Abstract: With the launch of the Public Consultation on International Security Policy in Ireland, the Irish people are being asked to discuss how they see their future international security policy. Being an island nation with a history of colonial repression and a presence built upon a deeply internationalised trade; Ireland must ensure that the latter is maintained. To this end, Ireland is in need of an extensive discussion that breaks the false binary of NATO or neutrality. The fact is: the Irish State does not need either. To enhance its global standing and improve its international security, Ireland should eschew both NATO and the historical (mis)formulations of neutrality and focus instead on building robust sovereignty based on firm capability and an embrace of connectivity.
Problem Statement: How could Ireland’s lack of defence capabilities be fostered to maintain genuine, meaningful security and connections with partners and neighbours?
So what?: Ireland should enhance its international security through the increased capability to detect, deter and — if need be — destroy those who would violate its sovereignty at home, and through enhanced connectivity with neighbours and partners abroad.
Today, Ireland is faced with the question of what its international security policy should look like; however, Ireland is not faced with the question of whether or not to join NATO. This understanding should be the foundation for all discussions on defence and security.
The comments made by an t'Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D Higgins in the Sunday Business Post on June 18, 2023, are unhelpful. As a poll in the Irish Times on June 17, 2023, shows, there is no appetite for NATO membership. However, the same poll shows that the people of Ireland understand that there is a paucity of defence capability, impacting Ireland’s overall security.
As a poll in the Irish Times on June 17, 2023, shows, there is no appetite for NATO membership. The same poll shows that the people of Ireland understand that there is a paucity of defence capability.
This lack of material capability in terms of defence resources, both material and human, undermines claims to sovereignty and to those of 'neutrality', for — and it is unpalatable to say — if one cannot impose its will on what belongs to it, then it is neither ‘neutral’ nor sovereign — it is vulnerable. To reinforce this point, except Malta, all other European ‘Neutrals’ maintain robust military capabilities based upon national service within reasonably well-equipped armed forces — some non-aligned, such as Sweden, take a whole-of-society approach based on the understanding that all citizens must play a part. Yet, despite the three-decade war in Northern Ireland and 800 years of colonial oppression, the Irish State has maintained a long history of undermanning and underfunding its defence establishment.
Thus, it must be asked: if the oft-quoted maxim that the first duty of government is the protection of its citizens holds true — has any Irish government truly fulfilled this obligation? At a cursory glance, the answer is no. Having chosen a nebulous condition of ‘neutrality’, the State has long abdicated its obligations to defend this choice.
Due to Ireland's semi-secluded location on the periphery of Europe, Irish international security policy should seek to cultivate connectivity with its partners and neighbours and protect this connectivity through robust capability. These steps are vital for Ireland, i.e., like it or not, the nation depends on the outside world for security and prosperity.
Since ‘neutrality’, in the very vague Irish sense, broadly relates to the military sphere, I will discuss the importance of maritime, air, and cyber domains as the loci of Irish national and, subsequently, international security — not to mention economic prosperity — and argue for an end to neutrality as perceived in the Irish context as well as the ‘Triple-Lock’.
The Maritime Domain
As an Island nation on the periphery of Western Europe, Ireland is presently fortunate to be situated far from openly hostile states. However, this is not set in stone, for it is, at the same time, the only European state to have been subject to colonial conquest.
Further, as the Battle of the Atlantic and Cold War attest, Ireland is well situated to protect the approaches to Europe, making it militarily valuable. These approaches are vital to trade and — should ever the need arise — a military reinforcement of Continental Europe.
As the Battle of the Atlantic and Cold War attest, Ireland is well situated to protect the approaches to Europe, making it militarily valuable.
Whilst Ireland is blessed with certain positive geographic attributes, a temperate climate, stable geology and so forth, it is not blessed with natural resources. Hence, if it wishes to remain a modern, prosperous, dynamic nation, it is dependent on international trade for a range of goods — notably energy, finished industrial goods and ores. Thus, Ireland must — lest it longs for a future of potato farming and poverty — always seek to maintain control of its sea lanes.
Ireland relies on its neighbours and trade partners to provide the goods and the means that allow the Irish people to experience pervasive economic prosperity and the inherent human security that comes from being a dynamic modern country. Therefore, the Irish State should seek to maintain communication with trade and political partners. Thankfully its largest trading partners are the EU and the U.K.; thus, the sea lanes in question are not global in scope.
Controlling one's seas should be considered an obvious goal for any state wishing to exercise its sovereignty. In its present state, Ireland does not come close in this regard, as the Naval Service has long been hamstrung by the size and capability of its assets compared to the area it must control.
Control of Irish seas theoretically enhances Irish security by denying malicious actors, both state and non-state, the opportunity to engage in actions that could be deleterious to Ireland and its partners. As Eupol notes in various SOCTA reports, Ireland is a vital drug smuggling route to Europe. Drugs, as anyone in any small town in Ireland knows, are a blight on society and often go hand-in-hand with social decay and personal insecurity, both of which are oft-overlooked aspects of national security.
At the state level, preventing state actors from engaging in activities in Irish waters without consent is a vital security issue, especially if Ireland wishes to continue its vague conceptualisations of 'neutrality'. Recently, it came to light that a U.S. naval vessel had been operating in Irish waters with its AIS turned off. Further, the publicly available information suggests that the D.F. was unaware of this and what the ship was doing.
Preventing state actors from engaging in activities in Irish waters without consent is a vital security issue, especially if Ireland wishes to continue its vague conceptualisations of 'neutrality'.
Whilst the U.S. is a friendly nation, its interests are not always Irish interests, and defence capability should render such seemingly covert operations in Irish waters either impossible or incredibly difficult, e.g., through thorough checks. Considering the U.S. is a partner to Ireland, one may wonder why Ireland may want the capability to interfere with U.S. ships. There are two answers to this: 1) sovereignty is sovereign, and capacity must be independent of partners and friends, and 2) U.S. interests are not Irish interests, and partnership in the realm of politics is fleeting.
This brings us neatly to states patently unfriendly to Ireland, such as Russia. Just prior to launching its brutal war of conquest on Ukraine that the Russian State — including its ambassador to Ireland — said it would not do, the Russian State humiliated the Irish State by conducting military manoeuvres in Irish waters. These manoeuvres were conducted provocatively at a time of great international tension and resulted in a ‘myth’ that the Irish Government was ‘saved’ by fishermen.
The ability to detect, deter, and — if necessary — destroy malicious actors is vital if Ireland wishes to have credibility in the international security sphere. This is especially the case when the likes of Dmitry Medvedev are calling for the destruction of sub-sea cables in Irish waters. These cables — the arterial veins of the modern economy — must be protected.
Why must undersea cables be protected? Simple, they are, in Rishi Sunak’s delightful turn of phrase, ‘indispensable and insecure’. In less poetic terms, they link Ireland to its partners and neighbours worldwide. With 99% of the world's data traffic travelling through undersea cables, it is clear that they empower Ireland's economy — and that of its partners and neighbours — with Meta estimating that just their cables alone add $2.78 billion to the Irish economy. In an E.U. context, Ireland is particularly vulnerable as there is no land-based alternative for data communications to cover the needs of the State if the cables were to be cut. Finally, undersea cables ensure the democratically vital free flow of information, which is crucial to maintaining the democratic way of life.
Ireland’s inability to control its seas imperils its economy, stability, and standing in the world. Ireland must do more if to be considered a serious nation in the global playing field. As the National Marine Planning Framework 2021 succinctly notes, “Ireland’s economy, culture, and society is inextricably linked to the sea. Thus, if the sea is inextricably linked to Ireland, it is obliged to defend this space.
The Air Domain
As an island nation, Ireland is also connected to a vast, globally diffuse diaspora, which greatly benefits the state financially and culturally. However, as an island nation, Ireland is somewhat remote; thus, the vast majority of people who visit Irish shores come by air. Would these people choose to visit if they knew they ran the risk of a mid-air collision with a foreign aircraft operating covertly in Irish airspace? Probably not. Whilst this might seem fanciful, the current state of the Irish Air Corps makes this a distinct possibility. The Air Corps, by lack of integrated/layered air defence, long-range radar, or high-performance aircraft beyond a sole Learjet, cannot do anything to stop violations of Irish airspace, regardless of any desire to do so. Furthermore, the inability to detect, deter, or destroy unknown aircraft makes Ireland vulnerable as a drug supply route, as a vector for attack against its neighbours, or worse, vulnerable to an attack against itself.
The Air Corps, by lack of integrated/layered air defence, long-range radar, or high-performance aircraft beyond a sole Learjet, cannot do anything to stop violations of Irish airspace.
This latter point may seem absurd because there exists a pervasive belief amongst the Irish populace that the world loves Ireland — a reality that this is simply not true. Ireland’s friends often see it as a security freeloader and certain portions of the world as enablers of U.S. aggression. Thus, Ireland is not as loved as is believed. As is seen time and again, Ireland's interests are not necessarily the world's interests; whilst today an attack may seem improbable today, there is no preordained reason why this will remain the case.
Thus, it is patently absurd to think that Irish airspace is somehow pure, virginal, and untainted by foreign hands. Because, in fact, it has long been sullied by its own — frankly irresponsible — inability to enforce control. This is made blindingly evident by reliance — regardless of the Tanaiste’s recent protestations on the matter — on the ‘old enemy’ to protect Irish skies.
Furthermore, the fact that Ireland cannot have a frank and mature discussion about the Ireland/U.K. air defence agreement shows a lack of unreality in defence and security policy. Either Ireland is neutral, or it is not. If it must rely on its neighbours for protection, it is neither neutral nor sovereign.
The current state of Irish air defences is scandalous; despite its best efforts, the Air Corps is no more than a quango — it lacks even the most fundamental prerequisites for a modern military air component. Thus, the recent suggestion by the ComDF to rebrand the Air Corps as an Air Force makes little to no sense if there is no significant change in structure and capability.
For many years, this lack of capability could be explained away by budget constraints; however, for most of the past two-and-a-half decades, Ireland has been one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Today, Ireland has a GDP greater than Singapore. Yet, the Republic of Singapore’s Air Force (RSAF) operates 4 types of missile-based GBAD (ground-based air defence) to Irelands 1 — the short-range RBS 70 system used by the Army, not the Air Corps. The RSAF operates 4 types of air defence radar, to Ireland’s 1 (currently out of service); it also operates 100 fighter aircraft of the F-15 and F-16 types, compared to Ireland’s 0. Whilst one may argue Singapore and Ireland are incredibly different, both are wealthy island states with similar-size populations. If Singapore can afford to defend itself, despite having 1/5 less in GDP, then so could Ireland. If one wishes to look closer to home, Norway, another country with a similar population and GDP, can operate a medium size fleet of fast-air and high-end air defence (such as NASAMS), then so could Ireland.
Ireland has a GDP greater than Singapore. Yet, the Republic of Singapore’s Air Force (RSAF) operates 4 types of missile-based GBAD (ground-based air defence) to Irelands 1.
As unpalatable as it is, serious security capability must be demonstrable. This means being able to move fast and break things. Demonstrability is key, for it breeds credibility. For example, one can look at the early days of Russian involvement in Syria; Russian aircraft repeatedly violated Turkish airspace until Turkey took action and shot down a Russian aircraft violating its airspace. Whilst the immediate outcome was a diplomatic tussle, Russia stopped overflights. If Ireland wishes to prevent a violation by external actors, a robust demonstrable capability is a prerequisite.
Given the paltry resources of the Irish Air Corps, even more benign air capabilities such as air transport should be considered. In the past 18 months, DFAT, supported by DoD, has conducted two ECAT/NEO operations in Afghanistan and Sudan; in both cases, these operations were only successful because of the capabilities of partner countries. From an Irish perspective, long-range transport aviation would be a boon to Irish security policy as it would allow us to aid Irish people far from home and help neighbours in the way they have helped us in the recent past. What's more, long-range aviation could enable DFAT to directly bring urgent humanitarian aid to crisis-affected people around the world, thus enhancing Ireland's image and positivity towards the state.
The Cyber Domain
Again, as an island nation, Ireland relies on connections to the wider world, and the cyber domain is a great enabler of such connectivity. The cyber domain enables excellent connectivity with the diaspora, economic opportunity, and in many respects, deepens democracy. Nonetheless, like all forms of connectivity, it is also a vector for vulnerability. More than this, the need for prudence in the cyber domain is paramount in this Internet of Things (IoT) age and the digitalisation of a myriad of public services and utilities.
Ireland relies on connections to the wider world. The cyber domain enables excellent connectivity with the diaspora, economic opportunity, and in many respects, deepens democracy.
Ireland has long been a conduit for information flows into and out of Europe. With the growth of the so-called ‘Silicone Docks’, its importance as an information route has grown alongside its desirability as a vector for attack. This attractiveness is aided by large multinationals such as Google, Apple, and Meta (Facebook), which maintain large data centre European operations in Ireland.
To this end, Ireland should ensure robust cyber security built upon capability and collaboration. The 2021 cyber attack on the Health Service Executive is thought to have originated in Russia, where state-sponsored cybercrime is widespread and considered a threat to critical infrastructure around the world. This is not the only case where Russian hackers have cyberattacked in Ireland. With the prolonging of Russia’s war in Ukraine and the seeming descent of Russia into factionalism, this threat will likely grow more diffuse. And with the potential for conflict between China and Taiwan, there is a likelihood that Chinese activities will intensify.
In response, the Irish State should accept the cyber domain's transnational nature as demonstrated by choice of large MNCs to place their servers in Ireland; therefore, acting in isolation will always be a fool's errand. To reinforce this point, the National Cyber Security Strategy 2019-2024 notes that the “global nature of the internet has significant geopolitical implications also - infrastructure of any kind attached to the internet is vulnerable to threats from anywhere on the planet”.
Consequently, steps to connect and collaborate with external actors — for example, Ireland’s admission to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) — are welcome steps in the right direction and probably indicate how Ireland should approach its broader security challenges—connection and collaboration.
Unlocking the Triple-Lock
Today, ‘neutrality’ or, more specifically, ‘military neutrality’ is regarded as a key pillar of Irish international security policy. However, this policy, born of pseudo-political expedience during the Second World War, has morphed into a political Rorschach test where its meaning is largely left to the observer.
Legally and constitutionally, the idea of neutrality is baseless; neither “neutrality” nor “military neutrality” is mentioned in Bunreacht na hÉireann — nor, for that matter, is “alliance” political or otherwise. Whilst Art 29.4.9 states that the State will not join a common defence pursuant to Art.42 TFEU, it does not say the State cannot engage in defence agreements or alliances with other states, nor should Ireland remain aloof from the international fray. Furthermore, the constitution says, “Ireland affirms its devotion to the ideal of peace and friendly cooperation amongst nations founded on international justice and morality” [Emphasis added]. Thus, it can be argued that when a state acts outside of international justice and morality or undermines the ideal of peace and friendly cooperation among nations, Ireland is constitutionally obliged to object to this behaviour and engage in activities to return the situation to peace and cooperation amongst nations. Otherwise, this constitutional affirmation is just wind.
Legally and constitutionally, the idea of neutrality is baseless; neither “neutrality” nor “military neutrality” is mentioned in Bunreacht na hÉireann.
In terms of exercising the ability to maintain peace and cooperation, Ireland has long maintained a sterling record of peacekeeping worldwide. However, in this field, it has been long overlooked that most Irish peacekeeping missions are undertaken with the consent of a host country. This has led to Irish troops being present in areas of great danger at the discretion of dictators. One can see this firmly in UNEF I in Egypt and in EUFOR TCHAD/MINURCAT; in both cases, the missions were ended at the discretion of the president of each state: Gamel Nassar and Idriss Deby.
The fact that Ireland put troops in harm's way at the behest of dictators is often overlooked, just as is the mechanism that makes this possible: The “Triple-lock.” This legal mechanism limits Ireland's ability to send troops overseas without a UN Security Council resolution or UN General Assembly resolution, a formal decision by the Irish Government, and approval by a resolution of Dáil Éireann. Whilst points two and three here are totally acceptable, point one, the need for a UN Resolution or, as defined in the legislation, “an international force or body established by the Security Council or the General Assembly of the United Nations”, is utterly bizarre. This stipulation has handed Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Emmanual Macron, Joe Biden, and — for 49 days — Liz Truss a veto on where Ireland can send her troops by virtue of the P5’s ability to veto any proposed UN Resolution. This is not neutrality, this is not sovereignty, this is subservience.
This stipulation has handed Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Emmanual Macron, Joe Biden, and — for 49 days — Liz Truss a veto on where Ireland can send her troops by virtue of the P5’s ability to veto any proposed UN Resolution. This is not neutrality, this is not sovereignty, this is subservience.
As a supposedly wealthy, mature, developed country with claims to global leadership, Ireland has abdicated its responsibility for self-defence to an alliance that is profoundly unpopular and deeply despised amongst large swaths of the populace. This is peculiar, given the current security debate has devolved into a false binary of NATO or neutrality. NATO, Ireland's bête noire, produces by way of its existence a very safe and secure climate that allows Ireland to abdicate its responsibilities.
Ireland’s international security policy needs to ensure that the State can stand on its own proverbial two feet, and become a net contributor to the security of Europe, the very security that has allowed it to prosper. Ireland can do this; it does not need to be in NATO, or any other alliance to actively contribute to peace and security in its neighbourhood — it simply has to act.
Transforming Defence Capabilities
Ireland's international security policy should serve as a conduit for connectivity with partners and neighbours to ensure the economic, cultural, and social linkages that make Ireland the country it is today. It should be based on the understanding that the world is a relentlessly ruthless place whereby the Island nation is blessed by virtue of physical geography and tolerant neighbours. Still, one cannot always take geography or regional amity for granted.
To this end, Ireland’s security policy should seek to protect and promote its way of life and that of its neighbours by enhancing its security in the realms of air/sea/cyber. To achieve this, there first needs to be a radical rethink of the Defence Forces. The current model, where the Army takes up 79% of the human capital whilst the air and sea domains are left with the remainder, is unrealistic. A more balanced force with greater proportional scope for the Naval Service and the Air Corps should be accomplished.
Secondly, the Air Corps and Naval Service must be able to take action, not just observe. As noted, if Ireland wishes to be neutral in a real sense and follow its own path, it must possess the means to push back against those who would rather it follow another path. Detection, deterrence, and destruction must be the watchwords of security in the air, sea, and cyber domains — these will ensure sovereignty and neutrality.
The Air Corps and Naval Service must be able to take action, not just observe. If Ireland wishes to be neutral and follow its own path, it must possess the means to push back against those who would rather it follow another path.
Thirdly, the historical focus on green-role warfare should be reassessed. As noted above, cyber vulnerability and attacks on critical infrastructure will likely increase in the future. To counter this, the Defence Forces should consider forming a fully-fledged cyber command to increase and enhance cybersecurity and cyber defence capabilities. Within the current established strength, there is a scope for the creative use of personnel. For example, the State has only used artillery in anger twice in its history — once during the Civil War, to destroy the Four Courts, and then in the Congo. In both cases, the use of artillery was either by infantry operating in an artillery role or artillerymen operating infantry weapons (heavy mortars); thus, it would make sense to transition this Corps of the Army from its current focus to a focus on cyber capability. This could be done in such a way that existing personnel can be kept for cyber/administrative roles where the personnel match the need, with the remainder being used to plug existing gaps in units elsewhere in the D.F. and at the same time, the D.F. could begin focussed recruitment of I.T. specialists for the specialised roles.
Any such cyber-command should be conceived with inter-agency (An Garda Siochana, NCSC) and international (EUPOL/INTERPOL/NATO CCDCOE/ENISA) cooperation as a default setting. This will ensure maximum capability and connectivity and— as one would hope—avoid siloing, which is common among diverse agencies.
As noted above, the Irish contextualisation of neutrality is an affront to the concept of sovereignty. Today, Ireland is one of the world's wealthiest, most stable, and most respected (though not to the degree the Irish people like to think) countries. Yet, simultaneously, Ireland abdicates its responsibility to the world by relying on partners and neighbours to protect it, all without offering anything but scorn for hard power in return — making it a lousy neighbour. Further, Ireland allows murderous regimes to violate a central tenet of the world order, which its constitution claims as its ideal. Moreover, it allows these regimes a say in how Ireland enacts its security policies in pursuance of its affirmed ideals.
Thus, it is recommended that Ireland eschew the historical policy of neutrality in favour of a policy of sovereignty, whereby the choice of the time and place of actions is based upon actual capability and responsible interaction and cooperation with partners and neighbours.
It is recommended that Ireland eschew the historical policy of neutrality in favour of a policy of sovereignty.
It is high time Ireland stopped telling the world it is a great country and started showing it. Ireland can do this by taking a hard look at hard power, and investing in the capabilities that allow it to stand on its own two feet—as any serious country should. Finally, as the question at hand is not one of NATO or neutrality, both can be eschewed in place of fostering and maintaining genuine, meaningful connections with partners and neighbours. These steps will ultimately enhance Irish sovereignty and security.
Dermot Nolan served 12 years in the Army Reserve in Ireland, where he served in the Artillery Corps. He holds a Master's in Military History and Strategic Studies from the National University of Ireland at Maynooth. In addition, he has a master's degree in International Relations and International Security from the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in the Netherlands. His key interests are modern land war, airpower, and nuclear deterrence. His work has been published in European Security and by Finabel-The European Army Interoperability Centre. The views contained in this article are the author's alone.
 Barry J Whyte, “Michael D Higgins exclusive: Ireland is ‘playing with fire’ in ‘dangerous drift’ towards Nato,” Business Post, June 17, 2023, https://www.businesspost.ie/news/michael-d-higgins-exclusive-ireland-is-playing-with-fire-in-dangerous-drift-towards-nato/.
 “Total Defence Service,|” krisinformation, April 20, 2022, https://www.krisinformation.se/en/hazards-and-risks/hojd-beredskap-och-krig/total-defence-service.
 Theo Farrell, “The Model Army”: Military Imitation and The Enfeeblement of the Army in Post-Revolutionary Ireland, 1922-42, Irish Studies in International Affairs, Vol. 8 (1997), 111-127.
 Project Ireland 2040, National Marine Planning Framework, Government of Ireland (Wexford 2021), https://www.gov.ie/pdf/?file=https://assets.gov.ie/139100/f0984c45-5d63-4378-ab65-d7e8c3c34016.pdf#page=null.
 The Irish Naval Service fleet currently comprises of 6 OPVs ranging from 1500-2250 tonnes, and will be soon ‘augmented’ by two inshore patrol vessels of 340 tonnes. This fleet is expected to maintain sovereignty over 800,000km2 of waters. None of these ships are capable of long-range ISR or fires due to lack of long-range sensors and weapons systems. “The Irish Naval Service fleet today,” Naval Analyses, https://www.navalanalyses.com/2017/06/the-irish-naval-service-fleet-today.html for Irelands waters see https://www.marine.ie/site-area/news-events/news/map-ireland-bigger-you-think#:~:text=Few%20people%20realise%20that%20when,of%20the%20island%20of%20Ireland.
 Conor Gallagher, “US naval ship activities in Irish waters cause concern for Defence Force officials” The Irish Times, June 02, 2023, https://www.irishtimes.com/ireland/2023/06/02/us-naval-ship-activities-in-irish-waters-cause-concern-for-defence-force-officials/.
 For a rather skewed libertarian view of this event, see Elisabeth Braw, “How Irish Fishermen Took on the Russian Fleet and Won,” Defence One, January 31, 2022, https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2022/01/how-irish-fishermen-took-russian-fleet-and-won/361377/.
 Rishi Sunak, “Undersea Cables Indispensable, Insecure,” Policy Policy Exchange, (London, 2017), https://policyexchange.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Undersea-Cables.pdf. For more on an Irish perspective, see Alice Whitaker, “Connected Ireland: How subsea fibre optic cables help to drive our social, economic and industrial development,” Engineers Ireland, 2020, https://www.engineersireland.ie/Engineers-Journal/More/Sponsored/connected-ireland-how-subsea-fibre-optic-cables-help-to-drive-our-social-economic-and-industrial-development.
 Rober Pepper and Bravishma Narayan, “Meta’s subsea cable investments expected to contribute over half a trillion dollars to Asia-Pacific and European economies by 2025” Tech at Meta, February 27, 2022, https://tech.facebook.com/engineering/2022/2/economic-impact-subsea-cables/.
 Christian Beuger, Tobias Liebtrau, Jonas Franken, “Security threats to undersea communications cables and infrastructure–consequences for the EU,” Directorate General for External Policies of the Union, 36, June 2022. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/IDAN/2022/702557/EXPO_IDA(2022)702557_EN.pdf.
 Project Ireland 2040, National Marine Planning Framework, Government of Ireland (Wexford 2021), 8, https://www.gov.ie/pdf/?file=https://assets.gov.ie/139100/f0984c45-5d63-4378-ab65-d7e8c3c34016.pdf#page=null.
 “The Gathering Final Report,” Failte Ireland, (December, 2013), 51-53, https://www.failteireland.ie/FailteIreland/media/WebsiteStructure/Documents/eZine/TheGathering_FinalReport_JimMiley_December2013.pdf.
 Ray Murphy, “Why are Russian military aircraft flying in Irish controlled airspace?” RTE News, June 08, 2020, https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2020/0320/1123836-russian-military-aircraft-bombers-ireland/.
 Niall O'Connor and Tadgh McNally, “Tánaiste claims that Ireland 'does not rely' on a secret deal with RAF to police Irish skies” The Journal, May 08, 2023, https://www.thejournal.ie/secret-deal-raf-gary-gannon-micheal-martin-6063613-May2023/.
 “Radar obsolescence: RBS 70 unusable during Biden visit,” Alert 5, April 13, 2023, https://alert5.com/2023/04/13/radar-obsolescence-rbs-70-unusable-during-biden-visit/.
 Republic of Singapore Air Force, Assets, https://www.mindef.gov.sg/web/portal/rsaf/rsaf-forces/assets.
 The World Bank indicates that Singapore has a GDP of $396Billion to Irelands $504 Billion. See https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD?locations=SG and https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD?locations=IE, respectively.
 Kareem Shaheen, “Nato condemns Russia over violations of Turkey's airspace,” The Guardian, October 06, 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/05/turkey-says-russian-warplane-violated-airspace.
 Adrian Weckler, “Ireland a soft touch for cyber attacks, say tech leaders,” Irish Independent, September 30, 2021, https://www.independent.ie/business/technology/ireland-a-soft-touch-for-cyber-attacks-say-tech-leaders/40902309.html.
 “What makes Ireland the ultimate data centre capital of Europe?” Silicone Republic, March 27, 2016, https://www.siliconrepublic.com/enterprise/data-centre-network-ireland see also,
Ian Shearer, “What now for data centres in Ireland?” Silicone Republic, October, 28 2023, https://www.siliconrepublic.com/enterprise/data-centres-ireland-energy-sustainability.
 “Russian State-Sponsored and Criminal Cyber Threats to Critical Infrastructure,” Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, May 09, 2022, https://www.cisa.gov/news-events/cybersecurity-advisories/aa22-110a.
 Niamh Horan and Maeve Sheehan, “Russian hackers breach Irish regulator’s defences to steal confidential data,” Irish Independent, Jun 08, 2023. https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crime/russian-hackers-breach-irish-regulators-defences-to-steal-confidential-data/a88802221.html.
 Government of Ireland, “National Cyber Security Strategy 2019-2024” (Dublin 2019), 8. https://www.ncsc.gov.ie/pdfs/National_Cyber_Security_Strategy.pdf.
 Art 29.4.9, Constitution of Ireland, Government Publications Office, 116. https://www.irishstatutebook.ie/pdf/en.cons.pdf.
 Ibid., Art 29.1, 108.
 “Principles of Peacekeeping,” United Nations Peacekeeping, https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/principles-of-peacekeeping.
 For a history of UNEF I, see https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/mission/past/unef1mandate.html for EUFOR TCAHAD/MINURCAT https://www.military.ie/en/overseas-deployments/past-missions/.
 See Defence (Amendment) (No. 2) ACT, 1960, Articles 1-3. http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1960/en/act/pub/0044/print.html.
 Ibid., Article 1.
 Micheal Martin, Written Answer to Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - January 31, 2023, Questions (402, 403), https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2023-01-31/402/?highlight%5B0%5D=defence&highlight%5B1%5D=strength&highlight%5B2%5D=defence&highlight%5B3%5D=forces#pq-answers-402_403.