Ireland is not breaching its policy of military neutrality by offering assistance to Ukrainians, which can lead to weapons training.
That's according to Fianna Fáil Senator Lisa Chambers, who said Ireland is offering training to people to defend themselves.
Last month, the Government approved training engagement with the EU Military Assistance Mission in Ukraine - known as EUMAM.
It followed Cabinet approval in February of the participation of up to 30 Defence Forces personnel in EUMAM.
Activities are to include training in counter-improvised explosive devices, combat medical training and engineering training.
A "small number" of staff were also sent to positions in the Military Planning and Conduct Capability based in Belgium and in the multinational Special Training Command in Germany.
People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy told The Hard Shoulder he believes Ireland is in breach of its neutrality.
"It's definitely the case that the Irish Government, having lied to the public and misled the Dáil, actually has signed up for Irish troops engaged in training of Ukrainian soldiers in weapons and in military tactics," he said.
"That is another extremely serious breach of what is left of our neutrality.
"It isn't really possible to continue to say that you are neutral if you are providing military training for one side in a military conflict.
"Even if we're right in saying the aggressor here is imperialist Russia, is Putin, it's still very clearly a breach of neutrality."
'We are behind Ukraine'
Senator Chambers told the show the Government's position has not changed.
"We are non-aligned, we are not aligned to NATO - for example - and we are not aligned to a military organisation: that's what our military neutrality means," she said.
"But we are not neutral when it comes to the war in Ukraine; we are absolutely full square behind Ukraine.
"We want them to win this, we want them to get their country back and we don't want them to lose to Russia.
"The impact of the Ukranain war on Ireland has been so significant - we have nearly 100,000 Ukrainian refugees here that have made Ireland their second home, the impact on our energy prices, food inflation.
"We absolutely want this war to end... and in doing that, we have to acknowledge that Russia is far bigger.
"Ukraine simply cannot defend itself on its own... are we to sit back and not help these people?"
Senator Chambers said the training will include "drill instructor training which can lead to weapons training".
"What we're doing is allowing people to defend themselves, bearing in mind many of these people are not soldiers - that's not their profession, that's not what they signed up to do - but they're trying to defend their country".
Senator Chambers disputed that Irish neutrality has been broken.
"We are not providing any weapons to Ukraine, we are not entering Ukrainian territory, and we are trying to assist people who have no military training whatsoever," she said.
"Nobody wants this war, nobody supports this war, but we are where we are... what we are doing is providing training and assistance, but very much at arm's length.
"To suggest that we are in breach of our military neutral position is simply, factually not correct," she added.
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