Irish Defence Force Spending Set to Double To Defend Neutrality

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Spending on the Irish Defence Force is set to double as the Government recognises the need to properly defend our shores.

While Taoiseach Micheal Martin is keen for Ireland to remain neutral, it is acknowledged the Defence Forces need to be beefed up so we are on a similar level to neutral countries like Norway and Switzerland.

At present we spend €1.1billion a year on the army, navy and air corps of which a large chunk –  €270million covers the pensions to current and former members.

However, the Commission on the future of the Defence Forces says we should be spending €3bn a year over the next ten years or €20bn in total.

On the shopping list for the Irish Defence Forces is a military radar system, 24 fighter jets and increasing the Navy from nine to 12 ships among ­dozens of new recommendations for a complete revamp of our forces.

However, it is expected the Government will boost spending by €1bn — bringing the annual spend to €2bn.

A new action plan is due to be presented to Cabinet by Defence Minister Simon Coveney before the summer recess.

\”The invasion of Ukraine and the recent threat by Russia to carry out military exercises in Irish international waters has opened the Government’s eyes to how vulnerable we are. There is going to be a citizens assembly and a ­national debate on neutrality.\”

While politically we are not neutral, Micheal Martin believes we should remain military neutral.

‘This means we need to invest the proper resources after years of neglect to be able to defend ourselves like similar sized neutral nations such as Switzerland and Norway.The truth is we have no idea at the moment who is in our airspace and waters. As a EU country this has to change. I would expect to see a ­doubling in current defence ­spending.\”



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