Ireland lacks aircraft that can climb high enough or go fast enough to intercept Russian aircraft.

As a result, Ireland and the UK have an agreement to allow British combat aircraft to overfly the Republic.

The UK isn’t simply protecting Irish airspace as such, the agreement is mutually beneficial but more about that later.

Over the last decade Russian bombers have flown a series of provocative missions close to Ireland’s northern and western coasts – on occasion skirting extremely close to Irish airspace. A particularly noteworthy incident occurred in 2015. Two Tu-95 bombers flew with their transponders turned off, just 40km off the coast.

According to local media, they criss-crossed into major civilian airline traffic lanes and the IAA was forced to divert commercial jets in midair or else prevent them from taking off to avoid potential collisions.

Another similar incident occurred earlier this week.

Many are likely to ask why Russia would aim to provoke Ireland?

According to Dr Edward Burke, the director of the Centre for Conflict, Security and Terrorism at the University of Nottingham:

“The principal reason is that, from a Russian perspective, Ireland is a significant piece on the geopolitical chessboard. Situated between two of Russia’s principal adversaries, the United States and the UK, Ireland lacks the air defence capabilities to deter or defend against such provocative sorties into its airspace. The Russian air force knows that it can approach or even enter Irish airspace with far less immediate and serious consequences than if it did the same to other north Atlantic countries such as Iceland where there is a Nato air policing mission – or Norway, which has a well-resourced air force capable of quickly intercepting suspected incursions.”

Why do the UK and Ireland have this agreement?

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.”

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 operations over Ireland in order to intercept aircraft in the Flight Information Region shared by both nations.

All airspace around the world is divided into Flight Information Regions (FIRs). Each FIR is managed by a controlling authority (in this case the UK) that has responsibility for ensuring that air traffic services are provided to the aircraft flying within it. UK Airspace is divided into three FIRs; London, Scottish and Shanwick Oceanic.

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. This aircraft is not capable of intercepting Russian bombers.

Make no mistake however, this agreement is mutually beneficial. The UK needs to be able to intercept aircraft even as far south west as Ireland. Why?

Andy Netherwood explains the reasons why here, but in summary:

“The first is flight safety. Whilst sovereign airspace only extends 12 miles from the coastline, countries are responsible for ensuring the safety of civil aviation, including the provision of ATC services, within areas known as Flight Information Regions or FIRs. These extend well beyond the 12-mile limit. Russian long range aviation often transits the London and Scottish FIRs without filing a flight plan, talking to ATC or ‘squawking’ (operating their transponders).  This makes them effectively invisible to civilian ATC and is very dangerous as airliners are also flying through this airspace.  By shadowing Russian aircraft, the intercepting aircraft can show ATC where they are, allowing controllers to move airliners safely out of the way.

The second reason is because of the speed at which aircraft travel.  An aircraft flying at 600 knots will travel 12 miles in little over a minute.  Waiting until an unknown or hostile aircraft has entered sovereign airspace before intercepting is too late. It leaves insufficient time to safely carry out the intercept, visually identify the aircraft, provide all the required information back to decision-makers, and carry out any necessary action. Russian aircraft will normally be intercepted by the Norwegian Air Force and then handed over to RAF aircraft ensuring they are continually shadowed.”

This isn’t as straightforward as it seems however, the agreement is somewhat controversial.

Senator Gerard Craughwell told the Seanad that allowing Royal Air Force fighter jets access to Irish airspace interferes with Ireland’s sovereignty.

“The Constitution is the most sacred document in the country. It drives everything we do and should control everything that takes place in this House. I refer to Article 15.6 on the right to raise and maintain military forces, which right rests exclusively with the Oireachtas. Imagine my shock at the weekend when I discovered that an agreement had been signed between this country and the United Kingdom granting permission to the United Kingdom to scramble fighter jets in Irish airspace.

The agreement was signed by the Department of Defence, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Irish Aviation Authority, which is not even a body responsible to the Oireachtas but a semi-State body. The agreement was signed before either this or the last Government came to power. I can find no evidence anywhere of Oireachtas oversight of the agreement or of a ministerial signature on it.

It creates a merger or a partnership in respect of our sovereignty. We talk about our sovereignty all the time, yet we are allowing jets of the Royal Air Force, RAF, to fly over the country. The director of Irish military aviation and the general officer commanding, GOC, of the Air Corps has no knowledge whatsoever of the agreement. It is my understanding that when he learned of it, he was taken into a room, shown the agreement and promptly sent home without a copy of it. The person with responsibility for military aviation in this country was not a party to the agreement.”

Is this agreement likely to change?

According to Dr Burke, Ireland (at least in the short term) will continue to rely upon the RAF to deter and monitor Russian or other aircraft that enter Irish airspace without permission.

“In the short term, Ireland will continue to rely upon the RAF to deter and monitor Russian or other aircraft that enter Irish airspace without permission”, he said.

“In the medium to long term it is difficult to countenance the State developing the expensive air defence and training systems to police Irish airspace alone. Ireland’s natural security partner in terms of geography is of course the UK. Is it possible that historical and political sensitivities might be overcome to bring about an RAF-Irish Air Corps all-island joint air policing mission in the future? For now, as the Russian Air Force could tell you, there is very little prospect of anything of the kind.”

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BB85
Guest
BB85

It shows how bent politics is in Ireland that such an agreement can exist without ministerial approval. They don’t want to pay to police their own air space but they don’t want to be crucified by the media and electorate for requesting the RAF to do it for them. I hope they at least make a significant financial contribution for the service they receive.

HF
Guest
HF

Pretty sure that things get done without direct ministerial approval in the UK as well.

BB85
Guest
BB85

Not decisions like that.

LongTime
Guest
LongTime

Bb85 Pretty sure this agreement was done without a vote in parliament and without ministers envolement

Mark
Guest
Mark

Ah, there’s plenty of decisions that happen without the Daíl voting on them, and the DFA wouldn’t be doing anything without a Minister signing off, DOD would but their main objective is to destroy the DF.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Want to bet?

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

They are unlikely to pay for it and that is fine. The UK wants the capability and it is in the interests of the UK to do so. It just happens that it is also in the defence interests of Ireland too. The UK is effectively policing the airspace as if Ireland was not there.

J$
Guest
J$

There was Ministerial approval… the article clearly states that both Dept. of Defence and Foreign Affairs negotiated the agreement. No negotiations or agreements could take place without Ministerial approval.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Ah no, the respective minister would have been involved in the decision, the DF weren’t.

The Artist Formerly known as Los Pollos Chicken
Guest
The Artist Formerly known as Los Pollos Chicken

A long winded way of saying they are free loading cheapskates that don’t want to pay for their own defence properly simple as. It’s a common theme among the western world

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

Ireland is easily able to afford an air defence squadron of Eurofighter typhoons or Grippens, they choose not to as it’s much easier and cheaper to just allow the RAF to do this role for them. Does Ireland pay the UK for these interceptions? No. Is Ireland even grateful for British protection and its air defence umbrella? Dont think so.
Problem is NATO needs to keep Ireland on-side as without access to Irish airspace patrol of the eastern Atlantic ocean approaches becomes very difficult.
Summary: Ireland should pay for the costs of operating a small force of interceptor jets 1-2 squadrons.

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Perfect solution spread over four to five years.

“Furthermore, on 31 January Saab submitted a revised offer in response to the revised Request for Quotation for the Finnish HX programme. Saab’s offer to Finland is a comprehensive solution for air power and air defence. With Gripen E/F fighter aircraft, designed for the most challenging operations and threat scenarios very similar to those in Finland, combined with GlobalEye – the world’s most advanced AEW&C solution – as a force multiplier, the offer provides a substantial contribution to the joint operational capability of the Finnish Defence Forces.”

https://saabgroup.com/media/news-press/news/2020-02/gripen-e-and-globaleye-complete-finnish-flight-evaluation/

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

No doubt the Russians would have gained some useful intel from this trip!

F-35 makes QRA debut against Russian aircraft

“The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has been used to intercept and shadow Russian aircraft for the first time, with a pair of Norwegian aircraft contributing to a wider NATO mission on 7 March.”

https://www.janes.com/article/94780/f-35-makes-qra-debut-against-russian-aircraft

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

I doubt they would get much intel. The F35 would have its radar reflectors mounted in order to hide its stealth signature and would likely have most of its most secret radar systems turned off.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

I would say a squadron of 12 Gripens +4 OCU, should be effective air defence for Ireland.

Mark
Guest
Mark

According to a former IAC General, that’s about a billion a year… The entire DF budget is barely a billion euro’s and you’d be talking years if not a decade to build up the AC to support such numbers.

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Maybe its time they reached a little bit deeper into their pockets Mark?

“This country spent just 0.3% of GDP on defence, which was just half of what was spent by Malta. That Mediterranean island has one-tenth of the population of Ireland.

Tiny Liechtenstein, with a population of 37,666, managed to spend 0.4% of its GDP on defence.”

https://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/irelands-defence-spending-is-lowest-in-europe-at-03-of-gdp-471594.html

Mark
Guest
Mark

Forget the GDP rating, it doesn’t mean anything for Ireland not with how some of the calculations (like that strange one about how booking of leased aircraft are added to Irish GDP).

It’s most likely closer to .5 of GNI.

As for reaching deeper, the Irish public have other priorities than defence.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

But what happens if All those tech companies based in A low corporate tax economy get the jitters and start feeling venerable, if they feel undefended?

Mark
Guest
Mark

You do get that the IAC hasn’t had the ability to control Irish Airspace ever? That didn’t and doesn’t stop companies investing in said country.

HF
Guest
HF

‘Problem is NATO needs to keep Ireland on-side as without access to Irish airspace patrol of the eastern Atlantic ocean approaches becomes very difficult’

That is a major reason why the RAF does this. If that wasn’t the case there would be no RAF involvement. It suits both sides.

BB85
Guest
BB85

The bears are free to fly over the Eastern Atlantic so it doesn’t make much difference. If the Irish are not paying the UK for policing their air space the bears should be free to fly over Shannon and Dublin airports uninterrupted until the Irish state cough up the money. It won’t take them long to do it.

HF
Guest
HF

I’m quoting the reason you stated why the RAF does it.

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

And in the meantime the UK would be at risk. If the Russians can fly over Irish airspace without interception from the RAF then they could get within a few miles of the UK mainland.

Think with common sense rather than nationalistic craziness.

HF
Guest
HF

Exactly

BB85
Guest
BB85

No nationalistic crazyness, RAF jets can track them from the Scotland and London FIR zones. But you are missing the point. If the the UK refused to do it without compensation the Irish government would quickly find the cash to avoid a collision over their airspace and should have been factored into the original agreement if it was not done so. Its the principle of free loading and pretending to hate the English I have a problem with. Also if Ireland does not want to join nato and remain neutral they really should be policing their own airspace.

julian1
Guest
julian1

so what was happening at the height of the cold war? Russian aircraft buzzing the british isles is hardly new. were the RAF routinely overflying Ireland in the 70s and 80s?

Mark
Guest
Mark

No the RAF wasn’t responding at that point.

Sean
Guest
Sean

Agreed. They free-loading of the U.K. and NATO while claiming to be neutral.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

I think A radar station could be built in Northern Ireland, on high ground to the rear of Derry?

Mark
Guest
Mark

The 2015 White Paper had plans for Radar Stations along the West Coast if funding became available, given the current likely Global Recession I doubt that will happen.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

Or a rader station on high ground near Enniskillen, near to the west coast of the Republic?

Mark
Guest
Mark

There’s pretty much nothing in the budget that could be cut in order to pay for such a ramp up, as pointed out a former AC general put a squadron worth of planes at over a billion.

As for UK flights, it’s pretty much a non story in the Republic.

Rob Young
Guest
Rob Young

As above, a squadron of armed Hawk trainers would be able to intercept most of the planes the Russians send over.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Even if you moved the AC out of Dublin to one of the West Coast airports, what’s the range/speed/endurance of a Hawk once you hang a couple of missiles and fuel tanks on them?

Rob Young
Guest
Rob Young

Doesn’t need high tech interceptors to intercept the type of aircraft Russia is sending – a squadron of Hawk trainers fitted with guns/missiles would do the job quite well enough – basic Hawk £18,000,000, remember they’re not expected to take part in a real shooting war.

Mark
Guest
Mark

How much fuel would it burn through getting out to intercept the Bear?

Rob Young
Guest
Rob Young

Hawk range 2,520km. Typhoon range 2,900km. So should be enough to do the job.The TU-95 it would usually tasked with intercepting has a cruising speed of 550km/hr, max 520, against the Hawk able to do 1,000, so no problem catching up, service ceiling within 100ft of each other… so should be able to intercept off the coast couple of hundred miles out if needed..

Steve Martin
Guest
Steve Martin

If I’m not just spouting stuff out of my proverbial (and I may well be), I believe the climb rate of the Hawk isn’t enough to perform any meaningful interception.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

The Hawk might be of some use in escorting the TU-95,but against the TU-160 it would struggle.

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

Range isn’t the issue Rob, the Hawk has neither the acceleration nor the climb ability to intercept high flying Russian bombers in a timely manner. With QRA the intercepting aircraft doesn’t ‘catch up’ with the target, it places itself ahead of the flight path so as to dissuade incursion into our airspace. Once you have added a cannon pod, a couple of ASRAAM and a couple of wing tanks and your Hawk is not going to be intercepting anything particularly quickly.

Rob Young
Guest
Rob Young

Remember, to get to Irish air space the things have to fly round the UK – so as long as there is cooperation fron the Norwegian and British controllers they should have plenty of time to get into position.

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

@geof Doesn’t work that way, the Vozdushno-kosmicheskiye sily don’t let us know where they plan to go on any particular tasking. By the time it became clear that they were going to skirt or attempt to penetrate Irish airspace a subsonic Hawk is not going to cut it. It is neither cost effective or safe keeping a Hawk circling over the sea off the West Coast of Ireland on the off chance that the Russians are going to come that way when they are picked up off Norway. Remember they have no tanker capability as well, all RAF QRA alerts… Read more »

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

I mean @Rob
Sorry talking to two people at the same time is muddling

Rob Young
Guest
Rob Young

I agree with all those points expressed – just feel they are based on a false premise. Firstly, time. Takes a long time for the Russians to get to Irish airspace – enough time for something to be waiting for them. Next, space. Look at the size of the area needing to be covered by Irish aircraft compared to RAF – much more restricted airspace. Between these two, means you can have a plane waiting to pick up the enemy whilst another is taking off to take over the actual escort duty – a relay system rather than everything being… Read more »

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

I mean @Rob
Sorry talking to two people at the same time is muddling

Trevor Holcroft
Guest
Trevor Holcroft

Isn’t the easiest thing for Ireland to buy some anti aircraft missiles??

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

An antiaircraft missile can’t go up identify then escort a target.

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

All the Russians have to do is keep out of the air space. It ought to catch their attention. It has never stopped the Russians themselves in the past.
But they would only do that in a hot war.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

I very Much Agree with You here!

Trevor Holcroft
Guest
Trevor Holcroft

In that case, why bother to spend it in the first place.
This all just gives the RAF practice.
If push came to shove we would fly our jets wherever we wanted and the Irish could just sing Dixie.
Generally anybody in Ireland who is seriously inerested can join the British Army (4,000) anyway. Are they really going to put in place 16 to 32 plus fast jet pilots? And their mechanics etc?? No. It’s a tin pot country, full of off shore cheating bankers.

Mark
Guest
Mark

As opposed to the UK were there’s no offshoring, no cheating bankers and no politicians taking the mick?

Get off it.

David Flandry
Guest
David Flandry

The cost of operating a squadron of fighters would be more than the cost of the Irish Army.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Pretty much, though that’s mainly due to Ireland not spending on Defence anyway.

HF
Guest
HF

Even though the benefits to the UK being able to enter Irish airspace are made plain there is still the usual carping. I expect to hear the canard that U boats were refuelled in Irish harbours in ww2. That’s not to say that people like the Senator shouldn’t be grateful for the protection afforded and keep their mouths firmly closed, but of course he’s politicking.

Incidentally, speaking to some IAC personnel at an airshow a few years ago they said that the IAC had an extremely close relationship with the RAF.

Barry Larking
Guest
Barry Larking

Interesting. Flyboys and girls all members of the same club.

geoff
Guest
geoff

As a Brit whose family is nearly all from NI apart from a few ‘Rebel’ cousins in Dublin I can say that the people of the Republic are generally wonderful, warm friendly human beings and i can understand why the IAC and RAF get on famously on a personal level. It is a pity that politicians on the Island, especially South of the Border feel they have to pander to a minority still banging on about the Black and Tans. Varadkar in particular is no friend of the British. The ROI should contribute towards the cost of their air defence… Read more »

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

To be honest if they simply paid a small amount to cover fuel and maintenance if our planes I’d be happy with that.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Has the UK ever asked to be paid? It’s not the first time such an agreement happened, for example Ireland only started paying for the Lighthouses around the 90’s having had an agreement from the UK back in 1922 that since British traffic benefited from them more the UK would pay for them

geoff
Guest
geoff

Agree Steve

Mark
Guest
Mark

Oh for god’s sake, no Varadkar isn’t anti British.

geoff
Guest
geoff

Good Morning Mark. I believe he is. I base my opinion on the fact that during the Brexit period he showed nothing but hostility towards the UK. Every time he opened his mouth his comments were negative, obstructive, cold and unhelpful as were those from many of his top Cabinet members. I am sure I am not alone in this assessment. In particular and on subject, the sentiments of Senator Craughwell regarding the RAF’s assistance to the ROI and at NO CHARGE typified the lack of grace and hostility that remains rooted within the Irish Government toward anything British. I… Read more »

HF
Guest
HF

I wouldn’t be a supporter of his but it was a common accusation that every EU leader was anti-British during the last 3 years or so.

geoff
Guest
geoff

That is a fair point HF but one would have though that given the closeness of the relationship in terms of everything including geography, the ROI might have been more willing to reach an accommodation in the interests of both countries

HF
Guest
HF

Part of the attraction of the EU is that it gives Ireland a chance to get away from its dependence on Britain. No Irish PM is going to do anything – in public – to damage that.

Mark
Guest
Mark

The Republic is part of the EU, it was never going to do a separate accommodation.

Trevor Holcroft
Guest
Trevor Holcroft

The pseudo independence Ireland have is just sucking up to the EU.
It will soon have to pay for the privilege after next year.

Mark
Guest
Mark

That’s nice, we’ve been a contributor for some years now btw.

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

@geoff “Good Morning Mark. I believe he is. I base my opinion on the fact that during the Brexit period he showed nothing but hostility towards the UK.” No he wasn’t, he was understanding and helpful as he could be in the face of a UK and Brexit-loon bubble that can’t seem to wrap its head around the fact that Ireland is a sovereign Country that will look to its own interests. As far as Ireland and its people are concerned they think the UK is insane leaving the EU and is not going to harm its own position in… Read more »

geoff
Guest
geoff

Two things, and I will be brief as George Allison indulges us by such straying from subject. One-I certainly am no ardent Brexiteer-still deadlocked on the fence. Second-“Ireland thinks..the UK is insane leaving the EU.” Did not Ireland itself vote to leave the EU some years back? mutual insanity?

Mark
Guest
Mark

No, @geoff at no point did Ireland vote to leave the EU.

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

@geof No Ireland has not voted to leave the EU in recent years, support for EU membership is above 90% amongst the Irish public. In 2008 a referendum was held where the Irish public narrowly voted against ratifying the Lisbon treaty. In 2009 after changes were made to the treaty documentation and various guarantees given to Ireland over sovereignty another referendum as held where the Irish public comfortably voted to ratify the Lisbon treaty. Unlike the UK Ireland has significant experience running referendums with a Government body in place that has the task of ensuring the public are properly informed… Read more »

Trevor Holcroft
Guest
Trevor Holcroft

Come off it. d’Estaing said it was impenetrable . The EU Treaty was the same as the Constitution. It was the same thing put together in a diffetent way. (The Independent)
The Irish were shown the instruments of torture and they signed on the dotted line.

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

Hyperbolic nonsense!

The amount of nonsense I have read about what people ‘think’ the Lisbon treaty is about over the years makes me laugh.

The Irish people were asked again after changes were made and after a clear neutral public information campaign voted to ratify the treaty and amend their constitution…democracy at work!

It is refreshing to watch a country with a modern fit for purpose constitution and electoral system work in comparison to our arcane joke of a system.

Mark
Guest
Mark

I’ve given up trying to discuss with Brits regarding areas like Irish referendums, it’s like talking to a brick wall.

But yes changes were made (one of which for example was an undertaking regarding defence spending), and the Government of the day actually got off it’s ass for the second vote to engage with people.

Mark
Guest
Mark

What?

HF
Guest
HF

Indeed. The usual dishonest practice of portraying any country protecting its own interests as being anti-British.

Mark
Guest
Mark

He as the leader of the Republic defended the interests of the Republic (and Northern Ireland who’s Nationalist community were totally ignored when the DUP were critical to the Tory’s). The issue that many British seems to miss is that we have our own sovereign interests separate to the UK. You’ll find there was little to no difference between him and any other Irish politician’s stance, more over at a personal level, he exists because of the UK as his parents met there working for the NHS, his sister works for the NHS now in London and he leads the… Read more »

Trevor Holcroft
Guest
Trevor Holcroft

Ireland of course does not have a government at the moment.

Mark
Guest
Mark

It has a caretaker government, no different than other EU nations after an election when parties are working out coalitions. We’re most likely going to end up with a FF/FG/Green Coalition.

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

Not true, a very quick Google search would have informed you of what is happening currently in Ireland in respect of Government. Ireland currently has a Fine-Gael caretaker Government in place with Leo Varadkar remaining in office as caretaker Taoiseach until a new Government is agreed upon and put in place. Ireland has a modern PR based electoral system and Constitution designed to handle this transition process. In countries that use PR it is common for the new Government not to form for quite a while. It is a process designed to build consensus and bring the people together. It… Read more »

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

It does not have a government. The word ‘caretaker’ sums it up. When will the Irish actually have a budget? Who will agree to it?
If they have a clever system, why is it taking them so long.
If the Irish are so fond of 2nd referendums why not call a 2nd election?

Mark
Guest
Mark

The Irish budget is done in October so yes we have a budget agree to be the majority back in October, we won’t start planning a new one till end of summer.

It’s taking “so long” because of the result of the GE where we have three parties within a couple of votes so getting them to agree to who forms a government will take as long as it takes (last time it took 70 days).

A second election is always a possibility if/when a majority can’t be formed.

It’s really not that complicated and happens all over Europe if you paid attention.

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

No Trevor you can’t twist reality to suit your own narrative, Ireland does have a Government and a Taoiseach along with a Constitution that allows the management of the Country during this transitional period. The lights are kept on Government wise until a new consensus is found, that might be via another election. “If they have a clever system, why is it taking them so long.” Well frankly that comment has ‘British exceptionalism’ written all over it. Just because it takes longer than the UK due to Ireland not having a FPTP system doesn’t mean it is an inferior way… Read more »

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

Dear Mark and Fed. No, stop pretending. There was no government when Britain is in the middle of a general election. There was no PM and no MPs. There is no Irish government because the head Of the Irish head of state has not appointed a PM that commands a majority. If anyone comes cluse to a PM its the SF leader. She got the largesr number of MPs. But the presodent cannot appoint a PM untill it can count on a majority. There are no policies no plans. If and when they do have some , they will be… Read more »

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

Trevor what planet are you on?! You can’t compare what happens in a British Westminster election to what happens in Ireland, two different countries with different political systems! I should also point out that in a UK election whilst the House is suspended the Government continues as does the Prime Minister in role until either they win that election or not whereupon the current PM goes to Buckingham Palace to resign and then new PM touches hands with the Queen. The period of time where there is no Government and Prime Minister is a few minutes. Nevertheless we are talking… Read more »

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

It doesn’t matter who sits in the grand building which houses the Irish PM, he currently has no authority. It’s obvious what should happen,
FF and FG should form a coalition. The fact that they haven’t shows exactly why the Irish do not have a government.
When will they vote on their EU budget for instance? Ireland is one of the most comfortably off countries in the EU. Ireland should be falling over themselves to increase their payments.

But enough already…

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

“It doesn’t matter who sits in the grand building which houses the Irish PM, he currently has no authority.”

The Irish Constitution says otherwise Trevor, Leo Varadkar is the Irish Taoiseach until a replacement is appointed.

My suggestion is go and learn how other countries Political systems work before making assumptions about them.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Again, you don’t seem to know anything tbh.

Government talks take time, the caretaker situation is normal for many nations and Varadkar has full power currently.

What exactly do you mean “vote on the EU budget”, the Budget is still being discussed and developed. The Government has been fully engaged in developing it and how it might develop.

As @Fedaykin has pointed out, you don’t seem to be very familiar with other nations systems.

Mark
Guest
Mark

What are you on about?

Mark
Guest
Mark

Just a basic example of you not knowing what you are talking about, no SF did not get the largest number of TD’s, FF did.

And given that Varadkar just announced billions in spending due to the COVID outbreak, yeah there are policies and plans happening.

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

Yes, correct, only behind in the election by 1.

But the way Verdarker is threatening to spend money like water that he is not responsible for only points out again that Ireland does not have a government. Heaven forbid, but im sure 85,000 Irish people are not going to die any way.
There is zero authority in Ireland right now. No one likes the idea of being in charge when they pay up into the EU budget. SF are licking their lips.

But once again, enough already.
.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Christ you don’t have a clue. He’s spending as that’s what the Government needs to do in the current situation.

The EU Budget is a totally non event in relation to Government talks. It’s not an issue in Irish politics.

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

The EU budget is not an issue in Irish politics? Ha ha… just ask Irish farmers about that and how the EU are demanding that they (your farmers) pay for the EU Just Transition Fund. Money taken from the CAP to pay places like Poland to cut CO2. But look be fair… Ireland doesn’t need a government, it does not have to make political decisions when all it has to do is blame it all on the EU as a scape goat. So when will a new PM carry the can? Anytime soon? Or will the caretaker carry on sweeping… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

The carping is always done by the same people, one day they want Britain to return to its prime, global, improved and expanded armed forces, bigger player on the world stage, then the next day they want the entire foreign aid budget scrapped and wanting to throw away agreements where our forces can go because they’re not paying for it, small minded isolationism yet they can’t see it

It does make me laugh

dave12
Guest
dave12

Coming from you sole who supports china’s political stance and mocked the Hong Kong protests,, as I said before go live in these dictatorships you hold dear to your heart.Try your freedom of speech over there. 😉

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Got to say Sole you and I sing from the same song sheet in regard to your average protester/student protests!

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Sounds about right for the oh so righteous know it alls mate. They think they know everything, while having no real-time knowledge and experience, and as you say, little tossers who will be as nasty as fuck to get a result they seem acceptable. Yet so shallow and ignorant it’s mind boggling. And I saw that Hong Kong police incident, you are absolutely correct.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

So the Pro Propagandist is back now I see!
The Kremlin finding it difficult replace you!

Just to remind You, I Do Not need to Answer any of your Questions, because You know the Score to the Answers in the Free media of the World!

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Just to remind you, you haven’t answered any of my questions because you can’t!

👍

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

Here we go again, Another trick from the Propagandist Pay book again!

A black or white question, again from the Troll, who only sees the World in black or white!

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

@Sole
Why don’t You just take chance to Look in a mirror at Yourself, and just Say ‘I am Doing wrong, by supporting the Killing of thousands of people Syria’ then just repeat it few times until You feel some remorse about the whole issue?

GO ON, Give it A try Man!

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

The Problem is that it is You are the One that distorts the Facts in the service of people like Putin and Assad, So You are their Sheep un-questioning to their distorted World view, and thinking anyone opposing Your viewpoint You see in Your deluded mind as Jihadists etc, a black and white world with No Colour!

So You are a tragic case, so You Need to look in a mirror again, and question Yourself where am I going wrong in my life, the answer is starring you in the face Man!

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

Good Night!

Cam
Guest
Cam

And Sunderland’s used to fly from Northern Ireland over the republic in ww2 saving them a huge detour.

Mark
Guest
Mark

With the full agreement of Ireland at the time.

HF
Guest
HF

Plenty of other things done discreetly to aid the allies.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Very true, however it gets forgotten about while the lies about “U boats” get repeated.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Just don’t mention ‘ leaving the lights on’ to anyone in the North West, old enough to remember the 1941 blitz

Ireland’s big contributions to the German bombing campaign……

HF
Guest
HF

Chapter and verse please.

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Ireland’s cities and towns lights were allegedly used by the Luftwaffe as a guide to bomb Belfast and Liverpool

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Well HF, as Ireland was a neutral country during the war, all the Germans had to do to get an accurate fix on North West cities for bombing, was to fly close enough to to the Irish coast (or straight down the coast in some instances) and take an accurate fix/turning point from a known Irish town (lit up by lamp posts), set the heading, allow for aircraft speed, wind speed and drift, start the stopwatch and drop the bombs. Few diversionary or spoofing tactics worked because of this. ‘Leaving the lights on’ was the cause for many a pub… Read more »

HF
Guest
HF

That was what I thought. Is there any documented evidence that was done deliberately ? This article suggests the exact opposite was true:-

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/why-did-nazi-germany-bomb-neutral-ireland-during-world-war-ii-113121?page=0%2C1

‘black out coastal cities that were obviously being used as navigational points for German bombers headed toward Belfast. (The blackouts, however were normally limited to businesses and did not begin until April 1941.)’

How anyone could be dumb enough to think that a German victory would be good for Ireland amazes me.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

I’m not suggesting it was done deliberately, the Irish Government probably thought that initiating a blackout in eastern coastal areas might have been regarded as ‘active involvement in the war’ thus taking sides with the British. Perhaps, some thought the Germans were going to win in some fashion anyway (from an Irish perspective,an agreed ceasefire between Britain and Germany at least, certainly seemed possible in 1941) and they didn’t want to anger Hitler … It makes for a fascinating discussion that’s for sure. Many Irish nationals of did the right thing and volunteered for war service with the British in… Read more »

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

I doubt it had occurred to the Irish and even if they did would they have cared?

The Irish did not at that point have much of an opinion about the Germans. A few years or decades of occupation might have changed that and the Irish and the English might have become best buddies – who knows. Stranger things happen at sea.

HF
Guest
HF

My Irish grandmother had a considerable sum of cash hidden to get her daughters out of Ireland if the Nazis invaded, so some people had an opinion about them.

4thwatch
Guest
4thwatch

Glasgow blitz March 1941. Hundreds killed along the docks and riverside.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Utter crap.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Certainly a very insightful contribution to the conversation Mark, tell me more…

Mark
Guest
Mark

It’s the same as the view that the UK deliberately interfered with the German navigation to make them bomb Dublin.

Stories upon stories.
BTW, how much light do you think Ireland which had a fuel shortage throughout the war was producing?

Trevor Holcroft
Guest
Trevor Holcroft

It’s not the uboats, it was not letting our escorts refuel.

Mark
Guest
Mark

By agreement you handed back the Treaty Ports before the War, as a neutral nation we were under no obligation to allow your escorts to refuel, anymore than allowing German ships to do so.

HF
Guest
HF

Hmmm…. would be a bit of an obvious non-neutral act. I wonder how many were refuelled on the qt, at more remote ports ? There were lots of acts like that. In any case it was the Uboat lie I’ve heard most often.

Mark
Guest
Mark

I doubt that any were refueled to be honest, there weren’t many ports that could take them.
That being said there was plenty of other direct an indirect aid to the Allies.

Barry Larking
Guest
Barry Larking

The Republic of Ireland’s neutrality was always something of a dodge. However, this arrangement makes sense for the U.K. and that’s the limit of my interest – I imagine Russia’s strategic interest in Ireland also.

Harry Bulpit
Guest
Harry Bulpit

Coming from the same country thats decided it will no longer share intelligence with us following brexit. Perhaps we should make this arrangement more clear to the international stage, and put Irish politicians in their place.

Mark
Guest
Mark

All of the EU27 are stopping the intelligence sharing due to Brexit, that’s because you chose to leave.

As to “putting Irish politicians in their place” what are you on about?

Trevor Holcroft
Guest
Trevor Holcroft

What intelligence? Our intelligence is through NATO.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Not all of it, as has been pointed out repeatedly, but never mind.

George
Guest
George

Hi folks hope are all well. Yes this subject has been around for a few years now, and maks interesting descusion. The agreement is both beneficial to both countries and makes sound sence from a security point of view. However, if there is a continuance of this agreement, the question of cost must factor here. Has the UK MOD published any costings for this service? I’m not able to find any yet. On a broader note, I would envisage the same issue will happen if Scotland goes for independence, especially the SNP’s attitude to defence matters, although they wish Scotland… Read more »

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

Hi George, Interesting additonal points, thank you. The Scottish FIR is a pretty big area and would be a real weekening step if Scotland did not do something about is own defence. As you pointed out in your recent artlicle about Iceland’s role in NATO, even a country of a few hundred thousand people contribute something to their own defence by providing civilian support staff to the NATO mission. Ireland is, and an independent Scotland would be, significantly larger that Iceland in population terms so should be able to contribute something. New Zealand with a similar size population maintained a… Read more »

Callum
Guest
Callum

Definitely a controversial issue it seems. Asking for payment for a task you were already going to do is a bit tricky. If Ireland or an independent Scotland weren’t there, the RAF would still be conducting the same intercepts for UK security. People arguing Ireland should operate it’s own interceptors seem to ignore that Ireland has less than 13% of the GDP the UK has. A single squadron of fighters and the infrastructure to actually support them (the airbase, the support personnel, the training programme, etc) would represent a massive investment for them, with none of the benefits of scale… Read more »

geoff
Guest
geoff

Great suggestions Callum. Even a flight of Typhoons-say 8 airframes with IAC roundels with a maintenance arrangement in place to use RAF facilities would work perfectly. On the subject of Scotland, for me one of many good reasons not to trash the UK-fractured institutions and facilities plus duplicating everything in a relatively small island-crazy stuff-there has to be a better way.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Not politicians, politics.

There’s only so much budget to go round, and defence isn’t an area that the Irish public will support spending on. Any politician that floated buying fighter capability would get destroyed. A former IAC General has put the price of standing up the minimium capabilty even with using “another” air force for training at a billion a year. The entire DF budget is barely that let alone the AC’s budget.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

NATO’s 2% is designed to be fair to all nations regardless of size. Whilst Ireland not a full member it would show willing. Ireland needs to get round the table and discuss with NATO countries how it could provide effective assistance at an affordable price. Until recently the UK parties agreed much the same stance on Defence thus removing it from politics. The electorate in NI is beginning to move beyond past issues and is looking to the future. I’m guessing that same wish exists in the South.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Ah, what?

We aren’t a member so the 2% isn’t an issue and we already work with NATO nations in common areas but that is on a case by case basis.

As to NI moving beyond the past… Nope not even close, more to the point what has that got to do with Irish politics?

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

What can Ireland defend itself from on its own? Nothing. Might as well disband the AC. Alternatively Ireland could become part of an alliance – something bigger than itself.

Mark
Guest
Mark

What is the threat that Ireland faces? Also we are part of an alliance that’s bigger than ourselves, the EU. Funny enough had the UK not been so hostile to any sort of EEC connected defence then the situation would have been different, upon joining the EEC Ireland did have plans to upgrade it’s military as concerns had been made about it not being in NATO (all the other members were at the time), but a Recession and hostility from the UK meant that it died a death, with only bits and pieces left of what was meant to have… Read more »

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Maybe nothing especially as NATO has your back.

Good point on the subject of the EU. Decision made for us though – Brits didn’t see the benefit.

The European defence idea was never going to happen? Without the Americans? Seriously?

We will be doing our own thing from now on which will be interesting and allow you guys to get on with your own lives unimpeded.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Maybe if the US had agreed to the suggestion of a Defence Treaty post WW2 things would be different but they didn’t. Also technically the only threat Ireland has faced since ’22 has been the UK, so I’m not sure that’s much of a consideration.

Whether it was going to happen or not, resistance from the UK played a part in preventing the planned ’80’s build up of the DF, had that gone ahead the DF would be a totally different animal to what it is today.

HF
Guest
HF

They faced the Nazi threat. If Britain had surrendered that would have been it for the Republic as well.

Mark
Guest
Mark

We weren’t a Republic then.

HF
Guest
HF

Sorry – I know that, just using it as shorthand.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

NATO was the only show in town post WW2. True a build up from the South in the 1980’s would not have been helpful coming up to Good Friday.
I have to say Mark that there is a sense that some in the ROI still see the UK as a threat. Brits see this all the time from Countries around the world and generally ignore it. Do you still see these sentiments or has everyone moved on at last?

Mark
Guest
Mark

The US has done plenty of side deals with nations that had nothing to do with NATO, and there was never a chance that Dev would go into any military alliance with the UK at that point.

How would a build up of the DF not been helpful in the run up to the GFA?

And no the UK isn’t seen as a threat now other than economically, though it’s certainly not helped by some comments from the UK over the last few years.

Trevor Holcroft
Guest
Trevor Holcroft

So Hitler threatening to conquer all all western Europe to the Urals was no threat to Ireland? I suppose not. You just sit back and wave your sheleighleigh.

Mark
Guest
Mark

You do know the direct and indirect aid that Ireland gave to the UK/Allies right?

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Mark the US don’t know or care where Ireland or the UK is. America First! The UK/ROI could help each other from a defence perspective and economically. If the ROI don’t want to play then fine we will sort the problem ourselves as in WW2. The aid we would have expected in WW2 involved a declaration of war and soldiers on the battlefield.

Mark
Guest
Mark

The UK is no different than the US in that regard, and given statements from Tories in regards to “punishing” us over Brexit forgive me if I doubt that.

As to WW2, not a chance after the War of Independence.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

It seems clear that there is still hostility from the ROI to all things British.

None of us were born in 1922 let alone took part in your “War of Independence” and if your forebears thought it was desirable to support a nasty piece of work like Hitler in attacking the UK then perhaps it will be for future generations to reconcile.

I fear you are stuck in the past Mark and it will be for the more forward thinking Irish minds to drag your country into the 21st century – in the fullness of time.

Keep Well.

Mark
Guest
Mark

What?

I pointed out rightly that the generation of 1939 were the ones that fought for Independence, of course they weren’t going to support joining the UK in a war.

As to the rest of your post, I don’t even know what you are trying to suggest.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

That the war time generation could not see the difference between the UK (because of a conflict involving 2000 casualties?) and a man who starting a world war which would result in approx 50 million deaths is unforgivable.

If you couldn’t of gone to war to support the British what about the French, Poles and other Europeans you now call your friends!

What is more telling is that their descendants can’t see it either. Admit it Mark you hate the British!

Mark
Guest
Mark

Actually it might have more to do with the few million from the Famine given that generation or their children were still alive at that point.

Nor could anyone have known what deathtoll WW2 was going to end up, stop using knowledge that nobody would have had at that point.

I don’t hate the British (hell my sister in law is British though the family moved over to Ireland post 2016), don’t care one way or the other anymore than any other nationality.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

If it had not been for the fact that my family fled the famine I would not be typing this now. I am conscious of my impact on the world and am happy to take responsibility for my own actions. I am also content to discuss current British activity which I think is a force for good in the world – not perfect but generally good. Nothing good will come of beating ourselves up over British, French, American or even Irish activity in the distant past. There will be good things and bad things but we can only change the… Read more »

HF
Guest
HF

AC is used to support the government, army & navy so it clearly has its uses.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Absolutely, however it could have been and should be far more useful if better funded.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Hi George, I feel that Defence is a significant factor in the minds of Scottish voters. A proud fighting nation who would want to take a full and complete role in their own defence. In Ireland there are pragmatists that know that the Russians would not think twice about using one of the smaller Atlantic countries as a foothold in any future conflict with NATO if it suited their tactics. I suspect the Irish politicians might want to occasionally throw around anti-British sentiments but privately most will realise the current arrangement is in their constituents interests. If the Irish wish… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

It’s not really fair to compare the Defence situation of Ireland with that of an independent Scotland, effectively nobody would create a situation that Ireland currently has if they chose to do so.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Ireland can change it’s position. This Irish electorate are not children – I’m sure they would want to take a modern position within NATO if the pros and cons were fairly discussed.

Mark
Guest
Mark

No the Irish electorate would not want to change the position in regards to defence.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

There are many in Ireland who don’t want change but change is coming Mark. Defence might not be the first order of business and it might take awhile but no country is immune to change. Look at every country in the world including your own.

Mark
Guest
Mark

I know my own nation thanks, and I know there’s zero political or public support for expansion of Defence. There isn’t even support for spending for the basic pay for the DF right now, let alone an increase like that.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Sometimes its easier to see things from outside. I’m not just talking about Defence. Your whole political scene is changing and it will swing this way and that until it breaks free from the narrow minded politics of the past (both sides of the border).

Mark
Guest
Mark

It’s aligning to a more European Left-Right position, nothing major, btw if you are so happy about that, be ready for a SF lead government. By and large most outside Ireland don’t “get” Irish politics.

As to the North, a no, they haven’t changed a bit from the past.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

The Irish Election was interesting. The good showing for SF demonstrates that the Irish people are looking for change. The question is what do they want and who can provide it? It is a natural reaction to align yourself with your new best friends – I hope it works out for you.

Mark
Guest
Mark

It’s more that SF promised everything under the bloody sun to the tune of 20 billion euro’s when Finance made it clear that there was only 11 billion headroom (a housing expansion that we can’t build, tax cuts yet spending increases, free Third Level), since then with the current health crisis the Government has basically used half of that already. Besides which looks like FG and FF are going to go into Government together anyway.

Also who exactly do you think are our “new best friends”?

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Well it’s at times like these that we discover parties desperation for power and the hatchets people will bury to prevent those that are deemed to be undesirable from gaining power.
“New Best Friends” = “old partners” + some buttering up as both sides need something. Trouble is everyone will need something at the end of this health crisis.

4thwatch
Guest
4thwatch

If there is a UK-US trade deal it may be in your countries interest to check things out.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Why? We’re in the EU in case you missed it and have zero interest in changing that.

4thwatch
Guest
4thwatch

I’m just saying ROI has more in common with the USA and UK than with the EU. For instance: Family connections, Common Law, language (in practice mostly) and Business/Trade and much more. As far as I can see the only thing the EU provides is a currency, and a political two fingers in your face ( to the UK), because the UK is strongly aligned to European laws and standards and is likely to stay that way in almost every case. UK and USA got over their ‘history’ in 1917 which is ironic in the circumstances. I strongly hope things… Read more »

Trevor Holcroft
Guest
Trevor Holcroft

The position of which is sticking their head in the sand

TwinTiger
Guest
TwinTiger

Makes me wonder if Australia and New Zealand have a similar arrangement? Not that New Zealand is regularly buzzed by Russian Bombers, but in principle.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

It would make sense especially as China is looking to venture further from their own shores.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Perhaps they should try getting half a dozen F35s. It might put them in the game without costing a fortune.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

It be cheaper for Ireland to procure Grippens, at 50 million euros each!

Mark
Guest
Mark

It’s far beyond the question of just buying the Jets. The AC is less than 1K people in total, building up to support a squadron worth of Gripens would mean a substantial ramp up.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

I agree. Enough to do the job without getting carried away.

HF
Guest
HF

Given the distances involved the RAAF would have to base aircraft in NZ. China would only be a problem if they built bases in the area. I don’t think they have.

Brendan
Guest
Brendan

I’m not aware of any formal public agreement, but our history of defence cooperation goes back to at least WW1. Recent examples include the bushfires, and RNZN covering gaps in RAAN tanker capability in the past. NZ situation is different as we aren’t in (current) bomber range. Our decision to focus our high-end forces on a pair of frigates, light infantry and E-8’s is reasonable, although I personally would prefer more.

Brendan
Guest
Brendan

Sorry, P-8’s, not E-8’s

Richard
Guest
Richard

I was not aware of this agreement. Interesting.
The next step should be for the Irish Government to buy some interception jets and air tankers so they can look after their own airspace. I’m sure NATO would help with the training.

Mark
Guest
Mark

It’s an old agreement that formalised the ad hoc situation post 9/11.

As to increasing the AC, forget it, a former AC General a couple of weeks ago put the price tag for just jets not tankers put it at over a billion a year… The entire DF budget is just over a billion.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Wow, I’ve missed quite a thread!

Don’t know what the fuss is about. It suits the UK to be able to cover the western approaches, including Ireland.

As for Sole being a Troll? Pull the other one.

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Cheers mate 👍

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

@Daniele
Well, Sole anyway has Proved to be An Apologizist and Propagandist for the criminal Assad regime, which has No compunction in killing innocent civilians in Syria.

Of course, War Crimes have been committed by both sides in Syrian Civil War.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Hi Meirion. Respect your opinion of course. I have read Soles posts for years. He, as I do, sees both sides. Sure Assad is a SOB. Yes the Russians are often up to no good, countering the west. NATO must be strong and prepared. But the hypocrisy of the west sometimes is laughable. That does not make me a “Russian Troll” It is just an opinion. I won’t bother with examples as I’m not getting into this argument. Only that I see where Sole comes from. On Syria, I think the point is this. Assad, yes, ruthless, kills his own… Read more »

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

I do agree with a lot of what you said Daniele, an example of a imperfect World I think!

GarryGopper
Guest
GarryGopper

M346 for ireland and suck up the fact they need to do their part if they want sovergin airspace. 12 A/C is enough and can jump on the UK fast jet training pipline if they do another closed door deal

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

M346 is still only subsonic like a Hawk 200, not a meaningful interception. The Gripen E is best bet!

jiminnorfolk
Guest
jiminnorfolk

I seem to remember there was a small Political Storm a few years back when an RAF C130 had to land in the Republic when low on fuel. This is no way to treat your Defenders! But this could have been the Media!

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Keeping a neutral stance will only get you so far, if your territory or assets are regarded as desirable by a potential enemy, they will simply ignore it … Just look at Belgium during WW2, the German steamroller simply went straight through them! In a modern context, obviously Ireland should pay for being covered by the RAF umbrella, all goods and services require payment, what’s so different about this? Perhaps if the EU ever do get a formal defence structure in place, the Irish Air Corps might be forced to spend money and operate a minimum air defence capability? In… Read more »

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

This is in contrast to the stance of what Switzerland takes as a neutral country!

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Indeed Meirion, Switzerland takes its defence seriously and puts its money were its mouth is.

Any county invading Switzerland would find itself given quite the bloody nose, the difficult terrain coupled with a sizeable proportion of the population mobilised and armed, would make life very difficult indeed for a would be occupier..

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Good point. A neutral country like ROI which is lightly defended could well be of strategic benefit to an aggressor especially taking into account its geographic position. NATO might need to take extreme measures to disrupt any attempt.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Its difficult to theorise a situation were Europe is involved in an all out war today, but, that said, Ireland’s position as the gate keeper to the North West approaches, makes it desirable to control and occupy.

After all, the UK ‘invaded’ Iceland in 1940, before the Germans could, precisely for the same reason, its vital Atlantic position.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Agreed.

It would also provide a potential platform for attacking Western Europe. This would at the very least distract attention from any land attack in the East.

Would the cost of taking the ROI would be that great? Some old helicopters and tanks plus some special forces delivered on an old cargo ships maybe? Might be an over simplification but …

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

“In a modern context, obviously Ireland should pay for being covered by the RAF umbrella, all goods and services require payment, what’s so different about this?“

You’re comparing this to business, since the age of empire great powers and superpowers have flexed muscle and offered protection or station forces in other territories for geopolitical strategy and ambition, not payment

If the RAF were not doing this nobody would, Ireland would be just another country without a proper Air Force, of which there are many

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Everything else we do with the EU is business, I don’t see the difference, if Ireland requires the occasional air defence call out, then they should be billed accordingly for the cost, not really seeing why my taxes should be paying to protect Irish citizens?

They still ‘win’, as its massively cheaper than having to fund and operate a domestic capability, demand and supply, its how the world turns…

Mark
Guest
Mark

Has the UK ever presented a bill? Or even asked? It wasn’t until the late 90’s that the UK stopped paying for the Lighthouses and navigational aids around Ireland for example. We got that in 1922 and the UK never bothered to reopen the issue.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Apparently not Mark, perhaps the UK should get the calculator out and present a bill?

While we are on the subject of overdue bills, we ‘lent’ Ireland billions in the banking crisis, I note the invoice is yet to be paid, perhaps that should be chased up too…

Mark
Guest
Mark

You mean that “lent money” that just so happened to go to Ulster Bank, a subsidiary of RBS a British Bank? So just more of a bailout for a UK bank and getting the Irish taxpayer to pay for it? Ireland offered to pay that off about 5 years ago as we did to the other direct loans like Sweden, the UK refused as it preferred to get the lump sum plus the extra interest of the full period rather than a direct payment upfront. Instead it’s being repaid at the rate the UK wants, a third of it already… Read more »

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Ah, so some good news then Mark, its not all bad then.
Just the small matter of RAF cover to pay for then, will it be bank transfer, papal or cheque … we ‘might’ accept Guinness as payment, but only from the Dublin factory, none of the questionable UK made stuff!

HF
Guest
HF

Is there any UK made stuff, now we’#ve hit a serious subject ? I heard not.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Depends, I mean the Dublin stuff does go up North for a bit…

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

No it’s not, isn’t that one of the main reasons we are leaving the EU, because it’s not “just business” anymore

You haven’t really touched on my comment about geopolitics etc, I think everyone understands the concept of you provide a service, you get payment, except that’s not always how it works, especially when talking about geopolitics, you get returns in other ways, protecting your own interests, flexing muscle, power projection, etc etc

And just the basic fact of providing protection to the geographically speaking British isles

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

I’m not really following you Sole, our provision of occasionally required air defence for the Irish state has nothing to do with the EU. We arn’t in the EU, they aren’t in NATO, cross training and joint exercises with the Irish are extremely rare, we really have very little in common from a military perspective. It should be a very straight forward transaction. We already provide air defence for NATO allies, it’s correct, we have a contractual obligation to fellow NATO countries. Does anyone know the cost of launching a couple of Thypoons and a tanker on such a mission?… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

I wouldn’t really suggest the last hundred years of Anglo-Irish relations was “just fine”, I mean we basically ignored each other from 39 to 73 at Government level for example.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Evening Mark, I see I’m not the only one who stays up late.

Fair point, Anglo Irish relations have been ‘difficult’ in the past, but we have cemented a new relationship for the last 20 years, with the Anglo Irish agreement (and allowing sufficient time) putting much resentment to bed on both sides eventually.

As island Nations, we have far more in common as individuals, than we do with mainland Europeans.

Mark
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Mark

I’m hoping not to derail this into a pointless argument, but I think sometimes in the UK it’s actually forgotten that the membership of the EEC/EU was one of the main drivers in creating the environment that led to the new relationship. I’m fairly certain between the Imperial Conference in the early ’30s to joining the EEC in ’73 there wasn’t a single face to face meeting between PM and Taoiseach, even when NI was sliding into the Troubles (almost unthinkable now). There wasn’t a Ministerial level meeting from the ’40’s till ’73. The heads of Government meeting in the… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

John you started your first reply to me saying “everything else we do with the EU is business” that’s what brought the EU into this, no wonder you’re not following me

It’s not really to impress the Irish, in-fact it has nothing to do with the Irish at all, if you thing the geopolitic angle of this agreement that allows us to intercept Russian strategic bombers then I don’t think you will ever understand John

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

If you think that is the geopolitical angle****

John Clark
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John Clark

I would think the main business of requiring an RAF intercept, would be an airliner behaving oddly, faulty transponder etc, i.e a potential terrorist related incident. Intercepting and shadowing Russian Tu95’s that route down to Cuba and Venezuela off the Irish coast isn’t going to be a terribly fruitful exercise, unless they are presenting a danger to Civilian traffic perhaps? Now, if Ivan’s barrelling down the Irish Sea, then that might get a few pulses racing, but in international airspace off Ireland’s Western Coast…. In no way does Ireland require ‘soft power’ assistance from, or need influencing or guidance from… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

I suppose shadowing a Russian tug through the English Channel isn’t particularly fruitful either, or when we do QRA to anywhere else

That’s not soft power, I don’t think giving anyone “soft power assistance” is even remotely possible if you know what soft power is and how it works

We’re going round in circles a bit here mate and not really getting anywhere

You want it paid for, I don’t give a s**t, we’ll keep it simple

John Clark
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John Clark

Sounds good to me, have a good afternoon.

Mark
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Mark

Think is was just a senator mouthing off on the subject, could have been SF, but really it wasn’t a thing.

HF
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HF

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/state-would-need-16-fighter-jets-for-full-air-defence-capability-expert-says-1.4184846

As far as I can tell the only jet fighters the IAC Operated were some Vampires in the 1950’s.

Mark
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Mark

They weren’t even fighters, think they were the trainer variant.

HF
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HF

They were but I didn’t want to be to pernickety I always had this vision of Concorde’s first visit to an Irish airport, ceremonially escorted by the Vampires – who’d have to ask it to slow down….

Geoff
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Geoff

I’m pretty sure that even without the agreement in place, the RAF would be instructed to enter Irish airsapce to engage with Russian aircraft in a real emergency. Its not as if the Irish can shoot them down, they can only shout at HMG. Irish air space represents too much of a nice bombing run on England for the Russians NOT to police it.

geoff
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geoff

Howsit Geoff-I’m much of your opinion! 🙂 Cheers geoff

Mark
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Mark

Given that this article has brought forth some of the usual arguments regarding Ireland’s stance in WW2 I’d like to put forward a discussion point. Assume say for the sake of argument Ireland did join the war, the most likely point (baring a completely different 1922-1939) would be the Chamberlain offer in June 1940 (as insane as that was), but what does that get the UK? The Treaty Ports aren’t what they were in WW1, the labour force is by and large gone, the facilities are run down or even permanently disabled (the Cobh Basin Dock), the stockpiles are gone… Read more »

geoff
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geoff

Final comment for my Irish friends-Proportional Representation has left Italy with Europe if not the World’s most unstable democracy!
“I’ll sing you a song of a row in the town…”

Mark
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Mark

And the relevancy is?

geoff
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geoff

The relevancy is that as with all political systems, PR has its drawbacks. it is just that the Irish brigade on this site seem to be followers of the 4 legs good 2 legs bad philosophy or my country right or right, in some of your white or black comments in praise of inter alia the wonderful Irish political setup. As to my quoting the opening lines of a ‘Rebel Song’ it was a small Olive Branch gesture just to show you I am not some Bitter Orangeman but the tone of your 4 word reply above says it all

Mark
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Mark

I like how some of the posters make such leaps. My reply was due to the fact that the Italian system isn’t the same as the Irish PR system, there are variants an that doesn’t even get into the sizable differences between a small nation like Ireland and a G8 nation like Italy. I don’t think any political system is perfect, and I never said so at any point. I do think a PR system is more representative than a FPTP system like the UK but that’s nothing to do with me. Also what “Irish brigade” I would be surprised… Read more »

geoff
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geoff

Anyway Mark there is enough other stuff to worry about out there so Peace Brother. I remember my Dad and his Dublin friend after a number of drinks with Dad asking him to leave our house after they had words over an incident in Belfast 1923 and noel told Dad he had been kicked out of better places than this :). I love Ireland and I love Britain so I am continually conflicted and wish that the closer and warmer relationship that should exist between these Islands could see the light of day and ps. I am still GENUINELY conflicted… Read more »

John Clark
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John Clark

Morning Mark, Regarding the Anglo Irish/ EU/BREXIT situation, it has thrown up a few bumps in the road, but they will be sorted in the fullness of time. We have always had open immigration between our countries for instance and this will continue, once the trade/borderr issues are sorted, it will work itself out. You raise a very interesting point regarding Ireland’s neutrality in WW2. First off, even if the RAF had been defeated in the battle of Britain and operation Sea lion had gone ahead, campaign simulations undertaken since the early 1970’s suggest the German invasion would have failed,… Read more »

Mark
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Mark

I know that Operation Sealion was never a runner, however that doesn’t mean that there isn’t opportunity costs for the UK if Ireland joined the war that tend to be ignored by those that usually argue that the Treaty Ports should have been used. Short of changes long before WW2, Ireland wouldn’t have joined in 1939, it’s just not happening. The Summer 1940 offer is likely the best chance to get Ireland to join (as evidenced by the substantial increase in cooperation and planning for joint defence at that time). But even then there’s more costs for the UK that… Read more »

Mark
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Mark

Also in terms of changing events before 1939, then there’s the 1927 naval discussions where Ireland offered to build up a force equal to the Naval forces in New Zealand to take over the defences of Irish waters. The RN was less than eager to discuss this.

There’s then the discussion of how the RAF/AM kept changing their advice for procurement for the IAC that ended up with multiple changes in orders.

Peter Shaw
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Peter Shaw

Given the vitriol from Ireland over Brexit and the fact that they are ungrateful for the defence the UK provides I think the relationship should be formalised. If not we should drop the intercepts over Ireland.