EEP Group

Kelly – Ireland must invest in its neutrality

Published: Thu, 29 February 2024

Share this

Speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Sean Kelly, MEP for Ireland South, highlighted the need for Ireland to invest in its neutrality and enhance its defense capabilities.

Kelly emphasized the significance of maritime security in Ireland’s strategic interests, given its expansive marine territory hosting energy pipelines and subsea cables. Kelly stated, “Ireland’s neutrality is a cornerstone, but it should not equate to negligence in safeguarding our nation. We need to take a responsible, proactive approach to our security.”

A staggering 75% of submarine cables in the northern hemisphere traverse or closely approach Irish waters, with the majority situated off the southwest coast and some off the northwest coast. Kelly highlighted the global importance of these cables, stating, “They facilitate 97% of worldwide communications, including financial transactions, business activities, and everyday internet connectivity.”

Referring to the recent cyberattack on the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the vulnerabilities in Ireland’s energy pipelines and subsea cables, Kelly asserted, “Neutrality doesn’t make us immune to modern threats like cyberattacks and political interference. We need to collaborate with our European partners and invest more in defense of modern threats.”

Drawing attention to the European Commission’s recommendation on submarine cables, Kelly urged for a common EU approach to security threats, stating, “Private sector companies operating submarine cable infrastructure must adhere to the highest security standards. However, a unified EU approach is crucial to address these threats effectively.”

Kelly concluded by highlighting the need for additional investments in defense, stating, “I call upon our government to allocate resources to our defense forces for monitoring and responding to potential threats. We need to work collaboratively with our European counterparts to strengthen our security measures.”

As Ireland navigates the evolving landscape of security challenges, Kelly urges a proactive stance, emphasizing the necessity to invest in the country’s neutrality while safeguarding its strategic interests.

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of this site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.