Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Department of Justice, Equality and Defence
Defence Forces Equipment
Jonathan O'Brien (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein)
Question 59: To ask the Minister for Defence his plans to introduce a Bill listing the types of weaponry the Defence Forces are prohibited from using or facilitating the use of and the list of weaponry he plans to include in this list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17249/11]
Alan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
There are no plans to introduce a Bill along the lines suggested by the Deputy. Irelandâ€™s policy on disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons which is primarily a matter for the Minister for Foreign Affairs advocates the total elimination of nuclear weapons and the prevention of nuclear weapons capability, a complete ban on the use of cluster munitions, greater controls on the trade in small arms and light weapons and the implementation and strengthening of treaties banning the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of chemical and biological weapons. The equipment, including ordnance and weapons, held by the Defence Forces is acquired to maintain the capability of the Defence Forces to deliver effective services across all the roles assigned by Government, at home and overseas. The weaponry used by the Defence Forces for training and operational purposes complies with all international conventions. The primary purpose for such equipment is the protection of personnel, particularly on overseas missions.