The Peace Award Farce in the Glen of Aherlow

Today was a beautiful day, at least in Ireland, where no bombs were falling, and no refugees were drowning as their boats sank while they were fleeing from the wars in the Middle East and Africa. At the beautiful Glen of Aherlow in Co Tipperary, John Kerry was being awarded the Tipperary Peace Prize, for allegedly stopping wars and getting rid of Syrian chemical weapons. The truth is that it was Russian ; President Vladimir Putin who persuaded Syrian President Assad to get rid of his chemical weapons, not John Kerry or the US.

John Kerry and the US have not stopped any wars in recent times. But the US has begun wars, and is continuing to engage in wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere.

List of US Military Contract Planes You're Likely to See at Shannon Airport

We're often asked which of the planes using Shannon Airport are US military planes. The answer is that quite a lot of them are. In addition to the ones operated directly by the US Air Force, Navy and Army there are no fewer than 24 companies that have what are called "indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity" contracts to provide international airlift services to the US military.

If you see any of these planes at Shannon they could be carrying armed US soldiers or cargo. They are technically classified as "civilian" but in reality they are operating as US military planes.

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."

Five US Warplanes at Shannon this Evening

This evening Shannon Airport once again appears to be contributing to the pain being suffered by thousands of men, women and children in the Middle East. There were no fewer than five United States war planes there at about 4pm.

Two of these were US Navy C-40 cargo and troop transport aircraft, numbers 5832 and 8981. They arrived at Shannon last night from Sigonella Air base in Sicily (Italy), and probably came from the Middle East before that. They may well be on their way back to the US to collect more war materials that will be used in the ongoing assault on Mosul in Iraq.

Summary of US Military Planes Passing Through Shannon So Far in 2016

Despite numerous requests, to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Foreign Affairs will not provide any information about the US military planes that use Shannon Airport. Shannonwatch has been keeping its own records for many years, and since the Department won't even say how many US military planes pass through Shannon, we will continue to provide details of what we know.

With that in mind, here is a summary of the number of US Air Force, Army and Navy planes that have landed at Shannon so far this year.

Omni Air International Aircraft N477AX - a Busy Troop Carrier Despite its Problems

At Shannon Airport tonight (Oct 17th) an Omni Air Intenational aircraft number N477AX landed and was being refuelled. It is on charter to the US military and has been busy ferrying armed US troops to the Middle East in recent days. It suffered an engine or other fault yesterday while flying from the US via Shannon airport to the MIddle East. While flying over Italy it was forced to turn back for repairs. Its cargo of armed US troops were accommodated overnight in a Co Clare Hotel - plenty of room in Co Clare hotels for armed US troops on their way to war , but no room in the Clare inns for peace activists trying to promote peace.

This aircraft gets around quite a lot for the US military even if its engines are not working very well. Here is a summary of some of its movements in the past week.