The Dangers of Using a Civilian Airport like Shannon to Transport US Military Cargo

Recent discussions about the safety or otherwise of having the US military flying in and out of Shannon Airport gave us reason to recall an incident in March 2008 in which a Murray Air aircraft was involved in an emergency landing at Shannon. This was after it was seen flying over Askeaton, which is across the River Shannon estuary from the airport, with flames coming from one of its engines. Residents of the County Limerick town described their windows rattling and houses shaking as the cargo plane flew low over a housing estate in the town.

At the time there was a discussion about the incident on the RTE Radio's Joe Duffy Show. During the discussion Tracey Bell, Director of Administration for Murray Air, admitted that explosives had been brought through Shannon by the airline on previous occasions.

Peaceful Protest and the State's Heavy-Handed Response at Shannon

The October peace vigil at Shannon on Sunday 9th was a peaceful, dignified affair as always. Almost 20 people gathered to express their opposition to the ongoing US military use of the airport. Some were local, while others travelled from Cork, Galway and elsewhere to join the protest.

A group of the peace vigil attendees at Shannon

At the same time an Omni Air International troop carrier sat parked at Gate 42. It was being refuelled by Top Oil, a company whose website claims that communities are important to them and that they are driven to "achieving more for all our customers". Clearly Top Oil cares more about the US military war machine as a customer than it does about the communities whose lives it is destroying.

Ibrahim Halawa Gets a Mention in Ennis Court

A brief report on todays events at Ennis District Court involving the Shannon 4, Dave, Colm, Dan and Edward from our court correspondent. For background see Shannon Four to Appear in Ennis Court on Monday Sept 25th.

Dave and Dan were represented by Shane O'Callaghan Solicitor and sought and got approval for Free Legal Aid for both. Colm and Edward were representing themselves assisted by Mckensie Friend Sean. Dave and Colm's case came up first and their solicitor Shane applied on their behalf to have their trial transferred to the Dublin, so as to ensure the likelihood of a fair jury trial, which could not be guaranteed in Co Clare due to bias over Shannon Airport issues. The Judge ruled that this issue could be brought forward at the next hearing which will be on 31 October 2017.

Shannon Four to Appear in Ennis Court on Monday Sept 25th

On Mionday Sept 25th four peace activists will be before Ennis Circuit Court on charges related to peaceful protests at Shannon Airport. These Shannon Four include Colm Roddy, Dave Donnellan, Dan Dowling and Edward Horgan. Dave and Colm are both up on charges for allegedly causing alleged criminal damage at Shannon Airport on 25th May 2016, which is 16 months ago. They went into the airport to search a US military aircraft because they believed it was involved in unlawful wars and killings in the Middle East, and they also knew that The Gardaí at Shannon would not search or investigate it or any other US military or CIA aircraft at Shannon. Dan and Edward are both up on charges of allegedly writing graffiti on the right hand engine of a US warplane at Shannon Airport on 25 April 2017.

US Illegal Arms Transportation - Washington Assurances are Worthless

Press release from Galway Alliance Against War

The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung is reporting today (13/9/17) that the US base in Ramstein, Rheinland-Pfalz was used for the illegal transport of weaponry to Syrian "rebels".

A spokesperson for the Galway peace group, Galway Alliance Against War, said "this revelation raises once more serious doubts over Washington's assurances that no illegal activity is being conducted by the US military in Shannon airport. There is only one way that illegal activity by the US military can be prevented - whether it's the transfer of the weapons of war or prisoners of war - and that is to stop allowing the US Air Force  permission to use Shannon airport or Irish airspace."

Irish Naval Service Patrol Vessel Helping to Sell Arms at London Arms Fair

The following is a statement issued by the Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM). The Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) have also issued a press release on the topic - we wholehearedly agree with both of them.

The IAWM condemns the use of the Irish Naval Service patrol vessel, the LE Samuel Beckett, to sell arms at the London Arms Fair.

The Irish Naval Service patrol vessel LE Samuel Beckett left its home port of Haulbowline Co Cork on Friday evening and headed for London to participate in the infamous DSAI Arms Fair. Its expected time of arrival in London Port is 11.45 am on Sunday 10 September.

This ship was purchased in 2014 at a cost of about €71 million and two other almost identical ships have been purchased in the meantime bringing the cost of the three vessels to about €213 million Euro. €213 million would build a lot of social housing for the homeless, even if we do need some naval patrol vessels.