shannonwatch's blog

A Lingering Stench at Shannon

On 24th of May last year when peace actrivists Dave Donnellan and Colm Roddy went in to search a small US military executive jet, they also discovered that another far more suspicious aircraft was at Shannon that morning, and in fact took off on the main runway, just after Colm and Dave had crossed that runway.

Here is what a Shannonwatch researcher discovered about this aircraft

"The C-32B is a modified Boeing 757 and it features a standard seating fitment, as with a typical passenger jet. Any cargo must be stowed at the rear of the cabin as the usual cargo space in the hold has been configured to accommodate enlarged fuel tanks, extending the aircraft's unrefuelled max range to 6000 nautical miles.

The 486th Flight Test Squadron operates two Boeing C-32B and Boeing 757-23A aircraft on stand-by alert for special operations and intelligence missions world-wide. One of these, 02-4452, was at Shannon on the morning of March 25th.

So what was it doing there?

Over 730 US Military Flights Recorded at Shannon in 2016

US NAvy C-40 photographed at Shannon Airport on Jan 8th (2017)

Analysis of Shannonwatch data shows that over 730 US military flights landed at Shannon in 2016. That's more than 2 a day over the entire year. Of these, 413 were operated by the US Air Force, Navy or military, and the remainder were contracted troop carriers like Omni Air International.

Since August 2008 at total of at least 7,988 US military planes carrying armed troops or cargo have landed at the airport. This does not include suspect rendition planes and planes not identifying themselves as attached to the CIA or US military which have undountedly also landed there.

Peace Meeting at Clifden to be the First of Many Across Ireland We Hope

On December 17th a very successful Peace Gathering took place in Clifden, Co. Galway. The meeting, organised by Sophie Clout O'Malley and others, was very well attended on a busy pre-Christmas Saturday afternoon. At it, Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch explained how the Irish Government is acting against the Irish Constitution in supporting US military wars of aggression in the Middle East that are in contravention of the UN Charter. Other speakers included Catherine Connolly TD, forner UN Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday, and lifelong peace activist Margaretta D'Arcy. 

A full audio recording of the meeting is available here.

What were the RAF Doing at Shannon Airport Today?

Today at Shannon Airport another NATO warplane sat on the tarmac. This time is a British RAF Hercules C130J C5, registration ZH882. The aircraft left RAF Brize Norton base after mid-day yesterday.

Brize Norton is the largest station of the Royal Air Force and home to Air Transport, Air-to-Air refuelling and Military Parachuting,

Like the US military, the RAF are also waging a war of aggression in Syria, contrary to the UN Charter. On that basis this aircraft should not be at an Irish airport, unless it made an emergency landing. Even then, having landed, the plane and its crew should be arrested and held until the end of the hostilities that the UK are involved in.

When Shannonwatch photographed the plane at Shannon today there seemed to be some work in progress on one of the right side engines. One of our members contacted the Gardaí at Shannon and requested that they investigate this aircraft. As far as we know, this was not done.

Thinking of Peace at Christmas

As 2016 draws to an end we'd like to wish you a peaceful and relaxing Christmas. And as we continue to step up our campaign to end Irish complicity in global militarisation and war in 2017, we look forward to your continued support.

Sadly it won't be a peaceful Christmas for the people living in or fleeing from war torn regions of the world. Imperialist interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere have created and amplified conflicts that have had devasting consequences for millions of people. Here in Ireland our governments have supported the invasions and occupations that gave rise to al Qaeda; participated in the ever-increasing militarisation of the EU; facilitated torture by turning a blind eye to rendition planes landing at Shannon; and refused to investigate possible complicity in war crimes at the airport. At the same time the government is failing to provide safety and sanctuary to those fleeing from war, and refuses to take even its fair share of refugees.

Refuelling War at Shannon Airport - Risky and Unethical Business

War business continues uninterrupted at Shannon Airport. Today (Dec 7th) we photogtaphed an Omni Air International Boeing 767 troop carrier, with registration N207AX, being refueled by TOP Oil and supplied with food by Zest!.

TOP (Tedcastle Oil Products) Oil is part of the Tedcastle Holdings Group. This is an Irish company owned by the Rehill family and comprising business interests in Ireland, the UK and North America.

Zest! is the retail division of EFG Inflight Ltd based at Knockbeg Point, Shannon Airport. They too are an independent, wholly owned Irish company, employing 120 staff.

The plane was being protected by the Irish police or Gárda Síochána, which for those of you not familiar with the Irish language literally means "Guardians of the Peace".