Senator Tom Clonan understands the power of Irish neutrality. His experiences as a UN Peacekeeper in Lebanon during the 1996 Israeli Operation Grapes of Wrath profoundly affected him and helped shape his understanding of Ireland’s importance as peacekeepers on the world stage.
Senator Clonan knows from first hand experience of conflict that Ireland’s military neutrality remains an invaluable component of Ireland’s foreign policy. He knows that Ireland’s neutrality underpins our international status as an impartial voice for peace, the de-escalation of armed conflict and the non-proliferation of weapons worldwide. Ireland remains an active participant in brokering peace in Europe, Asia and Africa. Ireland does not need to join NATO or any other military alliance.
Clonan believes our reputation for peace enforcement and peacekeeping gives moral legitimacy to our voice for the international rule of law and the peaceful resolution of conflict and oppression. He has also campaigned for more women to participate in the Irish Armed Forces at home and abroad. Tom recognizes the Unique Contribution that Irish women make to peacekeeping, peace enforcement and international security.
In November 2022, Senator Clonan tabled a motion in the Seanad that called on the government to do the following:
- Affirm Ireland’s status as a militarily neutral state through a constitutional guarantee.
- Pay all soldiers, aircrew, and sailors a living wage.
- Adequately fund Ireland’s Army, Air Corps, Naval Service and Cyber Capability to vindicate Ireland’s neutral status.