Missed Opportunity to Ask Questions about US Military Use of Shannon Airport

Press Statement from Limerick Councillor Cian Prendiville (AAA)

Cllr. Cian Prendiville has expressed disappointment that councillors did not get a chance to ask questions of Matthew Thomas the new CEO of Shannon Airport after he addressed the council yesterday. The AAA Councillor described it as a 'lost opportunity'.

"We had a surreal situation where the head of the airport was kind enough to attended the council meeting, yet half the councillors weren't even in the room, and those of us that were there were told to just sit there and say nothing. No questions, no discussion. The councillors were just there as nodding dogs it seemed. The future of the airport is very important for the region and proper balanced regional development, and councillors should have been allowed to discuss it.

"In addition to that, I had a number of very important questions that I think the people of Limerick and the mid west need to know about Shannon Airport, in particular the dangers flowing from its use as a military airport by the US army, air force and navy . I will now be writing to Matthew Thomas of Shannon Airport asking him those questions:

1) Does he agree with An Taoiseach Ends Kenny that US military use of Shannon Airport introduces " the possibility that Shannon and Ireland will become targets for terrorist counter strikes"?

2) In light of President Trumps open support of the use of torture, what measures are in place and how regular are inspections of airplanes to ensure that Shannon Airport is not used by illegal rendition flights, flying people to prisons where they may face cruel and unusual torture?

3) Given that the Air Traffic Control fees of US military planes are waived by the government, do you have an estimate of how much this waiving of fees has cost the state since the invasion of Iraq in 2003?

"I will also be bringing a motion to council shortly calling for an end to US military use of Shannon Airport. We should not be rolling out the red carpet for the billionaire bigot Donald Trump, or US military."

Statement by John Lannon of Shannon Watch campaign against US military use of Shannon Airport:

"Shannonwatch have been campaigning for many years for more transparency in relation to the US military use of Shannon Airport, and ultimately for an end to the breaches of Irish neutrality and international law that are happening there. The people of Limerick and Clare are directly affected by this, and it is vitally important that our public representatives have an opportunity to ask the questions that the government refuse to ask."

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