shannonwatch's blog

Munitions of War applications processed by DTTAS: 1 Jan 2017 to 31 May 2017 inclusive

In reply to a parliamentary question from Clare Daly TD, the Minister for Transport Shane Ross TD provided details of permits granted to take munitions fo war through Irish airports and airspace over the period 1 Jan 2017 to 31 May 2017.

While the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) imposes imposes restrictions on military aircraft landing at Irish airports or transiting through Irish airspace, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) does not do the same for military contracted planes.

Gardai Monitor Peace Activists instead of Warplanes at Shannon Airport

Garda surveillance of peace vigil at Shannon today

The monthly peace vigils at Shannon Airport continued today, with about 20 people gathering to highlight the unacceptable US military use of the airport. A few hours earlier a US Air Force Special Reserve plane left Shannon, probably on its way to or from the Middle East where US interventions continue to result in widespread loss of life. It should have been the focus of attention of the Gardai, whose job it is to detect and prevent crime, and to ensure our nation's security. But as usual it wasn't.

There could have been scores war criminals or kidnapped prisoners and stashes of lethal weapons on the plane. So just in case, the Gardai kept themselves busy doing something else.

Report on Appearance (for Mention) of Peace Activists Edward Horgan and Dan Dowling at Ennis Court

Report prepared by an interested party who attended the court

At Ennis District Court today, peace activists Edward Horgan and Dan Dowling were before the court, as part of an ongoing prosecution case against them for allegedly writing some graffiti on a US warplane at Shannon Airport on 25 April 2017. This particular hearing was just for mention, to set a future date for further mention dates, and to discuss issues such as ongoing bail conditions and discovery of documents by the prosecution to the defence. What could possibly go wrong?

US Air Force Special Ops at Shannon Airport

Image from http://www.af.mil/

On Monday June 5th, an inconspicuous US Air Force Special Operations airplane left Shannon heading towards the Miiddle East. The C-146A "Wolfhound" 12-3060 looks like a normal civilian plane but it is far from that. In fact it is used to support special forces operating in war zones.

According to the US Air Force themselves the C-146A's primary mission is "to provide U.S. Special Operations Command flexible, responsive and operational movement of small teams needed in support of Theater Special Operations Commands (TSOC)".

Air Force Special Operations Command aircrews conduct airlift missions to "prepared and semi-prepared airfields around the world" according to the US Air Force.

Does this mean Shannon Airport is now considered to be a "prepared" or "semi-prepared" US military airfield?

Ireland should be to forefront on highlighting Yemen atrocities

Letter by Shannonwatch's Edward Horgan published in today's Irish Independent and reproduced here in full.

Genocide is defined as "Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part". What is happening in Yemen at present falls within this category yet the international community is actively facilitating rather than preventing it. In the 1990s when questioned by a reporter about up to half a million children who died as a result of UN and Western imposed sanctions on Iraq, US Secretary of State Madeline Albright replied "Yes I believe it was worth it". Our Irish Government remained silent then. In 2017 a greater catastrophe is being perpetrated in Yemen actively supported by the United States and its allies. One branch of the United Nations, the UN Human Rights Committee, is condemning this situation, while the UN Security Council is the organisation that is imposing sanctions and a naval blockade that is preventing the importation of vital food supplies to Yemen, at the behest of its permanent members the US, supported by Britain and France. They do this on behalf of Saudi Arabia, which is the leading aggressor in Yemen, while selling large amounts of arms to Saudi Arabia.

Irish Activists Attending International Peace Summit in Brussels

On May 25th, government leaders from around the world will meet in Brussels for a NATO Summit which will be attended by US President Donald Trump. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg already met with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel on the 2nd May at Palais d'Egmont to prepare for this meeting, with a stated agenda including NATO's role in the fight against terrorism and EU relations. Meanwhile US President Trump has already announced a massive increase in military spending, and has demanded that Europe adopt a similar policy. The rise of defence budgets up to 2% of the Gross Domestic Product will undoubtedly be one of the most important topics at this Summit meeting.

The Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) have sent a strong delegation to attend a counter 'Yes to Peace...NO to NATO' Conference in Brussels which is organised by the World Peace Council (WPC). There they will meet up with other representatives of peace groups and peace activists from all over Europe and the United States.