The Labour Party is demanding an explanation from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, about why two international defence agreements with the US have not been revealed to the Dáil.

The Labour Party Spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Michael D Higgins, said that under the Constitution the Dáil has a right to know what the treaties are.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the treaties are of an administrative nature and therefore not covered by the Constitution.

Mr Higgins said that the US state department website lists what it says are two recent bilateral defence agreements with this country.

He said the Constitution required that such documents are laid before the Dáil and that this had not been done in this case. 

It is understood that the first agreement concerns security measures for the protection of classified information and the other was signed in order to enable Irish troops in Kosovo to avail of US facilities.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs accepted that normal practice would be to inform TDs. The spokesperson added that the minister would lay copies of both agreements before the Dáil at the earliest opportunity.