Court report: DPP V Horgan and Dowling

Report from the Court

Today saw another hearing, this time in Court 5, Dublin Circuit Court - Judge Melanie Greally presiding - in a case involving peace activists Edward Horgan and Dan Dowling.  The case relates to the alleged writing of some graffiti (DANGER DANGER DO NOT FLY) on a US war-plane at Shannon Airport on 25 September 2017, and a charge of trespass relating to the same incident which the Ennis District Court has arguably being trying to hold in reserve (or park as they describe it) so that if we are acquitted in the Circuit Court they might have second go at us in the lower District Court.

Today Dan and Ed were ably represented by Barrister Shane O'Callaghan, acting for Madden and Finucane Solicitors Belfast representing Dan Dowling, and Barrister John Berry acting for Darragh Mackin of Phoenix Law Solicitors Belfast. They had already succeeded in having this case transferred from Ennis Circuit court because of the risk of bias or an unfair trial in Co Clare, and they also felt it was advisable to get the assistance of Belfast based legal teams because this case involves them challenging the behaviour of the Irish Government's decisions to allow the US military and the CIA torture rendition aircraft to use Shannon Airport in its illegal wars and war crimes in the Middle East. Today's hearing lasted just a few minutes but two important issues were decided. The trespass charges are now to be included in the Dublin Circuit Court also, which will be a JURY trial and that takes Ennis District Court out of the process. The defendants consider this important because this would have been a non-jury trial in Ennis. A date for trial was also set, for 18 May 2020 which is 18 months away. This further delay is due mainly to the long waiting lists before the Dublin Circuit Court, but they are OK with this because it gives them a good opportunity to prepare their case. They welcome this significant progress in today's court and look forward to a trial by jury by 12 Irish citizens. 

Meanwhile at Shannon Airport, US military aircraft and cargo aircraft on contract to the US military are still being refuelled on a daily basis making the Irish Government and the Irish people complicit in war crimess being committed in the Middle East. These war crimes include thousands of children being killed and dying of hunger in Yemen, due to Saudi Arabia war against Yemen using weapons and munitions supplied by the US, UK, France and Germany. Many of these US supplied munitions are possibly being transported through Shannon Airport. 

This Irish complicity with US war crimes must be stopped. This case is about two peace activists' efforts to do so.

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