Blogs

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.

Seeking to profit from "lucrative" wars

Last week the chairman of the Shannon Airport Authority (SAA), Rose Hynes revealed that Shannon Airport was not just willing to accommodate US military flights but that it was actively going after what she called ‘important’ and 'lucrative' US military traffic. It’s a shameful admission that the Irish government, which owns the airport, has completely abandoned the notion of Irish neutrality and is planning continued participation in US wars of aggression. 

Is Collusion with Torture and Killing Part of Shannon’s DNA?

Afri Press Release, 24th January 2013

U.S. soldiers passing through Shannon Airport

The justice and Peace organisation Afri today expressed revulsion at comments made by the head of the Shannon Airport Authority, Rose Hynes, to an Oireachtas committee yesterday. When asked about Shannon’s reliance on military traffic, Ms. Hynes replied: “Military traffic has been in the DNA of Shannon for many years. It is something that is important, it’s lucrative and we are certainly going to go after it as much as possible.”

Showing More Kindness to the Oppressor than the Oppressed

Demonstration against US military use of Shannon, Sunday 13th January

Last week a local Limerick newspaper carried a large photograph of US troops arriving at Shannon Airport. It was part of a feel-good story about hospitality and acts of kindness, and it described how, several years ago, an airport barman took pity on tired and thirsty marines, and opened the bar for them.

A few pages later there’s a  story about hopes being raised that Shannon may still play some role as an international aid hub. In fact it’s a rather hopeless and desperate story, as the idea that Shannon could be a humanitarian centre has been well and truly quashed by now – if it ever was a realistic proposition.