shannonwatch's blog

US Diplomatic Cable that Sheds Light on Ireland's SOFA Agreements

On a recent revisit to the Wikileaks databases of US diplomatic cables, we came across a December 2009 cable which is worth highlighting in the context of the ongoing debates over the US military use of Shannon and the wars that are being fuelled in the Middle East. The cable reports on a discussion between an Irish official, Ciaran Murphy who was Assistant Secretary General and Policy Director in the Department of Defence, and US embassy staff. It covers the signing of Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA) by supposedly neutral Ireland.

SOFA agreements are intended to drag neutral states including Ireland into the US military alliance and NATO entanglements. What we should have of course are Status of Neutrality Agreement, (SONA) whereby the US, NATO, the EU and others would agree to respect our neutrality. Of course the first step would be to get successive Irish Governments to respect and apply Irish neutrality.

The cable says:

Good Friday at Shannon - More Warplanes being Protected by the Irish Authorities

Its Good Friday - well perhaps not so good if one is a victim of US wars of aggression and resources. At Shannon Airport it was bloody war business as usual. In the centre of the airport at 9.30 am there was a Hercules C130T registration number JW 165313, being protected by an Irish army patrol, a Garda patrol car and an airport police patrol car, all lined up in a row like sitting ducks. Two grey crows were having a closer look - they probably saw and understood a lot more than the occupants of the patrol car, who for the past 15 years have seen nothing wrong with US military and CIA abuse of Shannon Airport.

Also back at Shannon this morning was National Air Cargo Group Boeing 747-428 registration number N952CA. This is an identical aircraft to the one that crashed at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan on 29 April 2013 killing all its 7 crew members while transport a cargo of over 80 tons of US military armoured vehicles. See report on Aviation Herald.

New Red C Poll Shows 6 Out Of 10 Irish People Want Neutrality Enshrined in Irish Constitution

PRESS STATEMENT of MICK WALLACE and CLARE DALY TDs

14th March 2016

A recently commissioned Red C Poll has shown that 6 out of 10 Irish people want Neutrality to be enshrined in the Constitution.  At present, Irish Neutrality is a policy choice, decided on by the Government of the day.

A recently commissioned Red C Poll has shown that 6 out of 10 Irish people want Neutrality to be enshrined in the Constitution.  At present, Irish Neutrality is a policy choice, decided on by the Government of the day.

The Poll also finds that 57% of the Irish people oppose the United States use of Shannon Airport for Military Transit Purposes, this figure excludes the 'Don't Knows' which are at 4%.

Bureau of Investigative Journalism report is Deeply Worrying

A recent report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism entitled CIA tactics in Pakistan include targeting rescuers and funerals is deeply worrying. Not only are civilians being killed in the initial so-called "targeted attacks" but it now appears to be US Government/CIA policy under the President Obama administration to send in secondary drone bombing attacks on the rescuer's who go in to drag survivors from the burning buildings. Even worse, there have been several incidents whereby the subsequent funerals of the victims of earlier drone attacks have been attacked by CIA drone bombings causing huge casualties among the mourners.

Mother's Day at Shannon Airport

Edward Horgan

So its happy Mother's Day isn't it. Lets hope some of the thousands, and more likely tens of thousands, of mothers, will have a happy Mother's Day, as they flee from the conflicts in the Middle East with their little children , as they huddle at the razor wire fences, in the snow and rain, on the borders with Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, and Slovakia, being refused refugee protection.

At Shannon Airport this morning it was cold, wet and windy, but I was dressed in warm clothing and was able to go the Park Inn hotel and warm up with tea and a scone after taking the photos below.

There were three US warplanes at Shannon airport this morning. One was a large C17 US Air Force, Air Mobility Command, Charleston Air Force base, and its registration number was 77180. It was on its way to Abu Dhabi in the Persian Gulf, and most likely delivering armed US troops and munitions into one or more of the war zones, in Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq or Syria. This aircraft is quite capable of transport several deadly Drones that are killing dozens of people each week in the Middle East.

Shannon Airport, Drones and Jordan

At Shannon Airport this morning a US Navy, C40 Clipper aircraft number 6694 was being protected by an Irish army patrol. The aircraft is part of a Fleet Logistics Squadron based in Virginia, and its not its first time at Shannon.

We don't know what this aircraft was transporting, but we can be sure it was being operated by US Navy personnel as crew members, and it was either going to or from a military operation or military exercise of some sort, in clear contravention of US and Irish Government assurances that all such US military aircraft are not engaged in military operations, or military exercises, and not carrying any weapons or munitions of any sort.