Ireland was asked to increase its contribution to a full Battalion. They couldn’t really say no as Ireland have been there for some time, and make a lot… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

And the 130 in UNDOF, along with shotgun small units scattered over the globe. Then there’s the ARW deployed with the Germans in Mali. There’s probably about 10% of the Army deployed right now.
And show me at any point where Irish politicians have acted like they or the nation are “main” players, or is this just about Brexit?

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

13 Rangers in Mali mate, not going to break the bank is it. And I wont rise to the bait you are trying to feed. But I will say 10% of a small defence force of around 7000 is still small. And I like the term “shotgun units” scattered about, did you make that terminology up so it feels like you have some mil experience? Have a great evening and keep contributing, it’s most important we all have a say and an opinion.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Didn’t say it wasn’t, just pointing out that when you take rotations that’s still a chunk of the DF tied up in deployments. And no I didn’t make up the term, just felt it was the best way to describe the spread of small sub 10 people scattered around on UN/EU deployments.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

I do agree with you, as a full rotational commitment of 10% will require at least 30% of the forces available to fulfil that commitment. However their deployments are not full war fighting scales and therefore require substantially less. Also their costs come from the UN funds and therefore comiting forces to UN ops can be seen as a bit of a get-out clause for countries who want to sit at the table so to speak. And amusing enough, nothing to do with Brexit, but then again that’s the presumption many in the left seem to take, it’s more to… Read more »

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

Mark, Mark, Mark…those small 10 man odd units Ireland have deployed. Shotgun units. How exactly are they going to defend themselves if they get bounced by a larger force? What is there relief or rescue plan?
It is a good and noble gesture deploying troops on peacekeeping missions but there should be a credible back up plan. The only small units normally deployed in penny packet sized shotgun groups usually are special forces, who have the training, firepower and expertise to either avoid an ambush or to break contact pretty damn quickly.

Mark
Guest
Mark

What makes you think those small units are deployed in isolation? Most of the time they are with other units, for example the training group in Mali works with UK forces. That or it’s historic deployments that are no longer active but still have UN deployments.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Maybe it wasn’t just a meet and greet, Ireland is joining the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.

George Amery
Guest
George Amery

Hi folks,
Maybe NATO will ask them (ROI) to contribute at least 2% of defence budget as a start. It’s great to stand for a photocall In the press and media, but in all seriousness, what can Ireland contribute. Its about time they and any SNP buddies of theirs got real on defence matters, as the SNP I believe have stated they intend not to spend 2% on defence, as in the case of ROI. They do have the luxury and comfort of knowing full well others pick up the tap and lay down their lives for security and protection!
Cheers.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Well since we aren’t part of NATO then NATO has zero right to ask us to spend anything.

George Amery
Guest
George Amery

Hi Mark, Thanks for reminding me/us of that. However, Ireland does rely on NATO members in particular the UK’s RAF to protect its air space, last time I checked, the UK does not receive any contribution for this service. In addition to to this issue, the Royal Navy will also escort any non-NATO intrusion of it’s territorial water, for example if a Russian war ship was to close for comfort. The Irish Navy has no comparable assets to escort Intruders. Nonetheless, it is recognized that ROI does deploy assets to give support where possible, Mali for example, the Irish Rangers… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

Did the UK ask for monetary payment for it? If not who should be asked questions? In a better world before current events sucked the spare budget capacity the plan was for Radar installations to increase observation in Irish airspace but that’s not likely anymore.

As for the Navy, you’ve escorted Russian warships with OPV’s in the English channel more than once when the situation has needed it, why can’t our OPV’s do the same if that was the choice? Though I grant you the suggested Eithne replacement is possible more a baby amphibious ship than a Frigate.

Rfn_Weston
Guest
Rfn_Weston

In fairness, we escort with an OPV because we can, if required, sink the ship with a SSN. Nothing really more to say on that matter.

farouk
Guest
farouk

Tell you what I find interesting about this story is that Ireland is famous for being neutral and is currently seeking dispensation from any future EU army. I’m not saying the Irish are all celery eating pacifists, but neutrality runs through its DNA and no amount of gene editing is going to change that. which brings me to back to the EU and its ability to fight any future war outside of NATO. Currently Cyprus (EU nation) a small island at the Eastern end of the Med is being bullied by Turkey. After Oil was found around the Island (primarily… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

It’s actually an end result of several different issues, for example when we joined the EEC there were commitments for increasing defence (you can see that in the planned Eithne build and the plan for a light mechanised battalion), but the combination of a Recession and resistance towards anything defence related in the EEC from the UK provided the excuse not to.

Nowadays it’s simply due to political lack of will.

Barry Larking
Guest
Barry Larking

Shortly after the Good Friday Agreement the Public Records Office (now titled the trendy with-it National Archives) announced that five boxes containing material relating to the Republic of Ireland’s contacts with Nazi Germany during World War II (almost certainly the product of code breaking intercepts) would be closed to the public (placed under an embargo) for the foreseeable future. Love to read them, wouldn’t you? Mind you, look at what the rest of Europe was doing at that time.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Well that was predictable, the Irish state at the time worked with the UK military and intelligence services across the board. There was zero engagement with Germany.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Have to say mark you are correct, through the war and up to and including the Cold War, ROI did provide tacit and covert support for variuos operations and actions, whilst maintaining its neutrality (and over 55000 Irish fellas joined up) However it wasn’t through any love of the UK, more to do with the option of Nazi or then communist control was deemed a much worse option!

Mark
Guest
Mark

No it wasn’t out of love, certainly not during WW2, some tend to forget the wounds of the War of Independence and the ramifications that had. It’s been a long time but I can still remember my grandfather showing me from the family home how our city burned due to the Black and Tans, or the newwspapers of he murder of the Lord Mayor (when said city and mayor were “British”).

You can’t honestly expect that wound to have healed by the time of WW2?

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Not at all, but every side behaved appallingly on occasion, over Ireland. And it’s a shame that many people, continue today, to harp on about issues which should be put to bed and move on.

Mark
Guest
Mark

I think the Queen put it best when she was in Dublin, sadly current events have set back inter governmental relations by a generation or so, though I’m sure either side will point the finger at the other.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Also bare in mind what the UK was willing to allow the Irish Free State to have in terms of a military kept chopping and changing and always had restrictions.

Mike
Guest
Mike

And certain members of the Germanic British Royal Family who have an attraction to Nazi uniforms to present times.

Herodotus
Guest

Thanks for those thoughtful comments Mark….and to those that contributed sensitive replies! The wind of change certainly seems to be blowing across this site!

Mike
Guest
Mike

I don’t think Eire’s fine and principled military have any connections with war crimes do they? That despite conducting numerous UN peace keeping duties. Not all military forces can say that, can they?

Éirinn go Brách!

billythefish
Guest
billythefish

Interesting to see that Ireland have an expertise in ”women”.