Candidates contesting the European Parliament Elections in the four-seat Dublin constituency have clashed over the future direction of military co-operation in the European Union.

Speaking during an election campaign debate on RTÉ's The Week in Politics, Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan claimed the EU was moving towards the creation of a European army.

She said this was being done through the new European defence co-operation entity, known as PESCO.

The claim was dismissed by Fianna Fáil candidate Barry Andrews who described it as alarmist.

Fine Gael candidate Mark Durkan said that party was opposed to an  European army but the EU does need military capacity to assist humanitarian projects.

Labour's Alex White said EU defence issues were not high on the list of people's concerns but they do not want bombs and jets.

The Green Party's Ciarán Cuffe said the big challenge of this time is climate change and his party is opposed to any measures that increase spending on defence.