Paper presented by Edward Horgan, International Secretary, Irish Peace and Neutrality Alliance and Shannonwatch member at the Stop the War International Anti-War Conference, 30 November 2013 in London.
Irish Governments have continuously declared since 1939, that Ireland is a neutral state, subject to the rules and obligations applicable to neutral states under international law. In recent years the Government has attempted to re-define neutrality in order to justify its entanglement in military alliances such as NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) and European Union (EU) battlegroups under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). However the rules are clearly defined in The Hague Convention, Article 2 of which states that: "Belligerents are forbidden to move troops or convoys of either munitions of war or supplies across the territory of a neutral Power." Since October 2001 successive Irish Governments allowed over two and half million armed U.S./NATO troops and large quantities of war materials through Shannon airport on their way to and from the Afghan and Iraq wars, in clear contravention of the customary international laws on neutrality.