Taoiseach should not use National Security issues for self promotion

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Defence Lisa Chambers has expressed serious concern following a tweet sent by the Taoiseach in which members of Cabinet Committee F, which deals with National Security, can be clearly identified. Deputy Chambers described the move as “unprecedented”.

“The Taoiseach needs to realise that issues of National Security are not for public consumption, nor should they be used to satisfy his appetite for blatant self-promotion. These meetings are supposed to be private and confidential, but members of the committee, along with other people in the room are clearly identifiable in this photo, as are documents which are on the table”, said Deputy Chambers.

“I am shocked by the Taoiseach’s laissez faire attitude to the States’ national security and it raises serious questions about his understanding of the importance of this committee’s work and the absolute need to conduct that work in private. Does the Taoiseach’s spin not even stop at the door of our National Security? His tweet was at best stupid and at worst reckless.

“The Taoiseach needs to realise that actions have consequences, especially when it comes to issues of National Security. There are current and future threats to our State that we must deal with, as well as the reality of more frequent terrorist attacks.

“It is worth bearing in mind that as part of the international community, we share and receive intelligence with other States. How comfortable will other States be in dealing with Ireland when our Taoiseach is taking such a relaxed approach to National Security in his social media posts? Did the Taoiseach seek permission from the members of the Committee, Defence Forces and the other security experts to post this photo? And why was the documentation for the meeting not removed before the photo was taken – experience from other countries would suggest that breaches can easily occur with advances in certain technologies?

“Is this the sort of work the €5m Strategic Communications Unit is tasked with? This constant tweeting is only serving to make the work of Government a continuous reality TV show where nothing is off limits. I take the issue of national security very seriously and the Taoiseach should too. Every country has a role to play internationally to fight terrorism and extremism and it starts with making sure your own house is in order”, concluded Deputy Chambers.