Russian’s invasion on Ukraine should spark questions about Ireland’s security needs

Since Russia began their invasion of Ukraine, Ireland has made it clear that they stand with and support Ukraine.

Although this is morally and ethically the right thing to do, it could pose some serious threats for Ireland.

As a country whose defence forces are already severely underfunded, it poses the question of how we can help to defend another country when we could not even defend our own.

TD Cathal Barry has called on Ireland to send anti-missile tanks to Ukraine in order to try to assist the country during the ongoing invasion.

Ireland has a huge amount of anti-armour weaponry that could easily be transferred to Ukraine, but this would destroy Ireland’s traditional focus of being a neutral country.

It is difficult to understand how Ireland can afford to send this type of protection abroad when it was recently announced that Ireland would not be able to defend itself if it was to be attacked.

The Irish Defence Forces have said that they are not adequately equipped to defend the country against an attack.

This is because the Irish army is a ridiculously underfunded sector.

Irish soldiers, who have the chance of being sent to violence ridden zones, are getting paid less than the average industrial wage.

There is a huge outcry for people to join the Irish army, but the conditions in which they work and the pay they recieve do not entice people to the job.

Soldiers are expected to work overtime with no additional pay as the EU working time directive does not apply to them.

As well as this, trainee soldiers have to go through months of mental and physcial torture in order to become a private, which is the lowest ranking in the Irish army.

Is it not ironic that Ireland is willing to send €500 million worth of protection to Ukraine but they cannot find the funding in their budget to pay soldiers a decent wage?

It is still unclear how far Russia is willing to go with this invasion of Ukraine.

There has been a lot of talk of World War 3 and if Ireland are to send military aid to Ukraine that could jeopardise our neutral stance in the world.

If World War 3 was to occur, Ireland would be a known enemy of Russia meaning there is a chance that we could be attacked.

How would you propose that we defend ourselves against Russia when the Defence Forces themselves have said we have no chance?

Jayde Maher

Image Credit: Aoife Breslin