Throughout the 31st Dáil, and in the last 12 months especially, Deputy Broughan has highlighted a wide range of issues and challenges facing Ireland on the international stage. Tommy has attempted to clarify Ireland’s position on a number of key issues and has tried to impress upon the Minister, the importance and urgency of some of the challenges facing Ireland today, in an increasingly globalised world.
Deputy Broughan has enquired with the Minister, regarding the cost of refurbishing our embassies worldwide and the exact number of staff we have deployed to these embassies. More importantly, Tommy has called on the Minister to clarify what measures are in place to assist Irish citizens who find themselves in a crisis in a county where we do not currently have an embassy or diplomatic representation.
Such crises may include a terrorist attack, such as the one which occurred in Tunisia last year, when three Irish citizens were murdered by so-called Islamic State terrorists. Deputy Broughan has called on the Minister to report to the Dáil and the Irish people on the assistance the State is giving at European Union and UN levels to combat the rise of ISIS and the steps he is taking to highlight and stop such murderous attacks on innocent civilians around the world, but especially in the Middle East. The Deputy has called on the Government to recognise the State of Palestine and also to recognise the independence of Kurdistan. Tommy has also called on a number of occasions for this Government to do more to secure the release of Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa, who is currently being held in prison in Egypt and awaiting a mass trial.
Deputy Broughan has called for more clarity regarding Ireland’s role in multi-national organisations, such as the United Nations. He has asked if the Department has put forward, or taken a role in, the development of policies to strengthen the UN’s remit, especially in relation to states where the Government and rule of law have failed. He has also raised concerns about Ireland’s preparedness ahead of a possible Brexit from the EU. On a bi-lateral level, Deputy Broughan has asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to comment on plans to strengthen Ireland’s diplomatic ties with Cuba, to report on Ireland’s current trade status with China and Japan, as well as to provide information on the level of Irish Aid provided in the life of the current government.
Tommy has called for greater transparency regarding the use of Irish Waters by international military vessels, for example their purpose, their point of origin and destination. He has also highlighted the need for a commemoration of the victims of the genocide in Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina.