'Triple lock' for foreign missions to stay
Published 11/09/2010 | 05:00
THE Government last night made it clear that it has no plans to change its policy on the involvement of Irish peacekeeping troops in overseas missions.
At present, the participation of the Defence Forces is controlled by the 'triple lock'.
This means that approval for a mission must initially be granted by the UN security council, and then sanctioned by the Government and Dail.
However, Fine Gael has proposed a radical change that would eliminate the need for a UN Security Council resolution to be passed in advance of putting boots on the ground in peace operations overseas.
Fine Gael foreign affairs spokesman Sean Barrett argued that the triple lock had become an unnecessary limiting factor, although he agreed the Government must retain the right to opt out of mutual defence and security initiatives in the EU.
His proposal was shot down last night by Defence Minister Tony Killeen, who said that Fine Gael's proposal would undermine the authority of the UN.
In a response issued by his department, Mr Killeen said Ireland's policy on the triple lock was most recently reinforced by the 'yes' vote in the Lisbon Treaty referendum.
"There are no plans for any change in the triple lock system," he said.