Dan O’Brien: We’re poised on the knife-edge of a neutrality dilemma

As Russia’s sabre-rattling over Ukraine makes clear, we need greater public debate on national security in this country

Servicemen march in formation at Kazan in Russia: with Moscow threatening to invade countries such as Ukraine, that it believes to be in its ‘sphere of influence’, Ireland cannot be so sure that its neutrality will keep it safe in future world conflicts. Picture: Getty

Should Britain ever be allowed to determine whether Ireland is a member of the EU? It is difficult to imagine anyone in this country arguing that it should. Joining international organisations and making alliances are core aspects of national sovereignty.

On the other side of our continent, where an unpredictable leader is keeping the rest of Europe guessing about his intentions, Russia is demanding that sovereign states in its neighbourhood cannot exercise these rights.

While ...