Peace Meeting at Clifden to be the First of Many Across Ireland We Hope

On December 17th a very successful Peace Gathering took place in Clifden, Co. Galway. The meeting, organised by Sophie Clout O'Malley and others, was very well attended on a busy pre-Christmas Saturday afternoon. At it, Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch explained how the Irish Government is acting against the Irish Constitution in supporting US military wars of aggression in the Middle East that are in contravention of the UN Charter. Other speakers included Catherine Connolly TD, forner UN Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday, and lifelong peace activist Margaretta D'Arcy. 

A full audio recording of the meeting is available here.

Among the many important ideas discussed at this peace meeting two in particular are worth mentioning. The first is naming the children killed. It arises from the reality that huge numbers of children have been killed or died from war related causes across the Middle East since the 1991 first Gulf War, These causes include the US inspired UN sanctions in Iraq 1992-2003 that caused the deaths of up to 500,000 children; the wars that started in Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011, and Syria in 2011; and the Yemen/Saudi bombing. We in the Western world tend to dismiss this virtual holocaust by claiming that the numbers of children killed are "countless" and "nameless". But each of the children did have a name, and they are not countless. It is proposed to initiate a project that will endeavor to calculate as far as possible the numbers of children who died, and to find out the names of as many of them as possible. The organisers of the project want to try and stop the ongoing killing of children in wars, bearing in mind that the West, led or misled by the US, has played the major role in all the wanton killing, and that we in Ireland are directly complicity in the killing. They will send the names of the children to our political leaders who have made Ireland complicity in their killing. They also intend to display some of them in 'appropriate' places, including by writing them on roads and bridges so they will not be forgotten. 



The other idea is to initiate a temporary partial boycott of Shannon Airport, but only for as long as it continues to be used by the US military for the conduct of unlawful wars of aggression in the Middle East. The organisers of the petition say that those who need to use Shannon Airport for essential travel could do so, provided they avoid if possible using any of the paid services such as car parking, shops, restaurants and duty free. The purpose of the boycott is to help restore Shannon Airport to its proper civilian-only use, to prevent it from being used to facilitate the killing of innocent people, to end Irish complicity in US wars of aggression, and to restore Irish neutrality. Far from helping the long term viability of Shannon Airport, the petition organisers believe that its use by the US military is doing serious damage to the reputation and viability of the airport.

Based on the success of the Clifden meeting Shannonwatch plan to co-organise or support TOWNHALL meetings in other towns around Ireland, north and south, to inform people about the extent of the US military use of Shannon, to promote its restoration as a civilian airport, and to restore Irish neutrality and human rights. We invite anyone who would like to organise a meeting anywhere in Ireland to email us at shannonwatch[at] Regardless of how big or small the meeting is likely to be, it is worth doing.

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