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defence forces abroad

Taoiseach hopes to get rid of the triple lock 'in the lifetime of this government'

Tánaiste Micheál Martin is to bring forward legislation to get rid of the triple lock.

TAOISEACH SIMON HARRIS has said he hopes to get rid of the triple lock for Irish military involvement in operations abroad “in the lifetime of this government”. 

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, where he is attending the second day of the special EU Council meeting, Harris said it was “absurd that Russia would effectively have a veto on where we can send peacekeeping troops”.

He said that Tánaiste Micheál Martin intended to bring forward legislation to change the triple lock, which he said would happen “in due course”. 

Harris said he wanted to be clear that this does not mean a move away from military neutrality which he said Ireland absolutely intends to keep.

Last year, Tánaiste Micheál Martin announced that government plans to bring forward legislation to get rid of the triple lock in what is seen as a major departure in Ireland’s foreign policy. 

The “triple lock” is a mechanism that sets out the conditions under which more than 12 Irish troops may participate in overseas peace support operations.

For troops to take part, the operation must be mandated by the United Nations; it must be approved by the Government; and it must be approved by Dáil Éireann by means of a resolution.

Opposition TDs have criticised the move, with some stating that a referendum on neutrality is the best path forward as it would allow the public to have their say. 


Ever wondered where our neutrality status came from? Check out our new FactCheck Knowledge Bank for essential reads and guides to finding good information online.

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