Dáil debates

Tuesday, 20 January 2004

European Presidency: Statements.


4:00 pm

John Bruton (Meath, Fine Gael)

Having already quoted Deputy Haughey's father, I wish to quote his grandfather, the former Taoiseach, Mr. Seán Lemass and agree with him when he said that, if a political union were to be created in Europe, we in Ireland should be willing to defend it. We have created enough in Europe that, if it were to be threatened by an external military force, we should be willing to defend it. It is well worth defending.

In 1987, I recall an eloquent Deputy not of Deputy Quinn's party but in the same constituency as him who sneered when I said Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia should not be forgotten. He sneered at the idea that there was anything worthwhile saying about these countries because they were then part of the Soviet Union. Is it not marvellous that we will welcome these formerly enslaved states into the European Union as equal members?


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