Young Fine Gael calls on the Irish Government to put its money where its mouth is and fund lethal military aid for Ukraine


The Irish Government should follow Denmark’s recent example and put its money where its mouth is by funding lethal military aid for Ukraine, and sending as many armaments from the Defence Forces supplies as possible to the country’s military, according to Young Fine Gael (YFG).


YFG has called on the Government to bring its policy on military aid for Ukraine in line with all other member states, bar Austria, Malta, and Cyprus, by ending the practice of only sending and funding non-lethal aid for the Ukrainian Military through the European Peace Facility (EPF).


Speaking at the Youth of the European People’s Party (YEPP) Council Meeting in Brno, Czechia on the two-year anniversary of the war, YFG President Eoghan Gallagher stated, “As we meet here with colleagues from our YEPP sister parties, we have been reminded more than ever of just how much of an outlier Ireland is within the EU in terms of support given to Ukraine.


“We are one of only four countries in the entire union to not have funded or supplied any lethal military equipment for Ukraine, and two of those countries, Malta and Cyprus have tiny populations of less than 1.2 million people, while Austria has faced severe criticism for being one of the most pro-Russian countries in the EU.


“The well-respected Kiel Institute’s ‘Ukraine Support Tracker’ ranks Ireland as having the lowest contribution to Ukraine as a percentage of GDP of any EU member state. For one of the EU’s richest member states, that is shameful.


“Contrast such weak support with Denmark’s recent announcement that it is donating its entire artillery stock to Ukraine. As a country of exactly the same size and in a far more secure geostrategic position, we should be looking to follow their example”, Mr Gallagher concluded.


YEPP Vice-President and YFG member Eoin Scarlett commented, “Coming regularly to European conferences over the past two years I have seen how Ireland seems increasingly isolated and irrelevant in discussions over by far the biggest and most pressing challenge facing the EU.


“When the subject of the war in Ukraine comes up at such conferences, as it always does, Irish people might as well not be in the room because we have such little authority to contribute when we are doing so little in terms of the most important support for Ukraine, which is military support.


“There is an increasingly large gap between the Irish Government’s rhetoric and its actions on Ukraine. A number of months ago, the Taoiseach declared at a European Council summit that ‘Putin stops where we stop him,’ and ‘appeasement in Ukraine has failed.’


“But how can you credibly make such statements when the extent of the military equipment you are providing and funding for Ukraine’s soldiers is a few helmets, body armour, and ration packs?


“We of course acknowledge the huge number of Ukrainian refugees which the Irish state has rightly accommodated. But as difficult as it may sound, accommodating refugees or providing non-lethal military aid, is treating the symptom not the cause of the conflict.


“Ultimately, Ukraine needs ammunition, missiles, and tanks, not helmets and ration packs. We would do well on this second anniversary of Putin’s terrible war of destruction to wake up to the reality of the world as it is, not as we would like it to be”, Mr Scarlett concluded.