Labour Party Conference: “Violence, What Violence?” - Galway Peace Group

Galway Alliance Against War held a peaceful symbolic funeral for Irish neutrality as part of last Saturday's demonstrations at the Labour Party conference in Galway. The funeral was long overdue as it has now been over a decade since millions of armed US troops, munitions and CIA torture planes started to come through Shannon Airport on a daily basis.

Warplanes and Protesters at Shannon on Easter Sunday

Gardai protecting warplanes from expressions of peace
Hercules C-130T at Shannon

Easter Sunday saw two more Hercules C-130T warplanes at Shannon. As they sat on the airport ramp, a group of peaceful protestors gathered for the regular second- Sunday-of-the-month vigil. As usual the protestors were blocked from entering the airport, with a line of Gardai denying access to anyone who openly opposed the military presence.

Tribute to John Arden

John Arden at the Shannon vigil in June 2010

For everyone involved in the campaign to end US military and CIA use of Shannon Airport, the death of peace activist, playwright and novelist John Arden on 28th March is a sad loss. A lot of tributes to John have been written, including pieces in The Guardian and New York Times, but it was John's lifelong commitment to peace and social justice that we in Shannonwatch remember best. Over the last four years he regularly attended the monthly vigils at the airport, and continued to do so right up to January of this year despite illness and being wheelchair bound.

US Special Forces Observed Boarding Hercules Warplane at Shannon

US Hercules C-130T at Shannon on 4th April, with troops arriving to board on 3 buses.

Shannonwatch observed and photographed two US Hercules C-130 aircraft at Shannon Airport in the last week. The first, on Wednesday April 4th, was being boarded by troops brought to its side by a cavalcade of buses. The second which was at Shannon on Friday 6th April was a similar aircraft, a C-130T.

Irish Government Should Act Now to Save Lives in Afghanistan

The killing of at least 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, by a 38 year old US army Staff Sergeant near Kandahar in Afghanistan was an appalling act of brutality and will have inevitable repercussions. US military spokespersons described the perpetrator as deranged, but sadly his actions follow a pattern of murder and human rights abuse by US and NATO personnel and the people they train. In 2011 a group of American soldiers were found to have been part of a "kill team" that deliberately murdered Afghan civilians for sport. In January of this year a video surfaced showing US marines urinating on the corpses of three insurgents. And earlier this month the UN reported that NATO and Afghan security forces were between them responsible for 410 civilian deaths in 2011. This was about 14% of the total number of civilians killed in the country.

Not only was the killing of 16 innocent people on Sunday deranged, the entire war waged by the US and NATO against Afghanistan could also be described as deranged and inappropriate from the beginning.

Fianna Fail Deputy Mayor Votes Down Labour’s Shannon Airport/Neutrality Motion and Sullies Galway’s Name!

Galway Alliance Against War Press Release

A motion proposed by Labour councillor Colette Connolly to Galway City Council calling for the cessation of US troops travelling to war via Shannon Airport was defeated by the casting vote of the Deputy Mayor, Fianna Fail’s Ollie Crowe. Cllr. Connolly had proposed that Shannon airport should cease being a US military hub and instead be transformed into a hub for humanitarian aid. All FF, Independent PD Councillors opposed the motion as did most FG members of the council. However, to the surprise of many, FG’s Cllr Padraic Conneely supported the neutrality motion.