Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: The lack of concern shown by the #EU for the people of #Venezuela has been shocking and says much about their so called 'E…
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: #EU says they're interested in Dialogue - So why don't they talk to #Syria ..? They say they're interested in Rule of Law…
Mick Wallace An Atalanta win over Real Madrid would be seriously good for football... https://t.co/hUfOdNomaO
Mick Wallace Banning accounts for 'Undermining Confidence in #NATO' ..? Given that NATO is an entity that is designed to promote… https://t.co/sgeQPU3LcG

Defence

Ennis District Court today with Judge Patrick Durcan was an educational experience. Most cases before the Court seem the result of the State's failure to provide facilities to deal with challenges of individuals. Judge Durcan/Ennis District Court left to try deal with problems arising from the State's failure to deal with problems at source...

Good heartiness is a result of proper nutrition and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are different. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the perfect treatment variation for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to mind about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile dysfunction, including many blood pressure medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may include erectile disfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

MaliOn Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 Mick asked the Minister for Defence if a decision has been taken on the participation of Irish Defence Forces personnel in the UN peacekeeping mission to Mali approved by the Security Council on 25 April 2013; if he will report on the Irish troops currently participating in the EUTM Mali; and if he will make a statement on the matter. The full transcript of the debate is below or you can watch the footage here.

Alan Shatter:

On 25 April 2013, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2100 establishing a peacekeeping force in the west African nation of Mali. Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council established the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, to be known as MINUSMA, for an initial period of 12 months. The new mission will replace the African-led International Support Mission in Mali, AFISMA. On 1 July 2013, African personnel currently deployed to AFISMA will be basically rehatted to MINUSMA. The UN has initiated a force generation process for MINUSMA with a view to deploying, as soon as possible, an advance headquarters team to work alongside AFISMA force headquarters until the transfer of authority on 1 July next.

No formal request has been received from the UN for Defence Forces participation in this mission. However, the UN has advised the European Union and other potential troop contributors of current shortfalls in key enabling factors, including transport, logistics, engineering and medical. The potential for the Defence Forces to contribute is currently under consideration by the defence organisation. No decision has been made at this stage as to whether Ireland will participate.

Regarding the EU Training Mission Mali, EUTM Mali, 22 member states, including Ireland, are contributing more than 500 troops, including 250 instructors and additional military personnel. The purpose of the mission is to provide military training and advice to the Malian armed forces in order to improve their capacity to maintain security and restore the authority of the Malian Government and the territorial integrity of the Malian State.

Eight members of our Defence Forces were deployed to EUTM Mali on 23 March 2013 for a tour of duty of approximately five months. Of these, one lieutenant colonel is the camp commandant of the Koulikoro training camp, while one commandant is employed in the mission headquarters in Bamako. The remaining six form part of a UK-led infantry training team which is based in Koulikoro training camp and is training Malian armed forces personnel. This element consists of a junior officer and five non-commissioned officers. Training for the first group of 650 Malian armed forces personnel commenced on 2 April 2013 and is progressing well. The Defence Forces training team will train two platoons of Malian armed forces personnel during their tour of duty. The training teams are due to rotate in early September 2013.

Mick Wallace:

As we know, military intervention rarely comes without a price. Too often, we have seen the so-called war on terror become the reason for intervention and this is, seemingly, part of the French argument for moving into Mali. I do not know whether the Minister has noticed, but in the past few weeks international agencies have been warning that northern Mali is about to descend to an emergency level of food insecurity and that if conditions do not improve, we are looking at a disastrous situation. Already, more than 250,000 people have been displaced and the number of refugees is growing. The agencies have been at pains to point out that one in every five households now faces food shortages, categorised as severe in northern Mali and as extreme in the Kidal region.

All of this is happening against a backdrop of a chronic nutritional crisis that kills children every day, the majority of them in the south of the country, where 90% of Malians live. The UNICEF Mali representative, Hector Calderon, has estimated that 210,000 will suffer from life-threatening malnutrition this year and 450,000 will suffer a less severe, but debilitating, form of malnutrition.

Michael Kitt:

I must call on the Minister to respond.

Mick Wallace:

Does the Minister not think the energies of the foreign powers should be more directed towards community projects and towards sorting out issues on the ground rather than the military direction of the French effort?

Alan Shatter:

I wish I lived in the simplistic world the Deputy inhabits in dealing with these issues. Of course, it is important there are not food difficulties and that those that exist are addressed. It is also important that children in difficulty have their problems addressed. UNICEF is part of the same organisation involved, the United Nations. As the Deputy may be aware, the problems - despite the way some people in this State like to paint them - that arose in Mali do not derive from the intervention of the French or the assistance European Union countries or other African countries are trying to provide. They derive from the difficulties and collapse that took place in Mali, both the collapse in takeover of the Government of Mali and, forces, particularly fundamentalist groups, who took over northern Mali.

The Deputy may be interested to know that a report by the UN human rights office in February 2013 on the crisis in Mali revealed serious human rights violations since the beginning of the conflict in January 2012. The report highlights issues which must be addressed in response to the current crisis in Mali if lasting peace and stability is to be achieved, including the serious underlying and neglected ethnic tensions in the country. The report provides a very balanced picture, showing there have been abuses by both the Malian authorities and by the militants in the north. The three main regions of northern Mali, Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu, had been controlled by four rebel groups before the French and African military intervention. The separatist National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, MNLA, and the extremist movements, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, AQIM, Ansar Dine and Movement for Unity and Jihad were all engaged.

It is important to bring to the Deputy's attention that Ministers in the north were responsible for serious violations, including summary executions, extra-judicial killings and many abuses were carried out in the name of an extreme interpretation of Sharia law. Women, in particular, endured harassment, abuse, sexual violence, rape and reviews by al-Qaeda and other Islamic groups in the north as a form of ethnic intimidation and repression. The recruitment of child soldiers, sometimes as young as ten, by extremist groups is also documented.

Michael Kitt:

The Minister should conclude.

Alan Shatter:

Is the Deputy seriously saying that all of that should have been ignored or should continue to be ignored and that those groups should have been allowed to take over the entire Malian State and perpetrate murder, persecution and rape throughout that state? It was the intervention of the French and African forces that stopped that.

Finian McGrath:

The Minister supports dictatorship.

Alan Shatter:

What is being done now, which is important, is that the EUTM group is not merely providing military training, but is providing training in human rights issues, in conflict resolution and in civilian protection issues. This is an important element of what needs to be done to facilitate the Malian State's return to some level of normality when the promised elections are held next July.

Mick Wallace:

I have no intention of defending what was going on there. However, the same argument was made for the invasion of Afghanistan. Terrible things were happening in Afghanistan, but after ten years, the situation there has got worse.

It is all very well to say terrible things are happening and to decide to go in and sort them out. Very often, we do not go in for the right reasons. I would like the Minister to give me a litany of places that have actually been improved as a result of intervention. In the past ten years there have been disastrous interventions in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Yemen.

Alan Shatter :

First, there are still difficulties in Afghanistan. The Deputy is wrong about the situation in Afghanistan because there are substantial improvements in that country compared to ten years ago. However, the Deputy chooses to ignore them.

Mick Wallace:

I am not ignoring them.

Finian McGrath:

Question No. 76 in my name relates to the situation in Afghanistan.

Alan Shatter:

Is the Deputy suggesting that where there is murder, mutilation and rape

Mick Wallace:

We know all that.

Alan Shatter:

and where women are being violated and limbs are being cut off, the world should turn its back and do nothing.

Mick Wallace:

No.

Alan Shatter:

Is that what the Deputy is suggesting?

Finian McGrath:

That is not what he said.

Alan Shatter:

I do not agree with that point of view.

Mick Wallace:

I would prefer to see the Africans solve problems in Africa.

 

Good health is a result of proper nutrition and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are different. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the unimprovable treatment variation for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to remember about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile dysfunction, including many blood pressure medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may switch on erectile dysfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

dfAt present there are 526 Irish soldiers serving in 11 different countries around the world. Seven of these soldiers are currently based in Afghanistan where violence has flared over the past number of weeks with stories surfacing of American and British soldiers abusing Afghani civilians. Is there a need for our soldiers to be based in countries like Afghanistan? Mick addressed this issue in the Dáil on March 14th as part of parliamentary questions put to Minister O'Dowd. You can read the exchange below or alternatively watch it here.

Mick Wallace To ask the Minister for Defence when Irish defence forces personnel will be withdrawn from Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. Fergus O'Dowd I have a good briefing on this one. The Defence Forces are primarily deployed on overseas missions in support of international peace and security under UN mandates. On 20 December 2001, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1386 under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, authorising the establishment of an International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Ireland has participated in the NATO-led UN-mandated mission since 5 July 2002, following the Government decision of 2 July 2002, authorising the provision of seven members of the Permanent Defence Force for service. With the increasing use of more robust Chapter VII missions, the UN has turned to regional organisations such as the European Union, the African Union and NATO, to launch and manage operations on its behalf and under its authority. Since 2002, the Government has reviewed and approved, on an annual basis, the continued participation by seven members of the Permanent Defence Force in ISAF. On 28 June 2011, the Government agreed to continue to provide seven members of the Permanent Defence Force for service with ISAF for a further period from July 2011, subject to ongoing review by the Minister for Defence. Currently there are no plans to withdraw the Defence Forces personnel from the mission. Participation in the mission is subject to ongoing review by the Minister for Defence. Throughout the years, Ireland has and continues to contribute highly qualified Defence Forces personnel to UN-mandated missions in small numbers or for short durations. This is a tangible and visible expression of Ireland’s continued support for organisations such as the United Nations. The seven Defence Forces personnel currently participating in ISAF are all located in ISAF headquarters in Kabul and work in staff appointments in planning and administrative roles. The Minister for Defence is satisfied that the work carried out by these personnel, particularly by those in the counter-improvised explosive device cell, represents an important contribution to this UN-mandated mission. Mick Wallace Most people would agree that the war in Afghanistan is one of the madder ones in which anyone has got involved. After 11 September 2001, the Americans were looking for someone to bash and even though no one from Afghanistan was involved in the bombing of New York, they decided to pick on Afghanistan, leading to tens of thousands killed, millions displaced, society destroyed, billions of dollars worth of destruction and the entire region destabilised. It has been one of the most historic tragedies in the past 100 years and Ireland should not be associated with it. The latest atrocity involved a US soldier who was said not to be well when he went out and killed 16 civilians. Of course he was not well, but nor were the people who went to war in the first place. Does the Minister of State not believe the lives of the Irish people there are more at risk now given that the situation is becoming even more unstable? The level of civilian deaths is at its highest since the war began ten years ago. Fergus O'Dowd The key point is what I said at the beginning. I appreciate the Deputy’s comments and I support his point about any civilians being killed in a tragic and appalling manner as happened with that one soldier doing what he did. The photographs of the child victims of that extreme and appalling action are shocking as are the deaths of all civilians. The key point is that we are there supporting a unanimous UN Security Council decision. We are not there as combatants but as part of a United Nations force. The actions of our seven soldiers there are mainly in support but also getting and giving great experience in improvised explosive devices. When a UN decision is made to withdraw the force, we will withdraw our troops at that time. Mick Wallace Having a UN mandate does not change the fact that it is completely immoral and is an absolute disaster - it does not make any sense. At the moment the British and Americans are clamouring to get out of the place, which is more unstable than ever. World security has reduced because of the experience in Afghanistan and nothing has been gained. The Taliban is stronger now than it was ten years ago and even the dogs in the street know it will take over the country once the others move out. The Government keeps reminding us that we have no money. Since the Government came to power in March 2011, what has been the cost to the State of keeping those people in Afghanistan in the most ludicrous war we can remember? Fergus O'Dowd We have seven personnel there as part of a UN-mandated force. The Deputy spoke about the Taliban and the situation in Afghanistan. The Taliban have been involved in abuses of human rights in denying women the right to be educated and people to enjoy a normal life. The Irish personnel there are rotated every six months. We are part of a group of other neutral and non-aligned countries, including Austria, Finland and Sweden. I believe the annual cost is approximately €300,000. I can confirm that to the Deputy later. Later that day Mick asked the Minister about the situation in Afghanistan again. You can watch it here or read Mick's contribution below. With regard to personnel serving abroad, I would like to put a question the Minister of State which he may have forgotten to answer previously. Is the Government concerned about the safety of Irish personnel in Afghanistan, particularly given the current climate there? Aside from the 16 civilians, including nine children, killed this week, last month US troops were caught burning copies of the Koran. US marines have also been found to have been urinating on Afghani corpses and last year members of a US unit were convicted of killing Afghani civilians for entertainment. At present, British soldiers are on trial for filming their abuse of Afghani children. Also, US Wikileaks files record 21 separate incidents of British troops shooting dead or bombing Afghani civilians. The climate is getting terrible. If my son was over there I would be very worried about him.

Good health is a result of proper supply and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are different. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the unimprovable treatment option for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to mind about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile dysfunction, including many blood stress medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may include erectile dysfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

Earlier this week, Mick questioned Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore on the use of Shannon airport by US forces as a stopover point for extraordinary rendition; he asked if the Tánaiste accepted the evidence presented by Amnesty International and others in relation to this matter and called on the government to initiate an enquiry into the State’s participation in this illegal activity. See below for the transcript or watch the exchange in full by clicking here. The debate was also featured on RTE's Oireachtas Report which you can watch here (15 minutes in).

Eamon Gilmore: The programme for Government states that “we will enforce the prohibition on the use of Irish airspace, airports and related facilities for purposes not in line with international law”. I have placed on record on numerous occasions my abhorrence at the illegal activity known as extraordinary rendition. There is no evidence that Shannon or any other Irish airport has ever been used for this purpose. There is no basis whatsoever for the Deputy’s suggestion that the State has participated in this illegal activity. Under our legislation, no transfer of prisoners may take place without the permission of the Irish authorities. Furthermore, the United States has provided assurances at the highest level that it would not transport prisoners through Irish airspace without seeking our permission. I assure the Deputy that no permission has been sought or granted in respect of any case of extraordinary rendition and, equally, that such permission would never be granted.

We understand that a small number of commercially leased aircraft which have been involved in legitimate commercial activities have also been involved, at various times, in activities relating to extraordinary renditions. However, there is no evidence to suggest that they were carrying prisoners at any time when they transited through Irish airports. Should the Deputy or any other person be in possession of evidence which suggests that Irish airports have been used for the purpose of extraordinary rendition, I would urge them to bring this to the attention of the Garda Síochána.

Mick Wallace: I remind the Tánaiste that in June 2006 he said that the European Court of Human Rights, the United Nations Committee Against Torture and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had all indicated that:

[I]t is insufficient to accept the diplomatic assurances of another state that nothing illegal was happening on planes being used and chartered by the CIA, which are going through Irish airports. There is a positive obligation on the State to investigate, inspect, send gardaí on board, and establish independently that the law of this country, international law and the Convention on Human Rights are being upheld, and that nobody is being transported through an Irish airport or through Irish airspace to undergo [torture].

Does the Minister still not think it would be a good idea for us to check the planes? When he was in opposition he was not as convinced that everything was above board. If there was even a 1% suspicion that people were bringing drugs into the country we would be keen to inspect the planes, and we would be right to do so. We should also inspect these.

Eamon Gilmore: We have a procedure in place. It is not just a question of accepting assurances. There is a procedure in place whereby if prisoners are to be transported through any of our airports, the permission of the Irish Government must be sought and obtained. No such permission has been sought or granted and I have made it absolutely clear that under no circumstances will we grant permission for the transport of prisoners who are subject to extraordinary rendition. 

Mick Wallace: The chances of the Americans asking us for permission to bring through prisoners who they will torture are pretty slim. We have seen what has gone on Guantanamo Bay where only a handful of people have been convicted despite the numbers held in custody. I draw the Minister’s attention to a comment by President Michael D. Higgins in December 2010, only 14 months ago. He stated:

The disclosure that the then Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, was ‘quite convinced’ that Shannon Airport had been used on at least three occasions by aircraft involved in extraordinary rendition of prisoners strongly reinforces the case for a change in the law to ensure that Irish airports are not used in this way and that any such aircraft are subject to proper inspection by the Irish authorities.

On the previous occasions Tánaiste Gilmore told me that the law is very robust in respect of control of airspace. Why did President Higgins%2 aircraft involved in extraordinary rendition of prisoners strongly reinforces the case for a change in the law to ensure that Irish airports are not used in this way and that any such aircraft are subject to proper inspection by the Irish authorities.

On the previous occasions Tánaiste Gilmore told me that the law is very robust in respect of control of airspace. Why did President Higgins, when he was a Labour Party Deputy, propose legislation to close the loopholes in Irish legislation to ensure rendition flights could no longer be possible if the Labour Party now believes everything is grand?

Eamon Gilmore: Rendition flights are not possible. They are illegal. The use of our airports for rendition purposes would be illegal. If any country wants to transport prisoners through our airports, they must seek permission from the State. As I stated, no such permission has been sought or granted and no such permission will be granted in the case of possible rendition.

Mick Wallace: Why did President Higgins suggest it when he was a Deputy? The Minister did not answer my question.

 <

Good health is a result of proper food and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are different. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the unimprovable treatment option for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to mind about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile disfunction, including many blood tension medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may include erectile disfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

namaleaks

THE TRUTH IS COMING....

Namaleaks is a project that seeks to uncover possible injustice and poor practice related to NAMA (National Asset Management Agency) and financial institutions in Ireland.

VISIT THE WEBSITE

Back to Top