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.

Another Day in Court for the Shannon Four (Peace Activists)

Photo shows some of the defendants making the RESISTANCE sign outside Ennis Court

At Ennis Circuit Court yesterday (13th April), the Shannon Four, protesters against US military use of Shannon Airport, were once again before the courts. In the cases involving two of the four, Colm Roddy and Dave Donnellan, it was their 18th court appearance with still no trial in sight.

On May 25th 2016, Colm and Dave entered Shannon Airport at the break of day to search and investigate two US military aircraft that were at the airport. Security at the airport was so effective that no one noticed them as they walked across the airport for over one mile, waving an Irish tricolor flag, 2016 being the centenary of Irish independence, and Colm and Dave wishing to help restore Irish sovereignty over Shannon Airport.

Condemnation of Overnight Attacks Carried out by Western Powers in Syria

Joint Statement by Peace and Neutrality Alliance and by World Beyond War

The Peace and Neutrality Alliance along with World Beyond War condemns unreservedly the overnight attacks carried out by Western powers on the Syrian Arab Republic.

The pretext for this offensive is that a chemical weapons attack has allegedly been carried out by the Syrian Government and that international law banning prohibiting chemical weapons must be upheld. Given that the bombing of a sovereign state is itself a violation of international law, we are being asked to believe that international law must be broken in order that it be upheld -- a manifest absurdity.

Whether or not the Syrian Government has violated international law is a matter for appropriate authorities such as the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court to decide, based on the available evidence. The fact that the US, UK and France are not pursuing this course of action owes to the lack of any such evidence.

Shannon Airport Still Supporting War

On last Sunday (April 8th) a small group of people opposed to the US military use of Shannon Airport held a peace vigil outside, under the careful watch of the Gardai who blocked their entry into the airport. Meanwhile, inside the airport a small US Air Force C-21 jet sat at the terminal building. It too had Gardai in close proximity, but in this case they appeared to be providing protection, not surveillance or obstruction.

Breakdown of Military Flights Through Shannon and Irish Airspace in 2017

For a foreign military aircraft to land at an Irish airport or even to pass through Irish airspace, permission must be granted by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. In 2017 his department received 515 requests for landings by military aircraft at airports in Ireland. Of the 515 landing requests received, 1 was refused and 15 were cancelled. The vast majority of these (451) were for military aircraft landing at Shannon Airport.

Of the 451 military aircraft landings at Shannon in 2017, 402 were US military aircraft.

A small number of permits were issued to military aircraft from other countries as follows: Bahrain (1), Belgium (3), Canada (5), Egypt (3), France (17), Germany (3), Italy (5), Jordan (7), Palestine Authority (2), Switzerland (1), Ukraine (1), and UK (1).

Almost Two US Troop Flights a Day through Shannon in January

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport statistics for January show that 55 flights with personal weapons of troops on board landed at Shannon Airport in January. That is over twice as many as for the same month in 2017. All these were granted exemptions to carry weapons under the Air Navigation (Carriage of Munitions of War, Weapons and Dangerous Goods) Order 1973 by the minister Shane Ross. In other words he approvel each and every one of the troop flights.

In 2017 the Department received 340 requests for US troop flights seeking to land at Shannon Airport. It granted 334 applications and refused six.

A further 24 flights were allowed to land in Ireland with munitions classified as dangerous goods on board. There were 21 flights by Irish registered aircraft not entering Irish airspace.