Now Easier Than Ever to Request US Military Aircraft Inspection; Still Impossible to Get One

Revelations over the manner in which Sergeant Maurice McCabe and others were treated because they dared to tell the truth once again calls into question the silence of Gardai over the failure to search suspected CIA rendition planes and US military aircraft at Shannon. We have repeatedly presented evidence (or what the authorities like to call "information") about breaches of the law at Shannon, yet these systematically are ignored.

Yet we know there are Gardai who agree with us when we say inspection of planes is necessary.  

And we have been told about "instructions" from the Attorney General, and about "policy decisions" not to search CIA aircraft.

We've had peace activists arrested, sometimes for simply being in a car park taking photographs.

We are physically restrained from entering the airport - the most recent example being when we organised a demonstration against the US immigration ban and wanted to deliver letters to the airport authorities.

We've had hotel bookings cancelled without any plausible explanation.

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.

Another Busy Night for Warplanes at Shannon

Last night (Jan 24th) was a busy night for warplanes at Shannon Airport. At 6pm a Shannonwatch member photographed a Miami Air aircraft that may have been trying to disguise its presence at there, or at least disguise the fact that it is on contract to the US military.

The aircraft number was N739MA. It took off from Pease Air Force Base in the USA and landed at Shannon on Monday at 08:42 using a civilian call sign BSK171. It took off from Shannon again at 10:05 then flew on towards Europe and landed at Chania airport in Crete, this time using a US military call sign and then headed for Muwaffaq Salti Airbase, near Al Azraq, Jordan.

That base is currently involved in launching bombing raids in Syria.

Missed Opportunity to Ask Questions about US Military Use of Shannon Airport

Press Statement from Limerick Councillor Cian Prendiville (AAA)

Cllr. Cian Prendiville has expressed disappointment that councillors did not get a chance to ask questions of Matthew Thomas the new CEO of Shannon Airport after he addressed the council yesterday. The AAA Councillor described it as a 'lost opportunity'.

"We had a surreal situation where the head of the airport was kind enough to attended the council meeting, yet half the councillors weren't even in the room, and those of us that were there were told to just sit there and say nothing. No questions, no discussion. The councillors were just there as nodding dogs it seemed. The future of the airport is very important for the region and proper balanced regional development, and councillors should have been allowed to discuss it.

"In addition to that, I had a number of very important questions that I think the people of Limerick and the mid west need to know about Shannon Airport, in particular the dangers flowing from its use as a military airport by the US army, air force and navy . I will now be writing to Matthew Thomas of Shannon Airport asking him those questions:

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Gives Some (Not Much) Information on Foreign Military Traffic

In answer to recent parliamentary questions from Clare Daly TD the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade gave some sparse details of the foreign military traffic that passes through Ireland. Any of these that are engaged in war-related activities are of course is in breach of Irish neutrality.

The main piece of information obtained from the Minister were that in 2016 there were 645 requests for military landings at Shannon. 592 - thats 92% - were from the US. We don't know exactly how many of them were refused permission, but we do know from our own monitoring records that most of them landed.

The other important information received is that there are quite a few foreign military landings at other Irish airports - 101 of them in 2016 to be exact.

Sun Country Airlines - More Covert US Military Traffic through Shannon?

Even the "normal" looking planes that come and go at Shannon Airport these days must be questioned, given the embeddedness of the US military and its contractors there.

Take the Sun Country Airlines aircraft with registration N818SY that was parked there on 17th and again on 18th January. When it arrived and departed from Shannon it had a regular Sun Country flight number (SYxxxx), but for the next legs of its journey after leaving Shannon it used the  "Camber" CMB call sign which indicates that it was under contract to the US military or Department of Defence.

Why was it not identified as a US military contracted plane at Shannon?