Almost half support Ireland joining European army – but less want to drop neutrality

ireland
Almost Half Support Ireland Joining European Army – But Less Want To Drop Neutrality Almost Half Support Ireland Joining European Army – But Less Want To Drop Neutrality
Just 30 per cent of those polled by Red C for the Business Post want Ireland to drop its policy of neutrality. Photo: PA
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Almost half of the public support Ireland joining a potential future European army and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) – but less want to drop the country’s policy of military neutrality.

Just 30 per cent of those polled by Red C for the Business Post want Ireland to drop its policy of neutrality, while 57 per cent want it retained.

However, 46 per cent of people surveyed said they would vote in favour of Irish troops serving in a potential future European army – which would mean a shift away from military neutrality.

A referendum would need to take place for this to happen, as Ireland is currently banned from joining any common EU defence arrangement under Article 29.4.9 of the constitution.

The poll also found 48 per cent of people believe Ireland should join Nato to boost its security, despite this again signaling a move away from military neutrality.

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The majority were open to examining the State’s policy of neutrality, with 68 per cent of people polled saying they agreed with Taoiseach Micheál Martin's suggestion of setting up a Citizens’ Assembly to examine the issue.

War in Ukraine

When it comes to the war in Ukraine, almost half of voters (48 per cent) were opposed to sending anti-tank weapons to the country, in line with the Irish Government’s stance, while 38 per cent were in favour.

More than half (55 per cent) were in favour of expelling the Russian ambassador to Ireland in protest at the war, while 31 per cent said they were opposed to doing this.

Sinn Féin supporters were most in favour of expelling the ambassador (66 per cent), followed by Green Party supporters (60 per cent), Independent supporters (55 per cent) and Fianna Fáil supporters (52 per cent).

Irish voters are also in favour of boosting spending on defence, which is currently the lowest in the EU, with around 59 per cent saying they would support proposals to significantly increase the annual defence budget of €1.1 billion.

Red C interviewed a random sample of 1,001 adults aged 18 or older online between Friday, March 18th and Wednesday, March 23rd 2022.

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