Local Organisations Call on Mayor of Boston to Help Restore Irish Neutrality

The mid-West based human rights organisation Shannonwatch and Galway Alliance Against War welcome the visit of the Mayor of Boston Marty J Walsh, whose parents both come from Connemara, to Shannon and to Ireland. As he arrives into Shannon Airport this Friday morning (19th September) to commence a ten day trip to his ancestral Galway home, they urge him to use his influence to end the unnecessary and counterproductive transit of US troops through the same civilian airport that welcomes him.

"Friendship between the peoples of Ireland and the United States is very important to all concerned and we welcome back the son of Irish parents who were among hundreds of thousands forced to emigrate due to the very flawed economic and social policies pursued by successive Irish Governments up to the present time." said Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch.

Shannonwatch and Galway Alliance Against War remind Mayor Walsh that this Irish/United States friendship has been seriously damaged in recent years as a result of the transit of armed US troops and CIA rendition aircraft through Shannon Airport in breach of international laws on neutrality and the UN Convention Against Torture.

Warplanes Arrive While We Demonstrate

As twelve peace activists gathered outside Shannon Airport today to protest against the ongoing involvement of the airport in war, two Hercules C130's arrived close to the terminal building. One took off again before we had a chance to get a photo of it. The other, looked like it would be staying for an overnight, possibly to allow crew to be rested. It was being guarded by the Irish army, with one of our soldiers on patrol on foot close to the aircraft with an automatic rifle.

The plane, which is a US Navy C-130T Hercules, with registration 165160, is a regular visitor to Shannon. But the governmentg won't tell us why.

Ireland on the Margins of NATO, Sharing Responsibilities for War

It will probably surprise many people to know that at least seven Irish Government officials, including one military officer, attended events related to the NATO Summit in Newport, Wales this week. It didn't get much coverage in the mainstream Irish media, probably because the government told them not to cover it, but it's something that should be highlighted and challenged.

In answer to a question from Clare Daly TD, Simon Coveney who is our Minister for Agriculture and other stuff that the government doesn't think is very important (food, the marine and defence), explained that Ireland was invited to attend two meetings at Newport, one for contributors to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, and one for Defence Ministers from what are called "Partner" countries.

Imprisonment of Niall Farrell on the Centenary of World War I, for Opposing Ireland’s Involvement in Current Wars

Press Statement from GAAW

"Exactly 100 years ago this Bank Holiday weekend Britain - and therefore Ireland - entered the 1st World War.

On this very day Ireland is holding prisoner Niall Farrell of the Galway Alliance Against War for a peaceful protest, along with Margaretta D'Arcy, at Shannon Airport to highlight the involvement of the Irish State in US wars in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Farrell's and D'Arcy's anti-war protest was a supremely political statement and in line with the Nuremburg War Trial principle whereby individuals have a duty to oppose crimes against humanity, even if this means acting in conflict with national laws. Yet, the Irish State has denied Niall Farrell political status and he is in effect being criminalised for this peace protest. He is in solitary confinement, 24 hours lockup, without clothes and allowed no visits.

Call for Irish Government to Ensure No Ammunition Supplies to Israel Through Ireland

In recent days the US Department of Defence has confirmed the supply of more ammunition to Israel, despite its ongoing indiscriminate killing of civilians in Gaza. This will almost certainly result in more carnage and suffering, as Israel continues to use its military might against the captive Palestinian population. Many of the military airlift contractors that are likely to supply this ammunition pass through Shannon Airport regularly. It is vitally important that the Irish authorities do everything they can to ensure these carriers are not assisting the Israeli attacks on Gaza. That includes inspection of contracted US military aircraft, and an end to the granting of permits to take weapons and munitions through Shannon Airport.

Arrest of Niall Farrell of GAAW

Galway Alliance Against War

Niall Farrell of the Galway Alliance Against War is to be arrested on Friday, 1st of August on his return from abroad and sent to Limerick Prison for his involvement in a peace protest with Margaretta D'Arcy last September on the runway at Shannon airport. In June they were found guilty of having "interfered with the proper use" of Shannon airport and given a two week suspended sentence and what approximates to a €100 fine. Both refused to pay the fine or sign a so-called peace bond and Ms D'Arcy has since been imprisoned for her failure to comply with the Ennis District Court's ruling.

Ms D'Arcy (80) and Mr Farrell (61) held the peace protest on the 1st September 2013 as it appeared a US war against Syria was imminent. The two peace activists were involved in a similar action on October 7th 2012, the 11th anniversary of the US war against Afghanistan, in opposition to the use of Shannon's airport by the US military for which Ms D'Arcy was imprisoned for nearly 10 weeks.