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Senator seeks court order to reveal any secret RAF protection deal



  • Registered Users Posts: 19,495 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha

    And there within lies the problem if a British PM were to give an order to the RAF that resulted in civilian deaths on the ground in Ireland. This outsourcing of our air defence to the RAF hasnt been fully thought through by whatever senior civil servants came up with it. It assumes the RAF are infallible and will keep us safe, that might look good on paper in a folder in the Dept of Foreign Affairs but in practice all bets are off the table.

    The RAFs first priority is preventing the UK from getting attacked, not Ireland. If there was a hijacked plane in Irish airspace heading towards Northern Ireland I dont think they are going to be waiting for it to cross the border to shoot it down and then cause deaths in Northern Ireland, it would be done over the Republic. Similarly Dublin to Wales is only 80kms which is nothing given a 737 can travel at 900kmph, at those speeds it is under 10 minutes flying time to cross the Irish sea. Its a big assumption to believe the RAF would put the UK in even more danger by allowing a hijacked plane to get that close to their land and only then try to shoot it down, with just minutes to do it. Because if that went wrong and there were civilian deaths in Wales the entire British public would be calling blue murder as to why the RAF didnt protect them and shoot it down on sight over Ireland.

    There is just so many conflicts of interest to this arrangement that in a worst case emergency scenario it will be more than likely us who are getting hit, not the UK. Ive no doubt some politcians here think they are really clever outsourcing Irish air defences to the RAF, they were probably back slapping themselves over it. But at the end of the day the only priority of the RAF is protecting the UK and it suits them down to the ground to have a buffer zone which includes us for any attack coming in from the Atlantic. Effectively Ireland is just a useful idiot in helping make the UK more secure from an attack whilst simultaneously making ourselves less safe.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,688 ✭✭✭✭jm08

    Hijacked planes are not an issue since 9/11. The problem is the Russians fly snooping flights in Irish airspace without telling Irish airtraffric control who they are and causing huge problems for all commericial flights using Irish airspace. From what I understand, the IAA contact the RAF to check out the airline. From what I recall, there was a bit of a to-do a while back about the RAF straying into Irish airspace without permission/request.

    As far as I know, the problem isn't having airforce jets, but a huge investment is needed in the air traffic control system which seems to be very antiquated.

  • If there is a serious threat to Northern Ireland that means a commercial air liner has to be shot down, then that is beyond any agreement that is in place.

    if that commercial plane was headed for Google’s head office and the Irish government wanted it shot down, then they would have to request that of the British government, who would then instruct the RAF.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,495 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha

    Whats your source for knowing what is in the details of this agreement?

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  • it’s logic really.

    the Irish government aren’t going to care if a plane flies into a building in NI and similarly the British government aren’t going to care if one flies into one in Dublin.

    the problem the Irish government has, is that it has no capability to intercept aircraft, so it would make sense to enter in to an agreement for the RAF to assist if requested.

  • Registered Users Posts: 765 ✭✭✭mazdamiatamx5

    It's been known about to anyone with a functioning brain, a bit of commonsense and who takes the virtual signalling 'holier than thou' 'we are neutral' Koolaid from the likes of our current and most previous presidents, the Irish Times and so on, with a soupcon of salt.

    Where Mr Craughwell has a legitimate point is in requesting that the arrangements be made formal and subjected to democratic oversight - he's right on this - but his dalliances with Qatar don't look good.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,184 ✭✭✭85603

    The nato/russia rivalry spills over into our airspace.

    Their nonsense, their job to clean it up.

    That their (russia/nato) geopolitical squabble happens to spill over into our airspace doesn't make it our job.

    Also they (Russia) weren't in our waters, they were in international waters which happen to be Irish eez for commercial exploitation, anyone can sail through those waters, and those waters are way way out from our coast. (~250km iirc). En route to France ... i.e. nato. Again.

    The day its established that these flights were not part of some Russia/Nato score settling, that the Russians were actually targeting Dublin all along is the day I'll say we owe even so much as a grudging 'thanks' to anyone.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,184 ✭✭✭85603

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,495 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha

    So you've no source and you basically just made that up. Might be your logic but it is perfectly possible for the governments to have an agreement not to shoot down an airliner over Ireland and then for the RAF to go and break it on the order of a British PM. As you said yourself they wont care less but the senior civil servants in the DoD and DFA might be relying on a piece of paper which is worthless in the event of an emergency. If they are then they have failed Ireland when it comes to national security.

    Agree with this, we should be looking after our own air defenses instead of relying on the RAF. Though I wouldnt blame the electorate when it is never an election issue to begin with. It is a perfectly reasonable position for a neutral country to protect its airspace from attack just as Finland does. What is needed (and has been missing) is leadership from the politicians themselves to get it done. If they are confusing neutrality with defending ourselves then more fool them, its not about neutrality at all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,688 ✭✭✭✭jm08

    If doing a risk assessment, it is highly unlikely that any terrorist would use a hijacked plane to crash into 4/5 floor Google HQ in Dublin. They might have a go at SIPTU HQ though since that is 17 floors!

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,906 ✭✭✭✭CJhaughey

    This is the same Senator who praised Qatar's human rights record correct?

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I wonder could they think of anywhere else with large numbers concentrated in a small area. Looking back, it would be obvious that with a few “friends” in low places that they could sail their vessel so that we all would have had the dance alright but be left with the pain.

  • Why would the governments have an agreement not to do something that neither government would particularly want to do anyway?

    for all we know, the agreement could be for the RAF to set up a candy floss stall at the Galway races, but I would suggest that is unlikely as well.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,184 ✭✭✭85603

    A plane could be hijacked and crashed into google hq in town so lets join nato. 😆

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I think the point of the Senator’s action is that if we are to have military defence alliances with a NATO member it is better that they are put before the Dáil first. For many on the left it would surely be tragic if we ended up being treated as a belligerent in a NATO conflict because of a secret unapproved deal.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,495 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha

    The whole point is that we dont know what is in this agreement with the UK govt. All we know is that the Irish govt. of the day outsourced the air defense of our country to the UK. In the event of an attack intended for the UK their national interest and our national interest do not fully align yet we are the ones who have handed them the keys to our airspace. Their Ministry of Defence is over the moon that we have given them a free buffer zone all the way from the Atlantic to the UK, it should be no wonder they want to do this as it makes the UK more safe while simultaneously making us less safe. It would be like Finland outsourcing their entire air defence to Russia, the Finns arent that stupid so they invested heavily in their own air defences.

    If the RAF need to shoot down a plane to protect the UK at the expense of Irish civilian deaths that is what they will do regardless of what document or agreement the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Dept of Defence have in their possession. They will not put UK lives at risk but will be perfectly happy to do so with Irish lives should a British PM give the order. You can see the aftermath of it already, "sorry about that Paddy old chum". If this happened and Irish people died there would be national uproar and rightfully so because it would have exposed the dereliction of duty of our govt. to protect the nation

    This has all come about becasue generations of politicians and senior civil servants were being cheapo Charlies and refused to do what every other nation state does and fund the defence of their country. Instead they are preferring to act like immature children and thinking themselves as clever by getting the RAF to do it. That kind of thinking has serious potential to blow up in their faces and would likely happen at the cost of Irish civilian lives.

    The politicians in this country need to grow up and take seriously any threats to national security. And to invest in our air defences like radar and anti aircraft batteries specifically on the west coast instead of outsourcing this responsibility to a foreign power who have different interests to us. This is what any mature nation state is doing.

    Yeah thats him. He is an absolute gowl but on this topic of Irelands national defence he is absolutely right to be asking questions

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,184 ✭✭✭85603

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,192 ✭✭✭zg3409

    Radar and air defences would be no use against a highly sophisticated enemy like Russia. Even attack aircraft would be easily overwhelmed by Russia probably destroyed on the ground before taking off.

    Realistically unless you can have air superiority you don't have a hope. Even NI does not have defences.

    The annual cost of such a set up would not be worth the cost. We had baby ships "at sea" with their engines turned off and anchored to save on fuel costs. Full crew.

    We need to risk assess the real danger and budget an appropriate response.

    The military is chronically underfunded but realistically if fully funded with air cover I would not feel much safer. We would need subs to counter russian subs.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Post of the day, the week, the decade in regard to the dereliction of duty by successive governments to the defence of the people of the state.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,495 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha

    I think what you're talking about is some sort of full scale invasion by Russia and yeah I would agree even with air defences it would be quickly overwhelmed. But Im not sure how sophisticated they are as an airforce, they havent been able to gain air superiority in Ukraine and have lost a lot of hardware out of the sky, over 200 helicopters at last count. Nonetheless Ukraine had a good starting point and had air defences in position, we are starting from the ground up with absolutely nothing.

    Im more so advocating for air defences as a deterrent to any actor deciding to incur on our air space which they can currently do without any consequences whatsoever. The reason it can be done is becasue it is known the air space isnt defended adequately which is basically a green light to them or others. If a nefarious actor knows there is a surface to air system then suddenly they begin to think twice which is exactly its purpose as a deterrent.

    This is what Sweden and Finland do, also small nations like ourselves. Their air forces are constantly having tit for tat with the Russians in the skies but the Russians know that if they attempt to fly over Finnish or Swedish territory they do have air defence capability to shoot them down. And under international law they are fully entitled to do it once the protocols are followed. Its that deterrent that helps keep those two nations safe.

  • Don't forget Norway, either. Even some small countries manage to have some sort of credible air defences. Finland (pop 5.5m) Norway (5.3m) Sweden (10.3m).

    Ireland (4.9m).....

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,751 ✭✭✭✭BattleCorp