Blogs

Marking 10 Years of US-Imposed Suffering Iraq, and Irish Complicity

Veterans for Peace in Shannon, 10th March 2013

On a cold, wet day in Shannon, members and supporters of Shannonwatch were joined by Veterens for Peace activists from the UK and US. The protest marked the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by the US and its allies. This illegal act, which began on 20 March 2003, was not mandated by the UN and had no legal or moral basis. Yet the Irish government supported it, and gave the US military open access to Shannon Airport.

The Veterans marched from inside the airport to the location of the protest outside. Meanwhile Gardai were out in force despite their industrial action over pay cut, denying some protestors access to the airport.

Minister Gilmore Avoids Telling the Truth About Renditions and Shannon Again

Once again our Minister for Foreign Affairs is misleading the Irish people about Shannon Airport's involvement in renditions. When asked by Sean Crowe TD about rendition and Shannon in the Dáil yesterday his response to the Open Society Justice Initiative report, Globalising Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition was very, very different to his position when he was in opposition.

American peace activist and former US army colonel Ann Wright to visit Ireland and Shannon

Renowned American peace activist and former US Army colonel and State Department official Ann Wright will visit Ireland next week. She will speak at a public meeting in the Teachers' Club, Parnell Sq, Dublin at 8.00pm on Thursday, February 14, and at Richardson's Bar in Galway on Monday February 18th. The Dublin meeting is jointly organised by the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) and the Irish anti-War Movement (IAWM).

Earlier on Thursday Ann Wright will meet TDs and Senators who are opposed to the US and British wars and the use of Shannon as a military war port. On Monday the 18th she will visit the airport with local activists, and will see first hand the extent of Ireland's involvement in US wars.

New Report Documents Ireland and Shannon's Role in CIA Renditions

A report launched yesterday by the Open Society Justice Initiative names Ireland as one of the countries that participated in US rendition operations. The report makes it unequivocally clear that the time has come for the US and its partners - and that includes Ireland - to definitively repudiate these illegal practices and to secure accountability for the associated human rights abuses.

The report reiterates what organisations like Amnesty International, the Irish Human Rights Commission, a European Parliament Committee, and many others have been saying for years - and which Shannonwatch has produced evidence to support: that Shannon Airport has been used by torture planes. To their shame, successive Irish governments have denied the irrefutable evidence and refused to investigate. But we live in hope that this will change, and for that reason we've already hand delivered a copy of the report to the Gardai at Shannon.

Return of the Disarmed C-40 - and Meeting the Troops

As darkness descends on Shannon airport US navy C40 aircraft reg number 5833 lands exactly ten years after it suffered 2 millions dollars damage by Catholic Workers Ploughshares peace action.

As we described in an earlier piece, a peace vigil was held in Shannon on Sunday 3rd February to commemorate the disarmament action carried out by the Pitstop Ploughshares (Catholic Workers) ten years ago. It was a reflective gathering at which peace actions were recalled, deceased peace activists were remembered, and ongoing efforts to end Irish involvement in war were acknowledged.

After the vigil ended, four peace activists heading back towards Limerick noticed an Irish army patrol vehicle heading towards the airport. They did a U-turn on the suspicion that it might have being going to Shannon Airport to stand guard over the expected arrival of some US military aircraft. As a result they had quite an eventful evening ...

Statement for 10th Anniversary: Planting of Mustard Seeds outside Shannon Airport

On Sunday 3 February a peace vigil was held in Shannon to commemorate the disabling of a US Navy C-40 aircraft, registration number 5833, by the Pitstop Ploughshares (Catholic Workers) ten years ago to the day. A small group of peace activists attended, including two of the original Pitstop Ploughshares group, Deirdre Clancy and Ciaron O'Reilly.

The vigil on Sunday was a symbolic and quiet peace vigil during which mustard seeds were planted and in which peace activists who have died over this ten year period were remembered.

The following statement has been prepared by Deirdre and Ciaron to mark the 10th anniversary of their action.