Video Recordings of Demonstration to End US Military Use of Shannon (Sunday 9th October 2016)

As the 15th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan by the US and its allies was being marked at Shannon a Hercules C-130 sat on the tarmac at the airport. There was also an Omni Air International plane parked at the terminal building, probably waiting for troops to reboard on their way to continue the occupation of Afghanistan. 

To mark Ireland and Shannon's involvement in the continuing destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq and other parts of the Middle East, a crowd of over 50 people walked from Shannon Town Centre towards the airport but were stopped a long distance from the terminal building by a line of Gardai. The crowd, which included four TDs, at least one Senator and several local councillors, spent an hour engaging peacefully with the Gardai before moving to the perimeter fence of the airport where a Shannonwatch member pointed out and explained the presence of the two planes to the assembled crowd.

Questions over Ireland Involvement in Saudi Bombing of Yemen

A report two days ago from The Intercept ("Photos Show Fragments of U.S. Bombs at Site of Yemen Funeral Massacre) indicates that the bombs used to kill 140 funeral goers were MK-82 500 pound bombs manufactured and supplied by the US, and made by Raytheon. Given the larger number of US military Hercules C-130 and Clipper C40 transport aircraft that have been transitting through Shannon Airport there is a likelihood that some of the munitions being supplied to Saudi Arabia by the US are going through Ireland.

The report explains that Saudi Arabia's bombing campaign in Yemen began in March 2015 after Houthi rebels deposed the U.S.- and Saudi-backed dictator, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. Since the war began, Saudi Arabia has intentionally targeted numerous homes, factories, markets, schools, and hospitals.

It says:

Another Booking Cancellation for Seminar on US Imperialism and Militarization

Shannonwatch are shocked and dismayed by another cancellation of their room booking for a seminar scheduled for Oct 8th. A number of international speakers are due to attend the seminar on US Imperialism & Militarization 15 Years after the Afghanistan Invasion, but as a result of room booking cancellations by three hotels in the Shannon and Bunratty area, new arrangements must now be made.

The Park Inn and the Oakwood Arms Hotel in Shannon, as well as the Bunratty Castle Hotel all initially accepted bookings for the seminar. Each then cancelled, claiming a mistake had been made. The most recent cancellation by the Bunratty Castle Hotel has come just 3 days before the event.

"It is beyond belief that three hotels would accept a booking and then discover they had no room available." said a Shannonwatch spokesperson. "We spoke with each of them on more than one occasion. We discussed room layout, audio-visual facilities and refreshments with them. We even provided credit card details as requested. Yet all three cancelled our booking, and were adamant that alternative arrangements could not be made to accommodate us".

Peace Events at Shannon on October 8th and 9th - Time to End Irish Involvement in War in the Middle East

Another venue change for the seminar: Because Bunratty Castle Hotel have become the THIRD hotel to cancel our booking, the event on Saturday will now be held in our Peace Tent just before the entrance to Shannon Airport.

Fifteen years after Shannon Airport was made available to the US military for their illegal invasions of Afghanistan and then Iraq, both countries are in violent turmoil. Here's a small snapshot of what happened in the last couple of days alone:

Shannonwatch Condemns Russian Involvement in Killing of Civilians

A Dutch-led investigation has concluded that a Buk SA-11 surface-to-air missile system was used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine two years ago, killing all 298 on board. It was transported from Russia at the request of Russian-backed separatists and returned to Russia the same night.

Shannonwatch condemns all such reckless attacks on civilians in war zones.

There is no justification for the type of action that resulted in such unnecessary loss of life. It is unacceptable, even the laws of war emphasise military necessity (an attack or action must be intended to help in the defeat of the enemy), distinction (belligerents must distinguish between combatants and civilians) and proportionality (belligerents must make sure that the harm caused to civilians is not excessive in relation to the military advantage expected by an attack.

The investigation into the shooting down of the Malaysian Airline plane largely confirmed the Russian government's role not only in the deployment of the missile system but also in the subsequent cover-up. 

Foreign Affairs Refuse to Reveal Details of US Military Use of Shannon

 

Shannonwatch are gravely concerned by the ongoing refusal of the Department of Foreign Affairs to provide access to information about US military flights through Shannon.  Citing "the creation and maintenance of trust and confidence between governments" the department have said they will not provide records requested under freedom of information (FOI) because it would hamper the international relations of the State.

"It's impossible to see how making aircraft details public could affect our relations with the US, or any other state, if what they tell us about the planes not being engaged in military operations is true" said Clare Daly TD who made the FOI requests. "Since Ireland claims to be a neutral State we should not be allowing foreign military within our territory on the scale that is happening today. And we should certainly not be doing it without informing the Irish people of the details."