Dáil Éireann - Volume 346 - 01 December, 1983
Written Answers. - Irish Neutrality.
Mr. G. Mitchell Mr. G. Mitchell
 216. Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the Government's position on Irish neutrality, in view of the accepted fact that we cannot be neutral as between tyranny and liberty and what we are neutral for or neutral against.
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. P. Barry) Peter Barry
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. P. Barry): In a statement on the Estimates of my Department, delivered to the Dáil on 6 July last, I expressed what I conceive to be, and to have been from the beginning of this State's existence, the essence of its policy of military neutrality.
The ideological divide between East and West is an enduring reality of international life and we naturally find ourselves closest to those Western countries with whom we share common values of pluralistic democracy. All of our partners in the European Community are members of a military alliance but, as I said in my statement on 6 July, we find no reason to believe that Irish non-membership or membership of the Atlantic Alliance makes, or will make in the foreseeable future, any crucial difference to the overall security of the region in which we live. We do find, however, that our position outside military alliances enables us to play a modest but constructive diplomatic role as a neutral country.
I believe that this position has facilitated the pursuit of a foreign policy whereby we contribute effectively to the achievement of international peace and security by speaking out independently in the United Nations and elsewhere on such important matters of international concern as the need to curb and reverse the arms race and the problems of Southern Africa. In our approach to specific international problems we consistently seek to have the principles embodied in the UN Charter upheld. As regards deprivation or abuse of human rights, we do not shrink from identifying and seeking to help redress such instances, whether  they occur in Afghanistan, in South Africa, in Central America or elsewhere.
Dáil Éireann 346 Written Answers. Irish Neutrality.