shannonwatch's blog

Report on Symbolic Peaceful Action Against War at Shannon Airport and Court Hearing

Shannonwatch commend and support the action taken by peace activists Colm Roddy and Dave Donnellan at Shannon this week. There has been too much silence and tacit acceptance of the airport's complicity in war and torture, and not enough reflection on the devastating effect these acts of violence are having throughout the world. We need the complicity to end now. And we need conscientious people acting in whatever ways they can to make it end.

Here are some snippets from our reporting over the last few days. The national media did take note, and gave it some coverage (see links at the end). But we need more discussion about the issues it raises - breaches of international law, human rights and human dignity, imperialism, the root causes of the refugee crisis, militarization, neutrality, the values Irish people want to support and promote, and much, much more. And we need a change of policy from a government that is willing to let millions of people suffer and die instead of standing up for humanity and life.

We owe Dave and Colm a debt of gratitude for telling them that.

US Air Force Planes at Shannon on May 25th 2016

There were two US Air Force planes at Shannon on the morning of May 25th when two activists, Colm Roddy and Dave Donnellan enter the airport to engage in a symbolic act of opposition to the US military use of the airport.

One was a Boeing C-32B, registration 02-4452. It is operated by the 486th Flight Test Squadron, a somewhat secretive unit assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and associated with the Department of State's Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST). According to official documents the operations of the squadron fall under the aegis of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). Their motto, "Non semper ea sunt quae videntur" means "Not always what they seem".

The Irish authorities should pay heed to this. When the 486th Flight Test Squadron assures them that the plane isn't carrying weapons, or involved in military or other illegal operations, that's almost certainly not true.

Symbolic Peaceful Action Against War at Shannon Airport

This morning at approx 6am there was a faith based action at Shannon Airport by Dave Donnellan and Colm Roddy in response to Irelands continuing support of US wars conducted in the middle east. They entered the airfield and sprayed the main runway with red crosses to represent all the innocent blood spilt by these wars. Two planes consecutively took off without them being detected until they reached a US military jet, located on the old runway 11 almost half a mile away, where they were arrested.

A New Government: An Opportunity to End the US Military Use of Shannon

Yesterday (6th May) at about 8.30pm there were two US military planes parked at Shannon Airport while their crews probably rested overnight in some local hotel. The planes were being protected by an Irish Defence Forces patrol and by a Garda patrol.

One of the planes was a Hercules C-130H, registration 90-1796, operated by the Air National Guard based at Missouri. This is an air force militia unit that is headquartered at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base.

The other is a US Navy C40 Clipper registration 166693. Its a regular visitor to Shannon.

While we'd like to think that the truth about these planes will be made public very soon, it is unlikely that our new government will tell us what these planes are doing in Shannon. They have an opportunity to take a first important step towards ending the conflicts that are ravaging the Middle East by refusing to facilitate the transit of US occupation forces.  But will they take it? Unfortunately we expect they won't.

Irish Authorities Spent Over 1.4 Million Euro protecting US Military at Shannon in 2015

The Irish state spent 1.412 million euro providing Garda and Defences Forces "protection" to the US military at Shannon in 2015. As people were being told they had to wait for life saving operations in our hospitals and others were being made homeless, "neutral" Ireland was spending money helping the US to invade and occupy countries in the Middle East.

In 2015, US military spending was $598.5 billion. This included all regular activities of the Department of Defense; war spending; nuclear weapons spending; international military assistance; and other Pentagon-related spending. Militarization has become a huge global business that costs lives, displaces millions of people from their homes, and destroys entire countries. Ireland is now part of this business of war by spending money that the government has not been authorised to spend on the protection of US Air Force planes at Shannon.

March Data Shows Increase in US Military Traffic Through Shannon

Analysis of the most data collected by Shannonwatch reveals an increase in the numbers of US military planes passing through Shannon in March. The number of US Air Force and Navy planes recorded was 45, compared to 22 and 27 in February and January respectively. Most of these were Hercules C-130s, executive jets and other larger jets (Boeing 737s 752s etc).

Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft at Shannon on 6th March