shannonwatch's blog

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

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%.