British combat aircraft will ‘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 on a couple of occasions in 2015, being driven away by British jets.

It is understood that Civil servants from the Irish Department of Defence and Department of Foreign Affairs with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) entered into a bilateral agreement with British counterparts: the RAF, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Ministry of Defence, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The agreement reportedly permits the British military to conduct armed operations over Ireland in the event of a terrorist-attack, real or suspected.

Ireland operates ‘The Air Corps’ who fly a fleet of fixed and rotary wing aircraft (but no jet aircraft), 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.

244 COMMENTS

    • Latvia, Lithuania etc are members of NATO, and contribute financially and materially to the common defence of the NATO alliance, Ireland does not, they are effectively freeloading off the UK taxpayer whose labour helps to fund the RAF they are apparently relying on to defend their skies.

      • The only reason that there was an inclusion in the MOU to state the interception of aircraft involved in ‘a terrorist attack, real or suspected’, is due to the fact that their target would more than likely be a NATO member state and not in fact the country they are flying over. It might also be worth mentioning that Ireland are conducting the MPA and SAR taskings over the Atlantic since the Nimrod has stood down and the MOD no longer have a MPA to conduct this task.
        Graeme, please immerse yourself more in the SLAs and MOUs that are in place between the two countries and understand that the agreement signed 2 years ago is a give/take relationship. I’m sure its just as much in the UK’s interest to maintain a capability to intercept these suspected aircraft, as it is in Irelands’.

      • And in the meantime so called ” irish freedom fighters ” ( terrorists and criminals ) are still trying to kill members of the British Armed Forces. You couldn’t make this up ffs,

      • Have you forgotten that Ireland was under British occupation since 1200 and all the disgusting things that the civilians had done to them by the British?
        Should be paying compensation to them for the crimes comitted by the British never mind defending thier airspace and obviously as with all British intentent it will have benefits for themselves.

        • What a disgraceful comment. We’re not apologising for centuries old mistakes, the Brits and Americans fought bloody wars against each other as well. Funny how ‘progressives’ never actually seem to progress

          • Oh so your not apologising? Well frankly that’s just rude considering our population dropped by like 2-4 million during the great famine yet help from Britain was no where to be seen….Oh wait I forgot you employed Irish people to build pointless roads and made them use rocks instead of actual tools I guess you helped, how sweet of you guys.
            Now since that’s been pushed aside let’s bring some logic into this equation.
            This isn’t Ireland freeloading off Britain this is Ireland giving Britain the chance to prevent a problem before there is one, what’s in the north of our country? A British territory so any damage that’s down to us will have a domino affect on Northern Ireland not to mention if it’s nuclear then the UK is in trouble too because of the fallout. This is a strategic move and a hijacked plane in Irish airspace is a threat to Derry,Belfast and maybe Liverpool if not further.

          • Sean Glad you brought up the population decline during the Irish potato famine and I agree we should apologise to the descendants of those displaced.

            I’ve now offered myself a sincere heartfelt apology. {Hmm – wonder if there’s a bit of compo in this}

            Regarding hijacked plane targets, doesn’t Dublin host major international conferences? It occurs to me that it would be relatively easier to launch a 911 type attack on a propaganda target that was unable to defend itself from the air.

        • Yabba, correct me if I’m wrong but since joining the EU the Imigrant population of the Rep of Ireland as increased by over 20 per cent and according to Irish special branch officers in cooperation with intelligence from Israeli mossad & British MI5/6 was next on the list for a Internal Terrorist attack that was fouled in Dublin where the accomplishs of the Manchester atrocity were based so think that one out sunshine

        • Who are these ex IRA commanders you speak of that “rule” Ireland look at it this way who if given a chance to hit are Islamist extremists going to go for Ireland (who are neutral,never done anything to piss off Muslims ) or the UK illegally invaded Iraq sent troops into Afghan and have had their fingers in all sorts of dodgey dealings in Muslim countries and then look at it this way if you can come into Irish sovereign airspace legally to shoot down targets that are a threat to the UK or wait until they’ve left Irish and risk a hit on the Isle of Man or Northern Ireland . This is beneficial to both countries but the UK has more to gain because they are more of a target to these people that want to hit them

          • If it’s beneficial to both countries why don’t both countries chip in for the cost ?

          • Yabba, correct me if I’m wrong but since joining the EU the Imigrant population of the Rep of Ireland as increased by over 20 per cent and according to Irish special branch officers in cooperation with intelligence from Israeli mossad & British MI5/6 was next on the list for a Internal Terrorist attack that was fouled in Dublin where the accomplishs of the Manchester atrocity were based so think that one out sunshine

        • Get over yourself Ryan. Not a clue what you’re talking about. Suppose you think we’re all still going around barefoot still as well. Muppet.

    • Instead of allowing the Irish to ponce off our resources, we should offer them some kind of deal to sell surplus Eurofighters or even armed BAe Hawk aircraft so that they can do the job themselves, if not, they ought to pay a contribution to cover the costs of any UK military assets they want to defend them.

      • I agree, I think the irish could afford to buy themselves a squadrons worth of hawk jets at least! Our poor armed forces must be so overworked, its just unacceptable!

      • Again Graeme, do you think that a Hawk could intercept a Russian fighter? Certainly a strat bomber, but not a fighter. Also, to correct what you have already said, Ireland have not called on the RAF to provide anything to date, the RAF have scrambled aircraft to protect their LOCs in the north as on both occasions the Russians were skirting the 200Nm maritime EEZ, NOT Ireland’s Sovereign Airspace.

        “Irish controlled airspace extends 256 nautical miles off the west coast of Ireland. The aircraft did not enter Irish sovereign airspace, which extends 12 nautical miles off the Irish coast.”
        -The Times, 2015.

        • The RAF have,nt got a fighter that can out climb out fly the Russian Blackjack bomber aI don’t think anybody’s poncing on anybody I believe that the EU should they form a European Defence force will want air bases in the Rep of Ireland as part of the defence of Europe if TRUMP as his way and scraps AMERICAN involvement to Nato

          • I suspect you were taking some medication when writing that drivel? BAE Hawks can out climb and out fly Blackjacks…

      • Seriously, Graeme, would you like to think that one through…
        Besides Ireland continually exports her unwanted independent thinkers, scientists, writers, and persons, perhaps of genius – mostly to England, where they do contribute mightily. (I didn’t include musicians, because you might think I was referring to Bono and Geldof…)
        Seriously…keep thinking it through, Graeme…

    • Gerry Moar I would agree if they agreed to pull their weight, but I dislike the idea of Britain and its people being taken advantage of, especially by a country whose national identity is in large part defined by its historical antipathy towards HM Armed Forces.

      • We exploited the Irish for hundreds of years. Historically we haven’t exactly treated then well when they were part of GB, especially during the potato famine and land clearances. Why not give our neighbour a helping hand?

        • We did, we gave them £7 Billion when they ran out of money on better terms than borrowers in this country can get!

      • The RAF have,nt got a fighter that can out climb out fly the Russian Blackjack bomber aI don’t think anybody’s poncing on anybody I believe that the EU should they form a European Defence force will want air bases in the Rep of Ireland as part of the defence of Europe if TRUMP as his way and scraps AMERICAN involvement to Nato

    • UK Defence Journal Who says I’m for that? I’m not saying we shouldn’t intervene and protect Ireland if there was an urgent need to do so, I’m just saying that if they had any decency or honour, they would help to contribute towards the upkeep of those armed forces they are apparently keen to rely upon to defend them. If not, why should I pay my hard-earned taxes to fund the armed forces that defend us when I can move to Ireland and have them defend me and my home for free?

      • If you know your history and your in anyway educated, the Irish state pay a substantial amount to the crown on an annual basis, so when you referenced to Irish paying their way, they have well and truly done so for the last many hundreds of years, so don’t worry your taxes won’t be going to a country that you might describe as maybe piggy backing on the British defense forces, remember also the defense forces in the UK are current made up of majority of Irish, historical Irish have for many years go out and fought beside their English neighbors since the time of the Zulu civil war, so don’t you think that Ireland has paid a fair price in exchange to have its airspace protected by by the airforce of its nearest and closest neighbor. I suggest that you pay visit to the museum in Michael Collins barracks Smithfield in Dublin you will learn very quickly how big a price Ireland has paid to it closest neighbor in regards to civil wars it was engaged in.

        • And in the meantime so called ” irish freedom fighters ” ( terrorists and criminals ) are still trying to kill members of the British Armed Forces. You couldn’t make this up ffs,

        • Just a shame the Republic of Ireland treated those who volunteered to fight for the UK so shamefully then isn’t it?

        • The RAF have,nt got a fighter that can out climb out fly the Russian Blackjack bomber aI don’t think anybody’s poncing on anybody I believe that the EU should they form a European Defence force will want air bases in the Rep of Ireland as part of the defence of Europe if TRUMP as his way and scraps AMERICAN involvement to Nato

          • I see you’ve posted this nonsense all the way through this message section. I can only assume you’re Russian…

    • As an Ulster Unionist who lives in London with Southern Irish relatives I long for the day for a thaw in Anglo Irish defence relations. There is already a special relationship between the Irish State and the UK on borders and passports. Irish soliders still fight in Irish regt’s of the British Army. With the speed and expense of modern jet fighters it makes complete sense to both Nations to have a common air defence policy. In reality Russian incursions in the British Area of interest surely include Ireland so overflying rights etc could be mutually beneficial.

      • On the issue of global conflict, I believe it is vitally important to have a number of neutral nations, and with Ireland’s ongoing Diasporas, it is also in Ireland’s best interest to remain neutral. Passports are still checked between England and Ireland, which, again, is in both nation’s best interest, pro tem, given current security considerations.

        • A person travelling from Ireland to Britain and v.v., does not need a passport, or even an official ID card, as it is a common travel area and has been for almost 100 years. British citizens may vote in Ireland and v.v., after a period of residence. A couple of million British citizens are eligible for dual nationality, if their parents or grandparents were born in either country.

        • I travel between UK and Ireland several times a year on business. I can confirm that passports are not required.

    • Also, Ireland’s GDP per capita is higher than that of the UK. Sure they could afford to defend themselves properly if the political will was there, they just can’t be arsed, especially when they’ve got someone else next door who is willing to do it for them, even though the average income of those paying for it is considerably less ($55,000 vs $41,000 per capita).

      • GDP per head is not the same as average income. So much of the Irish economy is foreign owned that GNP (Gross National Income) is significantly lower than GNP. For countries like the UK or US, GNP and GDP are pretty much interchangeable.

        So, yes, Irish GDP/head is high, but no, individual Irish citizens are not that prosperous.

        • So sadly true, jon. And the taxes upon taxes, with little return and epidemic corruption at levels of politics, judiciary, law enforcement and professional incompetence, a small coterie (aka the Normans) are extremely wealthy, while the majority are struggling and leaving at the rate of 1,000 per week.

          • Dara The biggest Threat to both nations is internat Islamic extremists wanting to change the laws of both nations Sharia law, legal rape, arranged marriage, sexual grooming ofchildren etc i have friends in the Republic saying the Irish way of life is being eroded just lkebin the UK so anybody living in the Republic open your eyes o the real nemy within and not the Brits all the time

      • You’ve been givin it the big one all day I’m a squaddie and from Dublin and I generally try and look big picture who do you think the Russians or terrorists are more interested in? Ireland or the United Kingdom imagine this some one hijacks a jet and makes a b line for the Isle of Man or Northern Ireland and raf jets can’t intervene until it’s too late this cuts off one direction of approach that could be used and forces these people to rethink their stratagy yes Ireland gets something out of it but the UK get a lot more because they are a greater target than Ireland

      • Well, it’s not that far off. Since Home Rule in the Twenties, Southern Ireland has been defined in UK law as sovereign but not foreign. That’s why Irish citizens have the automatic right to enter and reside in the UK and when in the UK are treated exactly the same as UK citizens. For example, all Irish citizens resident in the UK had a vote in the Brexit referendum. And of course vice versa for UK citizens in Ireland.

        • JAMES ADDISON, MARTIN McGiNUESS IS DEAD HAVE A GO AT THERESA MAY WHOS BETRAYED THE People of ULSTER and the rest of the UK by going against the Good Friday agreement by siding with DUP an ultra supporter of so called Loyalist Terrorists

      • Because you still have people like my late father, a brilliant scientist, treated brilliantly in England, but insisted on returning to professional abuse and discrimination in Ireland.

        And secondly, for goodness sake, look at the artwork. I’ll be slammed for this, but the Celts think in spirals, whereas the Roman Brits think geometrically, mathematically…simplistically put, left brain vs right brain! There is a complementarity, which should be cherished, eg Boole and Priestly, but assimilation would just lead to more strife.

      • Ireland was part of Great Britton for well over 400 years and were treated terribly in th 1800s dublin was said to have the worst living conditions in the world with families squashed into tennements with seven people living to a room
        Because of this and other reasons ireland prefers to rule it’s self and make our own decisions
        One being not being part of Britt

    • The Republic of Ireland should drop it’s rather pointless neutrality and join NATO. This would require a referendum of the people to change the country’s constitution. As the advantages of being in such an organization would be obvious to the Irish people , I’m sure the necessary constitutional amendment would happen.

      • I lost respect for NATO when they let Turkey in. Another non assimilating ethos, albeit different from Ireland. So yes, let Ireland join and let’s see how long it takes for NATO to fall apart!

      • I completely agree. Our neutrality during WW2 was utterly shameful (despite much behind-the-scenes co-operation) and the notion of a European sovereign state in the twenty-first century having no air capability whatsoever beggars belief. Ireland can afford a modern Air Force. It can afford it easily. It’s hard to resist the conclusion that we’re a bunch of freeloaders.

    • Allan Elder Agree with the first part, but I doubt the latter part. I can’t see many in the Republic wanting to join NATO. Why would they when they’ve already got a sweet deal going where we defend them gratis and with no obligations on their part?

    • The reality of the situation regarding UK Air Defence is that the detection of fast jets at low level is key…though I doubt if the ‘Free State’ would allow UK Air Defence Radars on their soil to assist with target aquisition…

    • Makes basic strategic sense even if running at a monetary loss, Graeme Restorick.

      Here is scenario

      – Rogue jet over Rep of Ireland
      – RAF – Let’s leave that alone because the Rep of Ireland don’t contribute to our budget haha
      – 10 minutes later the jet is no longer over say, Cork or Dublin, but Liverpool, Cardiff or Manchester and it is rather to late.

      So like, basic strategic sense?

    • Tom Waywell Maybe it does make strategic sense, but even so, you would think that in matters of mutual self-interest, both parties should be pulling their weight don’t you think? Rather than just letting one party do all the heavy lifting and adopting a self-righteous and self-indulgent policy of neutrality and non-interventionism in which there are no obligations to come to the aid of the other if the positions were reversed. At the very least, the RoI ought to let Britain openly recruit in the republic so that we can better access their talent pool for the armed forces that will be protecting them as well as ourselves.

      • I’m a squaddie from Dublin I saw adverts for BA on all the british channels and sky sports there might not have been open recruitment in Ireland but there was no efforts to try and block me from joining and it’s documented that a squaddie is coming to Ireland for a holiday or leave the problem is the brainwashed lambs who live in the past

    • GraemeRestorick the Irish from both the North and South can already join the British army in the royal Irish regiment which is usually one of the first regiments to be sent to the many fucked up places like Iraq and Afghanistan. In any emergency situation im sure the republic would do what it can to help the UK out considering we do the same for them all the time.

    • Why Ireland don’t buy for their own air force fighter don’t depend others to defend yourself motherland proved it to England that Ireland can defend themselves without Royal Air force

    • I know many many people in this country who would echo Joseph’s view. With the addition of some very colourful language. They hate us. Apparently. They hate the British. They don’t want to be a part of the UK. They have encouraged and supported terrorist attacks against mainland Britain in the past. Now our armed forces. The same armed forces they have murdered in an attempt to get the “Brits out” are now expected to assist in their defence? Spitting feathers doesn’t even come close!

      • Gary, I have an Irish passport but English speech, so I can definitely concur with your opening statement. I am often tempted to ‘seek asylum from the asylum,’ as even those treated well in England (eg academics) can be viciously discriminatory. However, despite the ‘eejits’ that find their way to four and five star hotels, the majority of Irish people did not support the terrorists. They were just afraid to speak up. Understandable when a Min of Justice was indicted for transporting arms from Libya…

      • We like the British. However, we do not like what the English have done to our people and our country. As a Germanic people they see themselves as entitled to rule the world. The Russians have never been a threat to us. As recently as the 1940s the English were seriously considering invading Ireland. You have committed genocide, not alone in Ireland, but in most of the countries that you criminally invaded and occupied. In defending our skies, you defend your own. If we did not agree to this arrangement, your government would do it anyway. As Europeans, fellow-Europeans, in the sense of membership of the EU, it would be awkward to act without our agreement. But you have encroached on our sovereignty in recent times without our permission or agreement. When it suits your government again, you will act against us. You know it, we know it. Nazis or English, you’re all the same with your jackboots on.

  1. It’s not really defending another country in reality it’s defending ours.. any attack on Irish airspace is likely to effect us too.. Might as well deal with it “at the border” so to speak rather than wait till they are over the UK.. I’m all for this

  2. This is ridiculous. Get them to buy there own aircraft, or at least make shore they pay for any of the add expenditure on the British tax payer. Do we even get anything out of it?

  3. This is why for Ireland, they need to invest in Pocket planes like the BAE Hawk 200, South Korea’s T/A-50 or F/A-50 Golden Eagle or Italy’s M-346 Master. It would make sense for them because pocket fighters like these are great for point defense and basic Air defense missions. I have advocated Ireland look into a pocket fighter or a LIFT for point defense.

  4. The UK should defend Ireland if she was in need. The sovereignty issues of Northern Ireland aside, we are friends and neighbours. It wouldn’t make sense for the Uk to stand by and do nothing.

  5. They have the 40 best GDP. Finland ranks lower then them and has a respectable fleet of F 18s, along with many other aircraft. I’m shore Ireland can afford a couple of Hawks or F 5s. Hell with the f35 coming in to service I’m shore there be plenty of second hand f16 going up for sale.

    • Ireland’s GDP figures have long been known not to be accurate, at best the GNP figures are more accurate to the domestic economy. So it’s a good bit less than GDP (think of it like the influence of the multinational banks in the City).

    • They also have highest taxes, and lowest return for taxes. However, given that the indigenous, heritage Irish are being replaced 1,000 per week by jihadugees, the country towns are increasingly islamified, and the hospitals run by moslems of questionable qualification or competence, the water is ‘owned’ by saudi arabia, and Etihad now code shares with Aer Lingus, giving ME pre clearance for the USA, who do you think will be flying those jets!

      Think this one through.

    • What about the chem trails. I came to this site looking for the Irish Air Defense, but, not much doing there. Every day since at least June, jets drone across the Irish skies turning beautiful blue into sickly, sulphurous yellow cloud sheets, creating winds, storms and other meteorological anomalies, that are dangerous to our commercial aviators who can only climb so high…
      Last month a United Airlines jet plummeted 1,500 causing a diversion to SNN and 28 injuries. That was clearly a consequence of a ‘chemtrail’ storm that blew down large trees the previous night. The toxins also affect small flora nd fauna – I understand also in Liverpool. So why does the UK Air Defense allow it? And since the Irish gubmint refuses to respond to the people of Ireland, a ‘smack on the head’ or a ‘quiet word’ from the other side might pay off.

      • Chemtrails! Yeah possibly. I also heard was that the British Government is conducting secret mind control trials on the Irish youth, thats why so many are emigrating. This way within a few decades the Republic of Ireland will be depopulated and reunification can happen with Belfast as the capital. This is done through subliminal messages on the BBC channels forced onto Irish television.

  6. Ireland isn’t the only country not to have fast jets. A pity we can’t persuade them to lease some surplus BAE hawks.- In the event of WWIII they were going to be used in the UK as point defence fighters flown by instructors. Perhaps too slow for this purpose?

    • Not really from my understanding. I think the issue of using them in a similar role to the typhoon, is its lack of suffocated radar and lack of weapon load. They where going to be guided in buy tornados using there radars to act like an awacs. However with Ireland’s small size I cart see that being an issue.

  7. We have actually being doing this for a few years now. Last I heard there was a monetary agreement (but that could be wrong). Ireland does provide Search and Rescue for whole of Ireland (north and south) Irish Defence Force personnel train with UK troops and some IDF have actually served in Afghanistan albeit very small numbers. Security wise there is a good relationship between UK and Ireland – not just north/south but GB/Ireland.

    • Not really from my understanding. I think the issue of using them in a similar role to the typhoon, is its lack of suffocated radar and lack of weapon load. They where going to be guided in buy tornados using there radars to act like an awacs. However with Ireland’s small size I cart see that being an issue.

    • You don’t now whether they do or not.

      But either way, this isn’t about daily patrols.
      This is about the rare occasion that Ivan is already nearby and opening up more air space makes the job easier for the Typhoons that are already there seeing as 1/3rd of the landmass is in the UK!

  8. Ireland imports large amounts of UK goods.
    The Naval ships are built in Devon.
    It’s in both countries interests.
    Ireland is a part of the British Isles just with different politics.

  9. Hmm, what a dilemma. While the sensible side of me sees the benefit in this, a huge streak wants to decry the Irish lack of desire for our military intervention (Because thats EXACTLY what this would be) in any other capacity. I think I’ll just stick to innapropriate humour & joke about the 2 seater aircraft that crashed into an Irish cemetary, so far 187 bodies have been recovered.

    • That IRA no longer exists. It was a splinter group within the IRA that drove Goebbels or Goering nuts because they could not/would not show up on time and follow orders. And the left/right thing, a spatial dyslexia perhaps residual from post famine malnutrition and tb effects, also impeded full deployment of the breakaways. Some award for unintentional sabotage then…?

      The current ‘IRA’ is similarly a splinter group. Authentic SF was going ‘ghandi’ with civil rights marches, etc. So no, IRA/SF do not represent the majority interests North or South of the border. They rule by intimidation.

    • “…or, you have all just defined yourselves as pathetic history living nitwits who live in the past…”
      Seriously, Eimer? That’s almost comical from where I’m sitting. A half mile from an elementary country school which closed down because children and grandchildren of returned emigrants from England, Scotland, NI, were being bullied. Of course, this is not ‘on record,’ and no attempt would ever be made to correct the situation. Talk about “living history!”

    • Yeah, Kinda like the umbrella of protection the US fleet gives you when you’re deployed. Ya know, they defeated you and now they’re protecting you.

  10. I think this is a great gesture. The UK and Eire have far too much in common. So much shared history: good and bad. Personally I think it’s a huge shame Eire is no longer a part of the UK. Times have changed immensely and many have learnt from past mistakes. Irish, Scottish, Welsh and English have stood shoulder to shoulder facing common enemies far more times than they have faced off with each other. All families argue and fight, but they grow and mature.

  11. This is typical of Ireland’s ‘patasitic defence posture’ as outlined by a UK General in the late 1980’s. Ex Irish Air Corps pilots are heads of Ryanair, City Jet, Aer Lingus among others; so, they have the calibre to run a well resourced Air Force. The Irish Air Corps gets about 15% of their defence budget (Irish defence dept website, so it is a matter of priorities for Irish department of defense civil servants.
    Probably means the head of their Air Corps (General?) is likely to resign due to his lack of awareness regarding this ‘secret’ agreement.
    How does a shoot-down in Irish space work from a legal perspective? Is there a status of forces agreement in place with Ireland?

  12. That’s because they wasted all their money and went into debt and asked the EU to bail them out. It’s really no surprise to me that the UK decided to pull out of the EU.

  13. Not really surprising, thought there was some sort of understanding of this nature since 9/11 to be honest.

    As for the question of investments etc, at least the WP has put Primary Radar sets for the West Coast on the potential list.

  14. Err Fellas,
    All This About Ireland having their own Fast Jet Combat Air Defence System. Sorry Dont Agree with things still a little Dodgey, & someone mentioned Ex IRA Member being in Irelands Government, Personally I Dont think it would be good 4 UK to Have Ireland with Fast Jet Ca[pability, Seriously, Reet!
    Regards,
    Ian.

    • Some of us English don’t forget so easily the history between the UK and Ireland, so please forgive use for being so reluctant to help a country that stabbed us in the back and committed terrorist attacks against us. It makes much more tactical sense to rid the IRA from our doorstep by invading Ireland.

      • The Republic’s Government cannot be held specifically accountable for Irish Republican terrorist attacks within NI or GB. Yes, over the years various individuals have aidded and abetted the terrorists, their side of the Border could have been a hell of a lot tighter, their actions to shut down IRA training camps and criminal methods of funding could have been more determined but the government there did not acquiesce with Irish Terrorists as a policy. The only people truly responsible are the IRA and other groups.such as IPLO and INLA who all now have their get out of jail free catds, their “comfort letters” (makes me sick!).

        It does leave a bit of a sour taste in the mouth however the Republic is skint, it can’t afford to buy and maintain suitable fast jets for the.job, it couldn’t afford to take on Northern Ireland if a border poll called for a so called “united Ireland” for goodness sake!

        The Republic afforded us, the UK, the right to overfly Co Donegal in WW2 (the Donegal air corridor) when RAF flying boats and long range search aircraft flew from Castle Archdale and Limavady etc, saving hundreds of miles and hours in flying time getting to the U-boat hunting areas in the Atlantic. The quietly repatriated downed airmen back over the border, tens of thousands of Irishmen joined the fight against Nazi and fascist tyranny. They allowed our Navy sanctuary in various ports around the Atlantic coast.

        I’m a Unionist, an Orangeman and former member of the Ulster Defence Regiment, the Royal Irish Regiment (or R Irish as it’s correctly written to distinguish from previous Irish regimental history) and the RLC (23 years in total) and I think it’s a great idea that, looking at the bigger air space picture, we are now able to defend the UK at a greater distance in the air rather than simply 12 miles off.

        If it leads to the Republic coming back into the Commonwealth fold, even better! 🙂

  15. It seems strange to me that people would be so upset by this. I can’t think of a single country that we have more in common with in the world. We have a large Irish community living here and serving in our armed forces and share a common history. Not all good granted. Time to move on people with the amount of waste going on in government complaining about the cost of scrambling a jet a few times a year seems churlish.

  16. Makes sense to me. If there’s a threat across the British Isles then avoiding Irish airspace seems daft . I think it’s great that our governments are working together on our defence. By the way I occasionally wonder how Nicola Sturgeon thinks an independent Scotland will defend itself…. and Plaid Cymru in Wales if it comes to that.

  17. Why should we? They have their own armed forces, plus a lot of republic or irelands politicians are all too happy to take digs at british foreign policy and affairs.. (allthough only a small few) they’re an independant country and they fucked up their country themselves so why should we pay to protect a FOREIGN COUNTRY out of our own pocket.

  18. Jesus…never thought I’d find so much hate on this site, leave that to the Twatter and the Faceplant morons if you please.

    Defending their airspace, in the highly unlikely event it would ever need to be deployed, is the least we could do for the Irish, given just how badly we treated them for hundreds of years.

  19. The Irish Naval Service had just taken delivery off its 3rd modern and up to date Offshore Patrol Vessels The WB Yeates. All 3 were built from scratch, as willl be the 4th (recently ordered) at Appledore Shipyard near Bideford In North Devon. This is not only a massive boost to the rural and largely tourist reliant local economy, but also a must needed positive inject into one of the UK dying manufacturing industries. I believe The Irish will be requiring another 3 vessels replacing in the near future. Despite Brexit, I feel fairly confident that the orders will be placed at a UK shipyard. Hopefully Appledore’s historic shipyard and the good relationship between The UK and Ireland’s military services will survive into the 2020’s as a result. Just saying!

  20. I guess 1.5 millionIrish dead in the famine and forced genocidal policies going all the way back to Cromwell are not enough. It obviously still really bothers a lot of English people that the Irish were strong enough confident enough and brave enough to kick you out 100 years ago aided by brave Irish-Americans. The Irish should get smart and stop the British from recruiting anybody in their country-that is a legacy of colonialism that has no place in the modern world. In reality this is clearly about protecting the back door to British airspace you idiots.

  21. I have to agree, whilst i have nothing against defending Ireland, like we do with the eastern European countries, it shouldn’t be for free. They can’t have their cake and eat it, they wanted independence and with that comes the cost of defence.

    It should either be a NATO issue and with it the costs involved or they should pay towards our costs involved.

    Unless of course there is some strategic advantage for us, which might be the case, such as openning up their airspace for our jets to chase down the russian bombers further away from our borders.

    • Oh dear, remember to raise arms when walking to prevent knuckle scraping as you complete your foundation course in ‘big picture’ thinking and how to win friends and influence people.

  22. The Irish Coastguard have assisted in Northern Ireland on numerous occasions at no cost to the British taxpayer. We the UK are the protectorate of many countries around the world. We should help our Irish neighbours. They will be our closest European ally when we are out of the EU.

  23. This is simply mutually beneficial, surely. UK gets tactical advantage without any ‘diplomatic incidents’ – Ireland gets fast jet defence from a country whose military economies of scale can easily handle the 0/1 time this would likely happen.

    As for all the ‘helping the IRA’-related comments, 99.9% of the population were never involved in that over the past 90 years. Yes, our history has been fraught. But we’re genuine allies far more than enemies at this point. And I write this as an Irish reservist who travels to the UK every week (and pays taxes to the UK) to work for Combat Stress – and I’m honored to serve your country’s brave vets and reservists in their efforts to recover from PTSD.

  24. As someone who lives 106 miles away from Dublin, it seems to make sense to me. If we had something like this in place in 1941 then 1000 Belfast citizens might not have lost their lives when militant Irish republicans guided the Germans bombers north.
    Time to put our troubled history in the past where it belongs and improve relations. It’s also worth protecting a country when it owes the British exchequer £7 billion.

  25. When it comes to air space defence it makes more sense for the uk to carry out this role as they have the specialist equipment and expertise to do it effectively and as for irelands contribution there is alresdy good co operation between both countries on a lot of issuses that are mutually bennifical to both countries and this bond is getting stronger all the time for example the irish coastguard have assisted rescues of distressed fishing / comercial vesels missing crews in british waters many times along side uk coastguard and have proved to be very effective

  26. Just as long as they drop their senseless, meaningless “neutrality” if it comes to a fight with some bad guys. Being neutral in WWII was almost as good as being against the UK.

  27. I’ve just spent such a long time reading through each and every one of these comments, which have been written, in the majority, from British men.
    I can honestly say that I have been ignorant as to how the British feel about the Irish to this day…….or, you have all just defined yourselves as pathetic history living nitwits who live in the past, who have absolutely NO idea about the running and agreements of the Military divisions from both Ireland and the UK.
    A media outlet decides to publish something, and sensationalise it with words and lines that are not entirely accurate, and you guys with your fountain of knowledge about everything pipe up with such educational comments as “they hate us! They hate us brits!” or “Ireland being run by the IRA”, “make them pay, we get nothing out of it!”.
    It was the British Military Defence that ASKED for permission to fly over Irish land and waters……reason being…..most terrorist targets this side of the world are headed for Britain, NOT Ireland. The Irish agreed……without any hesitation…..because yes, it will keep our airspace safer but more importantly, because it will help keep our neighbours, the British, safe!
    And what do you get out of it??? Your country covered on all sides. A country that ALREADY fights side by side, with you, on the front line and a relationship maintained with a country that, just because not all our dealings are publicised, does not mean that we don’t both have benficial dealings in other areas.

    • ^^^ Finally some sense. I am honestly shocked at the benighted attitudes in some of these posts.Some of you have seriously not a clue about Britain’s current relationship with the Rep of Ireland and should stop embarrassing yourselves. The RAF will not be patrolling Irish airspace at all. This agreement is for an incredibly unlikely event of a non responding (hijacked) airline heading for Britain, the RAF can take immediate action instead of having to go through diplomatic channels to seek authorization to transit Irish airspace. If some of you actually bothered to look at a map of Irish airspace it presents a rather large obstacle for typhoons needing to visually check said aircraft in the mid Atlantic in a hurry. It doesn’t apply when Russian bombers are simply out on for a nosey.

  28. Disappointed to see a lot of anti Irish comments here regarding this issue.
    First and foremost. To say that Ireland being run my the IRA shows true ignorance. The only political party to support the actions of the IRA are Sinn Fein, a party who has never or likely to never be in power.
    Since independence, Ireland has been governed by either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael, two very anti IRA political parties.

    Also, to say it was the Irish who planted bombs on UK mainland is also incorrect.
    That was down to a small number of psychotic fanatics who resided in Northern Ireland, a constituent country of the United Kingdom.
    The overwhelming majority of Irish people condemn the actions of the IRA.

    Irish airspace is a back door entry to the UK. Part of the island of Ireland is in the UK so it’s in Britains best interest to make sure ALL possible ways of attacking the UK are covered.

    Britain and Ireland have been working very closely militarily over the last number of years.
    They have recently signed up to a ‘Battle Group’ which will see both countries train, and work closely together and can be called upon if and when a situation arises.
    Also, many Irish men and women still to this day join and fight with Irish Regiments of the British army.

    There is more that unites the two countries than divides them.
    A strong relationship has been forged in the last two decades that was unthinkable for many years.
    The visit of Her Majesty the Queen to Ireland was a monumental occasion and thousands of people lined the streets of the Irish Capital to greet her, waving Union jacks.

    Time to grow up, move on and make the most of these relationships to benefit all of the people living in these Islands.

    Also, a United Kingdom of Great Britain and IRELAND may be in the works, if certain sources are to be believed.

    • Takes less than two minutes on Google, finding reputable and multiple independent sources, to prove every claim here is false.

      If you think the IRA only came from/resided in Northern Ireland then you clearly know nothing. As for Irish support for the IRA, just check the actions of their ministers and governments and courts for decades. Plenty of gun-running and plenty of refusals to convict or extradite murderers.

      One day, just like with their despicable treatment of brave Irishmen who fought on the side of Britain in WWII, the Irish State will come to terms with its conduct in this matter. But blind fools like you will continue to believe no fault lies on their door.

  29. Eimer, very accurate. I would like to point out that currently there is a combined Irish/British team deployed to Mali. British troops undergo some Irish military courses and Irish troops undergo British courses. There are currently Irish troops based in the UK as part of their commitments to EU battle groups. So defence of Irish airspace is just and extension of our mutual defence policy.

  30. Don’t forget Eire allowed the RAF to use a corridor over Donegal to carry out anti U boat patrols,their rescue helicopter flies over N.Ireland nearly everyday aiding people on desperate need of assistance.

  31. One salient point is this – if the RAF do NOT defend Southern Irish air-space any intruder could fly right up the length of Southern Ireland unchecked, and be up to the UK’s borders and within missile range and there is nothing the RAF could do about it until too late.

    Intercepting out in the Atlantic before Russian Bears can loop round and dump on us is only possible if we can overfly Ireland. Look at it as, not the Irish sponging off us but us extending our umbrella defense coverage across a blind spot.

  32. Personally as a Irish person I have no problem in the raf protecting our air space. In global terms the Uk and Irish airspace is so small and a agreement between the Uk and Ireland makes sense. In reality the Irish airspace is in the Britain interest to be protected in case of a sneak attack from the Atlantic side of the Uk from Russia. Ireland wont buy any fighters our military is purely a peace keeping force and that wont change. As a neighbourly gesture I think it is a way of mending bridges as our 2 countries have a eight hundred yeas of British rule in Ireland.

  33. So long as British pilots shot down or forced to ditch in Ireland are not then interned I don’t see it as an issue. (said tongue in cheek !)

    Its good training for the RAF and Ill bet the pilots don’t mind if they get to go super sonic on the way to an intercept. As mentioned above we have Irish soldiers in UK regiments and its far from a daily event. How would we as a nation feel if an airliner was flown into Dublin city centre and we did nothing about it despite having the ability to prevent it ? The Irish are our friends despite our historical differences.

    As for them not contributing….. Have Latvia et al spent the required 2% of GDP on defence as required by nato ? If not then defending Ireland is no different to defending them.

  34. I am from Ulster and I am a British Patriot!! I believe the United Kingdom, with the Best Armed Forces in the History of the World is a Force for Good, along with Our American Brothers!! I would have preferred what is now the Republic of Ireland, to have remained a part of the United Kingdom as it was up until 1921. That being said, there are many, many young people from the Irish Republic who pursue a career in HM Armed Forces. I am firmly in favour of providing Defence for the Irish Republic. Not only does it benefit them, it improves Anglo Irish Relations, it Discredits the bigotry of violent Irish Republicanism from the likes of Sinn Fein/ IRA along with the Dissidents etc. Northern Ireland is a State of the United Kingdom, but we share a land border with the Irish Republic. It is in Our State gig Interests to ensure that we have the capability to Defend the British Isles as a whole, to include the Irish Republic. Strategically, I don’t see a down side……. I applaud all young men & Women from the Irish Republic who seek to serve in HM Armed Forces. They are every bit as British as you and I……… 🙂

  35. Micheal Lynch was 19 returning from france in a shot up hurricane he was shot down by guns over uk he was killed.Many Irish men have given their lives for England see the history of Royal Irish Regiment.

    • it is interesting to see that Irishmen were fighting for England,England was fighting for the whole World,and had to declare War on Germany twice to stop the overthrow of democracy,where people can vote for what they want,backed up by the empire now the commonwealth.Our system of rule by the democratic process has evolved over the centuries and now we have to go with the flow,as a former World Power,Britain still has some say in World affairs and now will be brexiting shortly another step in our liberation as a democracy,while Ireland has new masters it is called the EU,who are given jobs somewhere in Europe,some of the poorer countries will never be able to leave the EH as they owe to much money etc or it will be difficult for them to leave,the old hatreds of countries has not abated but the USA has the money and power,so they are the leaders and it is where the Europeans and British went to and still do.As for defence many people still serve in the British army,and they come from countries all over the World irregardless of politics or religion,it is a job in which people can get their bread and butter,economics not nationalism

  36. NATO-by-stealth.

    Who will decide there is a ‘threat’ – and provide the ‘intelligence’?

    The very same architects of the destabilization of the Middle East.

    The folks that brought is those non/existent WMD in IraQ.

    What really worries me is the blatant destruction of our neutrality by the hoors in charge -the one with all those corporate sinecures and preferments. Who have investments in the US/UK arms industry and energy companies.

    The hoors who hzve sold the legacy of 1916 for their own self-enrichment.

    We need a new revolution here too.

  37. Ireland should be a member of NATO anyway. This is the 21st Century now, no need for a neutral stance anymore. Being a NATO member would enhance Ireland’s reputation on the world stage and it would certainly provide many many thousands of jobs in many areas, to say nothing of the spin offs…

  38. Ireland and the U.K. are as close as lips and teeth. Our peoples are linked by ties of blood and history.

  39. why does the article’s banner show a Dassault Rafale? Not sure the RAF have any of them. Unless, of course, the RAF get free ALE from the Irish for their efforts, which okay as long as it’s from Dublin, Black, as well as smooth and creamy (natch).

  40. Well done Stephen, the most common sense comment throughout the chain of comments.
    Yes the Irish were treated appallingly by the British rulers- they were not the British people !!!!!!
    The ruling and privileged classes treated the British majority with the same amount of contempt as they did the Irish nation, and continue to do so.
    Two little known facts.
    1) During the Crimea war there were more soldiers in England, suppressing uprisings than there were on the Crimea peninsular.
    2) in the mid 19th, Century the average life expectency for people living in London was 25.
    It might also be of interest, for those that think the general UK population is priveledged, that during the General Strike Churchill was only hours away from opening up on the working class strikers with machine guns. I’m not knocking Churchill, I see him as a saviour of Britain in the Secind World War, but to demonstrate the difference between the Ruling and priveledged classes and the majority population of the U.K. One doesn’t represent the other!!!!!
    Craig Toomey

  41. Seriously let’s think about this,Would the even have been an IRA if England had stayed the hell outta there? We lost more Irish and Scottish men in the Civil War than any other ethnic group. That’s fact. Also the Irish have always been freedom fighters. We helped the Mexicans during Mexican revolution. It’s not part of England never was. The same as we here in the U.S. kicked them out (The British) out with an army made up of 85% facts again of towns people. Is the same way the IRA was born because no body else jumped in to help them out. Before you answer just think about the 1st question I asked.

    • Should the settlers have stayed out of California, Arizona, Texas…etc? Or the Spanish out of Mexico, Chile…. The French in Canada and Louisiana, or the Portuguese out of Brazil? Each one brought suffering to the indigenous population!

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