Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Oifig Na Aire Gnóthaí Eachtracha

As can be gathered from my Blog on 'Some Mother’s Son', (Below), I have been on vacation for the past several weeks and had taken time off from Blogging.

I promised in that article I would publish any reply from the Irish government on the issue of uniformed US troops on Irish soil. Here is the statement I received from the Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Unfortunately, the issues that I wished to highlight in the article, Ireland’s neutrality, and public safety, was sidetracked by the coverage given to the event by the British gutter press, when the story on my Blog was picked up by the local Clare Herald, and subsequently hit the wire services.

Headlines included; 'Party Troopers, Clare & present anger over US invasion of the wedding crashers'; (The Sun) Fury Over U.S. Troops 'Invading’ Wedding; (The Star) 'Troops who crashed wedding criticised'. (The Irish Times)

© Joe ONeill 2009
A wedding Party to Remember

A day later, the Irish freelance journalist responsible for the phoney controversy and sensationalism in British newspapers was to retract his earlier versions of the story in the Irish Independent newspaper with the headline, 'US soldiers did not gatecrash wedding'.

The question of US soldiers in uniform in Ireland and the safety of Irish civilians who happen to be in proximity to them should be of concern, and the government have a duty to ensure that all necessary precautions to protect the public are in place as we fufil our obligations under neutrality laws. Those opposed to the government’s interpetation of the law are also entitled to their opinions. These differences of opinion can best be dealt with by legimitate public protests, in the courts, or at the ballot box.

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