Fianna Fáil Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Niall Collins has called on the government to clarify its position on the roll out of 5G technology in Ireland by Huawei. He has also proposed the implementation of a national risk assessment of 5G networks.

It comes after he received PQ replies which reveal that both the USA and EU have raised the issue directly with the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Despite this, the Minister for Communications has continually stated that rolling out 5G technology is essentially a matter for the private sector and Com Reg.

“Huawei has undertaken significant and welcome investment in Ireland over the last number of years. This investment and its position in rolling out the next wave of mobile technology is both a critical innovation policy and a sensitive international affairs issue. The fact that the issue was raised directly last month with the Minister for Foreign Affairs by the US Congressional leaders and administration, as well as at an EU level, illustrates these broader fears”, said Deputy Collins.

“The government has a duty to ensure that Ireland remains at the cutting edge of this transformational technology while, at the same time, fully maintaining our national security. The growing tension between the USA and China over the 5G roll-out demands that Ireland takes the security fears seriously.

“However, the issues expressed to the Tánaiste have either not been conveyed or are being ignored by Minister Bruton who appears to have has washed his hands of the matter.

“It’s time for the government to recognise the escalating international tension on this critical piece of infrastructure. I am calling on the government to co-operate with their international colleagues and complete a national risk assessment of 5G network infrastructures by the end of June 2019 in keeping with EU recommendations.

“We need to co-operate with the EU to ensure 5G plays a positive part in driving forward economic development over the next decade. This cannot come at the price of our international position or national security”, concluded Deputy Collins.