ere is the court report from June 29th at Ennis Circuit Court, where Judge Gerald Keys ruled that the cases of Colm Roddy, Dave Donnellan, Dan Dowling and Edward Horgan should be transferred from Ennis Circuit Court to Dublin Circuit court. This means a trial by jury in Dublin. We have no doubt but that all these cases will eventually be dismissed, as they should be, either on grounds of justification of for technical legal reasons.
This US air force Hercules C130 warplane was at Shannon Airport tonight, July 2nd, being protected by a combination of a Garda security team, Shannon Airport security, and an Irish Defence Forces security team.
On June 28th we were sent a photograph of three US soldiers, in uniform, outside the Topaz/Re-Store store in Shannon. We published the photograph on our Facebook page, and it prompted quite a reaction from the public.
The Defence Act 1954 prohibits the wearing of a foreign military uniform in the State without ministerial permission. Permission was granted in 2003 by then Minister for Foreign Affairs Brian Cowen to allow US military personnel to wear their uniforms in the transit areas of Irish airports, including Shannon Airport, but not outside the airport. We therefore wanted to know if these soldiers had been granted permission by the Minister for Defence, or if they were in fact in breach of the Defence Act.
On July 5th Clare Daly TD asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the soldiers had been authorised to wear military combat uniforms where they had been photographed. She also asked him to outline his plans to address the issue of foreign military personnel wearing uniforms on streets, if they had not been granted permission.
On July 23rd we recorded and photographed no fewer than three US warplanes at Shannon Airport. The most suspicious one was a C146A Wolfhound special operations aircraft. These are the type of missions it is used for by the US Air Force Special Operations Command, according to the American Special Ops website:
"Within United States Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the aircraft is used in the non-standard aviation role i.e. covert insertion, extraction and resupply of special operations forces. AFSOC operate a fleet of light and medium intra-theater aircraft that include the U-28A, C-145A Skytruck and C-146A Wolfhound. In the military role, the C-146A has been configured with special NVG-compatible lighting in the flight deck and cabin. While not publicly disclosed, the C-146A is likely to include a secure communications fitment as well as the capability to fit a defensive aids system (DAS).
July 12th was another busy day at Shannon Warport. Of particular importance was the arrival back of a National Air Cargo plane on contract to the US military using call-sign CMB545. It arrived at 9.38 am this morning 12 July. We tracked its recent war supporting flights as follows: (all times are local)
On June 3rd it was reported that a military aerial refuelling aircraft had made an emergency landing at Shannon Airport. It was a US Air Force McDonnell Douglas KC-10, and initial reports said it suffered a problem with one of its engines over the Atlantic.
Five fire brigade units were sent from Shannon Town and two more from Ennis in support of the airport's Fire and Rescue Service. The National Ambulance Service and Gardaí also sent resources to the airport.
According to local reports, an inspection of the aircraft afterwards discovered that a panel was missing from the jet's left engine.
At Ennis Circuit Court yesterday (13th April), the Shannon Four, protesters against US military use of Shannon Airport, were once again before the courts. In the cases involving two of the four, Colm Roddy and Dave Donnellan, it was their 18th court appearance with still no trial in sight.
On May 25th 2016, Colm and Dave entered Shannon Airport at the break of day to search and investigate two US military aircraft that were at the airport. Security at the airport was so effective that no one noticed them as they walked across the airport for over one mile, waving an Irish tricolor flag, 2016 being the centenary of Irish independence, and Colm and Dave wishing to help restore Irish sovereignty over Shannon Airport. They got almost right up to one of the US warplanes before the combined military and police security contingents realized what was afoot! They are charged with doing some damage to the airport Security Fence as they entered. Just as well they were not terrorists, and that they were and are genuine non-violent peace-activists.
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport statistics for January show that 55 flights with personal weapons of troops on board landed at Shannon Airport in January. That is over twice as many as for the same month in 2017. All these were granted exemptions to carry weapons under the Air Navigation (Carriage of Munitions of War, Weapons and Dangerous Goods) Order 1973 by the minister Shane Ross. In other words he approvel each and every one of the troop flights.
In 2017 the Department received 340 requests for US troop flights seeking to land at Shannon Airport. It granted 334 applications and refused six.
A further 24 flights were allowed to land in Ireland with munitions classified as dangerous goods on board. There were 21 flights by Irish registered aircraft not entering Irish airspace.
Shannonwatch endorse the following statement agreed at the end of a conference on Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) held in the Mansion House, Dublin on February 17th. PESCO is the structural integration of armed forces of the European Union, which 25 of the 28 EU members, including Ireland, have signed up to.
Shannonwatch strongly condemns the facilitation of a meeting between US Vice President Mike Pence and US troops at Shannon Airport on Saturday last. The use of the airport by foreign troops on their way to a war zone is in breach of Irish neutrality, and the decision to hold a public display of support for a foreign leader promoting war on Irish soil is dangerous and unwelcome.