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More warplanes photographed at Shannon

Everything looked normal at Shannon Airport as the monthly Shannonwatch peace vigil took place outside the airport. We would have preferred to highlight the military use of the airport at the terminal building, but as usual a cordon of Gardai standing behind crowd control barriers would not let us enter the airport.

However everything was not normal for a civilian airport. During the one hour peace vigil two US military contracted planes landed. Both were operated by Omni Air International.

The first, with registration N207AX arrived at Shannon from Bardufoss Airport in north Norway, having previous been in Gdansk Poland and in Fort Worth Texas.

Tracking Two US Military Contracted Planes in and out of Shannon

Saturday August 25th at Shannon, two more aircraft on contract to the US military were refueled on their way from the USA. 

Omni Air International N477AX using US military call sign CMB556 arrived at Shannon about midday having come from Kileen Fort Hood Airbase. It took off at 16.14 pm and landed in Poland near Poznan Airport. 

Remembering Friends and War Victims at Shannon Today

At our Shannonwatch peace vigil today we displayed a beautiful banner produced by IPSC with artwork in memory of some of the Palestinian children who have been killed in Gaza. It was an appropriate banner, given all the children killed by wars facilitated by Shannon Airport.

We also held a special ceremony to remember the 12 peace activists who have passed away peacefully since we began our peace protests at Shannon in 2001.

The Agony of Yemen Getting Worse

The following letter from Shannonwatch's Edward Horgan was published in today's Irish Independent.

The appalling situation in Yemen is getting worse. According to the United Nations 10,000 people - two-thirds of them civilians, including thousands of children, have been killed and 55,000 injured.

On 9th August a bus carrying children to a summer school was hit by a Saudi air strike in the town of Dahyan in northern Yemen. At least 47 civilians including 29 children, all under 15 years of age, were killed. Col Turki al-Malki spokesman for the US backed Saudi dominated coalition said the attack was "a legitimate military action, conducted in conformity with international humanitarian law".

Time to Stop Servicing Warplanes at Shannon

At Shannon Airport at 3.30 pm this evening a US warplane was being refuelled and seemed to be getting some repairs done. All part of Ireland's participation in totally unjustified wars in the Middle East.

Thirty four years ago in 1984, Dunnes Stores workers began a strike that would last almost three years. Shop steward Karen Gearon gave a union instruction to her colleagues not to handle any South African goods, in protest against the apartheid regime in the country at the time. When 21-year-old cashier Mary Manning refused to put some fruit through the till, she was suspended and nine of her colleagues walked out the door with her.

Why has there been no similar protest or refusal to service and refuel US warplanes at Shannon airport by workers at Shannon airport over the past 17 years? 

The brave Dunnes Stores workers sacrificed their jobs in order to do the right think. We urgently need similar brave workers at Shannon today.

No Mention of US Military in Shannon Airport Report

It comes as little surprise that the latest financial report for Shannon Airport makes no mention of the US military use of the facility. The report tells us that the overall number of passengers in 2017 was 1,751 million, which means that the official number of US troop that passed through the airport, 60,968, represents 3.5% of its overall passenger business. But the company running one of the country's main airports couldn't possibly mention this massive ongoing breach of irish neutrality.

Shannon Airport is one of the busines units of the Shannon Group. This is a commercial semi-state company established in September 2014. The other business units are Shannon Heritage, the International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) and Shannon Commercial Enterprises DAC, trading as Shannon Commercial Properties. Together they are "focused on delivering economic benefits for the West of Ireland and the wider national economy" (from the Shannon Group website).

The Shannon Groups are also careful not to mention the US military business.