Thirty-Fifth Amendment of the Constitution (Neutrality) Bill 2016: First Stage

Táimid ag dul ar aghaidh go dtí an Bille um an gCúigiú Leasú is Tríocha ar an mBunreacht (Neodracht) 2016. Glaoim ar an Teachta Aengus Ó Snodaigh chun cead a lorg an Bille a chur i láthair.

Tairgim:

Go gceadófar go dtabharfar isteach Bille dá ngairtear Acht chun an Bunreacht a leasú.

I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to amend the Constitution.

Lorgaím an cead sin.

Is the Bill opposed?

Deputy Ó Snodaigh might give us an outline of the Bill.

Tá mé ag iarraidh an Bille seo a chur faoi bhráid na Dála. Táimse agus an Teachta Seán Crowe ag iarrraidh déanamh cinnte de go bhfuil neodracht na hÉireann iniata sa Bhunreacht sa chaoi is nach bhfuil aon dabht dlíthiúil ann maidir le stádas na tíre seo nó maidir leis an míleatú leanúnach atá ag tarlú san Aontas Eorpach le tacaíocht ó urlabhraithe sa tír seo agus leantóirí eile.

This Bill we are seeking to introduce is to enhance Irish neutrality, ensuring that the State would strictly adhere to a policy of non-membership of military alliances, including the likes of the Partnership for Peace and the EU battle groups. It will empower Irish citizens by giving them the opportunity to reaffirm the State's neutrality in a referendum at a time of increased EU military expansionism. We urge all Members to support this Bill and move away from implementing the policies that for years have eroded the State's neutrality and have allowed foreign military to use and exploit Shannon Airport, in particular, as a stopover to and from conflict zones in contravention to our supposed neutral status.

This legislation seeks to put a proposition to the people that they vote in a referendum to greatly strengthen Ireland's status as a neutral country by amending the Constitution to ensure the State would be prevented from aiding any foreign powers in preparation for a war unless it had the assent of the Dáil.

This is an opportunity and we should allow the people to have their say on this issue. I hope the parties in this House will assent to this legislation when it comes before them on Second, Committee and Report Stages and allow the people have their full say in this matter.

I ask the Deputy to move that Second Stage be taken in Private Members' time.

An Teachta Crowe wishes to speak.

Gabh mo leithscéal.

Déarfaidh mé cúpla focal. Táim an-sásta, i dteannta le mo chomrádaí, an Teachta Aengus Ó Snodaigh, an Bille seo a chur os comhair na Dála.

As Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, this Bill is similar to the one I introduced in the Thirty-first Dáil in that it seeks to amend the Constitution to ensure Ireland will not and could not aid foreign powers in any way in preparation for a war save with the full assent of the Dáil. The Bill also affirms that Ireland is a neutral State and that the State would have a policy of non-membership of military alliances. The continued use of Shannon Airport for foreign military to facilitate their ongoing wars, coupled with the increased militarisation of EU and this State's deeper integration into the EU's military system, the so-called battle groups, the European Defence Agency and Partnership for Peace, which is a misnomer, ensures the Bill is timely in its inception. I urge the Government, all parties and individuals in the Dáil to support this Bill when it comes before us for debate and to stop the decline and the undermining of Irish neutrality.

Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.
Question put and agreed to.

Since this is a Private Members' Bill, Second Stage must, under Standing Orders, be taken in Private Members' time.

Tairgim: "Go dtógfar an Bille in am Comhaltaí Príobháideacha."

I move: "That the Bill be taken in Private Members' time."

Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.
Question put and agreed to.