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Country Reports
IRELAND, Landmine Monitor Report 2000
LM Report 2000 Full Report   Executive Summary   Key Findings   Key Developments   Translated Country Reports


Mine Ban Policy

The Republic of Ireland has long been in the forefront of countries working toward the elimination of antipersonnel landmines. The Irish government was able to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) immediately upon signature on 3 December 1997, because it took as implementing legislation the Explosives (Land Mines) Order that had been approved by the Dail, the Irish parliament on 12 June 1996. This Order makes the manufacture, stockpiling, transfer and use of antipersonnel landmines a criminal offence in Ireland.[1] The tactical doctrine and training manuals of the Defence Forces have been amended to comply with the MBT.[2]

David Andrews was one of the few Foreign Ministers to head a delegation to the First Meeting of States Parties (FMSP) to the MBT in Maputo in May 1999. Minister Andrews and officials from the political division, Irish Aid and UN sections of the Foreign Ministry visited minefields in Mozambique prior to the meeting. In his address to the FMSP he stated:

This process is unique in many ways. It follows from a coalition of governments from all quarters of the globe. It includes countries, many of which have contributed to the causes of the landmine crisis. A particular strength has been the initiative of the mine-affected countries themselves.... But the fundamental novelty of this process has been the unique partnership between governments and the peoples they represent. Without the direct action of non-governmental organizations which coalesced around the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), there would be no Convention.[3]

Ireland’s initial report under Article 7 of the MBT was deposited with the UN on 16 August 1999, and its second (annual) report was deposited on 14 April 2000.

Ireland has participated in the meetings of the treaty’s Standing Committees of Experts. At the January 2000 SCE meeting on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Dr. Darach MacFhionnbhairr, Head of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spoke for the Irish government in reiterating that under the terms of the treaty, antivehicle mines (AVM) with antihandling devices which function like AP mines – which may explode from an unintentional act of a person -- are banned by MBT. He proposed the formation of an informal expert group to examine the AVM issue.[4]

In December 1999 Ireland co-sponsored the UN General Assembly Resolution 54/54B urging full implementation of the MBT and has voted in favor of all pro-ban resolutions at the United Nations.

Ireland is a state party to Amended Protocol II of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). The government participated in the First Annual Meeting on Protocol II in December 1999, having submitted its report as required by Article 13 of the Convention.

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling, Use

The two Article 7 reports[5] of progress toward implementation of the MBT in Ireland state that Ireland has no stockpile of AP mines, no minefields and has no AP mine production facilities. Ireland has retained 129 antipersonnel landmines for research into mine clearance techniques (as permitted by Article 3.1 of the MBT). It is not known where or when this small quantity was obtained.

Commercial and homemade explosive devices have been widely used by paramilitaries in the Irish conflict for many years, but instances of the use of conventional antipersonnel mines are not known. The recent statement by the non-state paramilitary Irish Republican Army that it will put its arms “beyond use” further reduces the possibility of AP mines or other mines being used in Ireland.[6] Irish Defence Forces have been trained to deal with landmines during their participation in many UN peacekeeping operations, and have routinely dealt with explosive devices in Ireland.

Mine Action Funding

Governmental funding of humanitarian mine action, including victim assistance, has increased recently from year to year. Since 1994 Ireland has contributed over IRP 3 million (US$2.6 million) to mine action programs.[7] Beneficiary countries since 1994 include Bosnia, Yugoslavia (Kosovo), Chechnya, Cambodia, Angola, Somalia and Mozambique. In 1999 the following organizations received support from the Irish government:[8]

Donation (IRP)
200,000 (US$ 175,000)
Fabrication of prosthetics
150,000 (US$ 130,000)
Mine Action Program
150,000 (US$ 130,000)
Mine Action Program
150,000 (US$ 130,000)
Mine Action Centre
50,000 (US$ 44,000)
256,000 (US$ 230,000)
Halo Trust
95,000 (US$ 83,000)
Victim Assistance
136,000 (US$ 118,000)
Services to the Disabled
FYR (Kosovo)
247,000 (US$ 215,000)
Demining Team: Set up
Halo Trust
FYR (Kosovo)
282,000 (US$ 245,000)
Demining: Running Costs
Halo Trust

1,716,000(US$ 1,500,000)


[1] For more on the evolution of Irish national law banning AP mines see Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 629. The law does not include specific penal sanctions for MBT violations, as called for in the treaty. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informally indicated a willingness to address this deficiency, but has been preoccupied with its intense involvement in the resolution of conflict in Ireland.
[2] CCW, Amended Protocol II, National Report for Article 13, 9 December 1999.
[3] Address by David Andrews TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the First Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, Maputo, Mozambique, 3 May 1999.
[4] Oral statement of Dr. Darach MacFhionnbhairr, Head of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation at the Irish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SCE on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 10-11 January 2000.
[5] Mine Ban Treaty, Article 7 Reports, submitted 16 August 1999, covering 3 December 1997-16 August 1999, and submitted 14 April 2000, covering 16 August 1999-14 April 2000.
[6] “Sequence of Statements Issued by Governments and the IRA,” The Irish Times (newspaper), 8 May 2000, p. 6.
[7] Report of Ireland to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, 25 January 2000, p. 2.
[8] Political Division and Irish Aid, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, March 2000; Abbreviations: HI – Handicap International, MAC – Mine Action Center, UNDP – UN Development Program, ITF – International Trust Fund for Demining in Bosnia-Herzegovina; Trocaire is the Catholic Agency for Development set up in 1973.