Forgetting Remembrance at Shannon Airport

Taking soldiers to war - US troop carriers at Shannon, 11th Nov 2011

Let us remember, let us never forget, the stupidity of World War One in which the elite of the world ordered their mainly impoverished subjects to commit a form of mass suicide in the trenches of the Somme and Flanders under the spurious guise of “defending small nations”. Remembrance Day occurs on 11 November each year because the World War One armistice was signed “on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month 1918. In many countries it is now popular to celebrate this day with military jingoism as if we were celebrating freedom, bravery and all things good, forgetting the stupidity, destruction and gross human rights abuses involved in all wars.

Anti War Groups Welcome the Inauguration of an Anti-War President

Peace and anti-war groups in Ireland including PANA, the Irish Anti War Movement (IAWM), Shannonwatch and Galway Alliance Against War (GAAW) have expressed their hope that the inauguration of Michael D Higgins as the 9th President of Ireland will further the cause of peace, and will bring a renewed focus on the importance of Irish neutrality. These are issues that he has passionately defended throughout his political career, and it is hoped and expected that he will continue to do so as president. 

US Veterans for Peace To Attend Shannon Vigil Next Sunday

Members of the U.S. organization Veterans For Peace will take part in a vigil at Shannon Airport action on Sunday next, November 13th, at 2 pm. The vigil is organised by Shannonwatch to demand an end to the ongoing US military use of the airport, and to express opposition to the ongoing US occupation of Afghanistan. It will also call for action to be taken against landing US aircraft that are involved in renditions, illegal assassinations and other human rights abuse.

"Two-thirds of Iraq and Aftghanistan veterans do not believe these wars and occupations have done any good," says Gerry Condon, one of the representatives of Veterans For Peace who will be at Shannon.  "We want all the troops to come home now and we want an end to drone bombings and torture too".

"As an Irish American, I am really upset to see Irish neutrality being trampled upon by the US military.  Shannon Airport should not be used to ferry troops and weapons to war, or for CIA torture flights.  I hope the Irish people are as outraged as I am, and will join our protest at Shannon this Sunday afternoon at 2 pm."

Shannonwatch Supports Freedom Waves

Shannonwatch congratulates the 27 people who sailed on board the Freedom Waves boats in an attempt to break the unjustified and illegal blockade of Gaza. They have bravely represented civil society all across the globe, as they draw attention to the inhuman treatment of the Palestinian people by the Israeli state. 

In particular our thoughts and good wishes are with our friend and supporter Zoe Lawlor from Limerick who was on board one of the boats, the MV Saoirse.

US Military Flights Numbers at Shannon Down Slightly in October

The number of US military flights through Shannon was down slightly in October compared to previous months. Shannonwatch recorded a total of 47 commercial airlines carrying US troops at the airport in the month, compared to 75 in September and 74 in August. However the number of US Air Force/Navy aircraft was up slightly from 24 in August and 27 in September to 36 in October.

During the month of October no fewer than nine US Hercules C-130's landed at Shannon. These included a Lockheed C-130T Hercules reg 165378 on Oct 5th, another C-130T reg 164996 on Oct 10th and again on Oct 27th (see photograph), and a KC-130J Hercules reg 166511 on Oct 25th/26th.

The C-130J "Super Hercules is the newest version of the Hercules aircraft. Like the C-130T it is used as a tactical airlifter of passengers or cargo.

Visiting US peace activists urge Irish Presidential candidates to state their positions regarding the use of Shannon

Irish Anti War Movement  Press Release, 20 OCTOBER 2011

Visiting US peace activists urge candidates for President in Ireland to state their positions regarding the use of Shannon Airport by the US military, and believe that such continued use of a civilian airport for military purposes is immoral.

In a press release today the Irish Anti-War Movement [IAWM] stated:

“We welcome the fact that three of the candidates in the presidential election (Michael D Higgins, Martin McGuinness, and David Norris) have already condemned the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and have criticised the use of Shannon airport for suspected 'extraordinary renditions' (kidnappings).”

The statement also called on the four other candidates to condemn the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, and to call for an independent enquiry into the recurring allegations that kidnapped persons have been transported through Shannon airport to secret prisons where they were tortured.