McDonald expresses concern for Irish neutrality following expulsion of Russian diplomat

Describing the decision of An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to expel a Russian diplomat as “a flagrant disregard for Irish neutrality”, Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD said “such a significant and dramatic Irish foreign policy decision should be dictated by an Irish security analysis”.

Teachta McDonald said;

“The expulsion of Russian diplomats from Ireland operating as Russian intelligence officers is a more than suitable action to be pursued if they are behind the attack in England on Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

“In fact, regardless of this particular attack, diplomats of any country acting as spies should be expelled – from any State.

“We do however; need to see the evidence underpinning this decision. Simply citing ‘solidarity with Britain’ isn’t good enough.

“In this case, a decision has been based on information from a foreign security intelligence service, which is an unprecedented step. Essentially, we are being asked to trust Boris Johnson. Dare I say that this might not be the best course of action?”

The Dublin Central TD continued;

“It is completely in line with the efforts of Fine Gael and your Government to undermine and dismantle that Neutrality.

“You have pushed for a more militarised EU through your support for PESCO.

“As recently as the beginning of this month, your four MEPs published a document which seeks to tear up Ireland’s military neutrality. This document proposes giving your Government the power to deploy Irish troops as part of military missions which do not have UN approval.

“The principles of Neutrality and independence have always been at the centre of Ireland’s foreign policy, and Irish people overwhelmingly support the continuation of this policy.

“Your job as Taoiseach is to defend and reinforce our neutrality.”