pressrelease

Press Communiqué of the First International Conference Against US/NATO Foreign Military Bases

The first International Conference against US/NATO Military Bases was held on November 16-18, at the Liberty Hall in Dublin, Ireland. The conference was attended by close to 300 participants from over thirty-five countries from around the world. Speakers representing countries from all continents, including Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, United States, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Poland, United Kingdom, Ireland, Czech Republic, Israel, Palestine, Kenya, D. R. Congo, Japan and Australia, made presentations at the conference.

This conference was the first organized effort by the newly formed Global campaign against US/NATO Military Bases, created by over 35 peace, justice and environmental organizations and endorsed by over 700 other organizations and activists from around the world. What brought all of us together in this International Conference was our agreement with the principles outlined in the Global Campaign's Unity Statement, which was endorsed by the Conference participants.

Dublin Lord Mayor to Attend Shannon Peace Vigil

Shannonwatch are delighted that the Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál Mac Donncha will attend their regular monthly peace vigil at Shannon Airport on Sunday June 10th. The peace vigils are part of the ongoing campaign to end the US military use of Shannon Airport that has been ongoing since 2002 despite claims that Ireland is a neutral country.

Since 2002 Shannon Airport has been used by the US military on their way to/from wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Close to 3 million US troops and their weapons have gone through the airport in that time, with over 60,000 transiting through the airport last year.  In the 12 months from January to December 2017, 334 applications were made for US troop carriers to land at Shannon and permits granted for a further 451 military aircraft to land at the airport. Hundreds more permits were granted for other US military flights to pass through Irish airspace.

Amnesty International and others have confirmed that Shannon Airport has also operated as a stopover point for CIA rendition planes involved in kidnapping and torture.

Public Meeting on Peace and Neutrality in Tralee on March 4th

The peace and human rights group Shannonwatch will hold a public meeting at the Meadowlands Hotel, Tralee this Saturday 4th March at 2pm. It will look at Irelands's support for US wars of invasion and occupation by allowing armed US troops to pass through Shannon Airport on their way to Iraq and elsewhere despite claims that we are a neutral country. Speakers will include Edward Horgan and John Lannon of Shannonwatch, and Hashim Alhadeedy who is one of the many people who has had to flee from the war in Iraq. It is an open meeting, and everone is welcome to attend.

The people of the Middle East, especially children, need the help of the Irish people to stop wars and make peace. We, the people of Ireland need to restore Irish neutrality and get US military out of Shannon airport.

Peace and Anti-Racism Groups Condemn Immigration Ban at Irish Airports

Irish peace and anti-racism groups have joined together to denounce the implementation of a US Immigration ban on Muslims at pre-clearance facilities in Dublin and Shannon airports.

US President Trump signed an order which means people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen travelling to the US via Ireland are likely to be detained.

"Shannon and Dublin's complicity in allowing the US to deny entry to approved refugees, asylum seekers, visa holders and even US legal residents is shocking" said John Lannon of Shannonwatch. "We call on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to express Ireland's revulsion at the bans imposed by President Trump, and to ensure that the Irish airport authorities and Gardai do not facilitate this unjust and discriminatory order in any way."

"The fact that people could now be barred from planes at Shannon because of their religion or country of origin is in stark contrast to the fact that CIA torturers and US military personnel linked to war crimes have been allowed to pass through the same airport unimpeded." said Lannon.

Minister for Transport Must Explain Flight from Shannon to NATO Air Base in Southern Turkey

Shannonwatch calls on the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross to explain why a plane operating on behalf of the US military was permitted to fly from Shannon Airport to Incirlik Air Base in Southern Turkey and back on Friday December 30th. The air base which is close to the Syrian border is used by the US to launch air and drone strikes and to store part of its nuclear arsenal. Any involvement in the delivery of military cargo or passengers to Incirlik is therefore a breach of Irish neutrality.

The plane, a Miami Air International Boeing 737, arrived at Shannon on Friday at 1pm, and took off less than 2 hours later.  It spent a similar length of time at the military airbase in Turkey before returning to Shannon at 4am the following morning.

Irish Peace Groups Question Peace Award to John Kerry

Five peace group have come together to oppose the awarding of the Tipperary International Peace Prize to US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday next (October 30th). Galway Alliance Against War, the Irish Anti-War Movement, the Peace and Neutrality Alliance, Shannonwatch and Veterans for Peace also intend to hold protests at Shannon Airport and at Aherlow House Hotel in Tipperary where the award ceremony will take place.

Speaking on behalf of the five organisations, Edward Horgan of Veterans for Peace posed the question: "What peace has John Kerry achieved and where?"  

"The award of peace prizes should be based on truth, integrity and justification" continued Dr Horgan. "Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded in the past to several people who were guilty of starting or being complicit in wars of aggression and human rights abuses. Henry Kissinger is a case in point.  Another example is Barack Obama who was awarded his Nobel Peace Prize just before he began authorising targeted assassinations and bombings that killed thousands of innocent civilians."