Eamon Gilmore Misleads the Dail and the Irish People

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade Eamon Gilmore made a number of misleading statements to the Dail today (23 January 2012) in response to questions by Mick Wallace TD. We would like to correct these statements.

Mr Gilmore stated: "There are no plans to change the arrangements for the overflight and landing of US military aircraft, which have been continuously in place under successive Governments for over 50 years."

This is incorrect. US military aircraft were allowed to refuel at Shannon over the past 50 years, but only if they were strictly unarmed, not carrying any munitions, not engaged in any war or even engaged in military training exercises. This was clearly established in Horgan v Ireland in the High Court on 28 April 2003.

Heavy Security at Shannon for First Peace Vigil of 2012

Shannon vigil attendees, 8th January
Two Gardai patrolling OMNI Air troop carrier at Shannon 8 Jan 2012

At the January peace vigil outside Shannon Airport today (Sunday 8th) twenty five people gathered in peaceful protest against the ongoing militarization of the airport. Those in attendance were outnumbered by Gardai (as is usual at these vigils), and they were denied access to the airport. Inside, several US troop carriers were under Irish army and Garda "protection", even though this military traffic is breaching Irish neutrality.

Guantánamo Bay - Ten Years of Torture

January 11, 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the opening of the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay. There are still 171 men detained there, living in captivity, and mostly without any charges or a fair trial. Despite the fact that the U.S. government has itself cleared more than half of these men for release, and despite President Obama’s promise on his second day in office to close Guantánamo within a year, it has been almost twelve months since anyone has been released. This is the longest period of time that has elapsed since the prison’s opening without a single person being set free.

Actions Speak Louder than Words

What Taoiseach Enda Kenny says: (1) Ireland is at the fore of promoting peace, justice, security and development. (2) "... the Irish people have demonstrated an instinctive respect for peace, justice and human rights. It is absolutely right that these values are transmitted to the next generation."

What Taoiseach Enda Kenny does: (1) Allows an Irish airport to be used by armed occupation forces on their way to Afghanistan, where they contribute to ongoing suffering, injustice and insecurity. (2) Refuses to investigate clear evidence that US torture aircraft and crews have used Shannon Airport, and allows US forces linked to war crimes to continue to use the airport.

Warplanes at Shannon - Business as Usual?

There were no fewer than three OMNI Air International troop carrying warplanes at Shannon on 30 December 2011, all under heavy guard by a combination of Shannon Airport security personnel, Gardai and the Irish Defence Forces.

Two DC 10 troop carrier warplanes at Shannon 30 Dec 2011


Report on the Peaceful Act of Sabotage at Shannon

Thanks to our friends in Galway Alliance Against War (GAAW) for providing the report below which we have reproduced in full. It is a copy of a handwritten communication which they received from one of the members of the Peace Team that sabotaged a US troop transporter at Shannon last Tuesday morning, 20th December 2011. They have verified that this person participated in the action.

“Direct action is no substitute for mass political action for peace, nevertheless it felt great in the early hours of last Tuesday morning cutting the hydraulics on all the landing gear of that US troop transport plane.

Why did we do it?