Court Summons for TDs who Attempted to Do What the Gardai Should be Doing

Shannonwatch have expressed their disappointment that the State has decided to summons TDs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace to appear before Ennis District Court on Wednesday December 3rd for peace actions, while at the same time failing to investigate complaints made about US military and other aircraft that may be in breach of international law.

The two TDs are charged with climbing the perimeter fence of Shannon Airport on 22nd July 2014, and with entering a part of the airport that they did not have permission to be in. The two deputies are adamant that they did not commit any offence however, and that they were simply there to do what the authorities would not do, which was to inspect two US military aircraft that may have been carrying weapons illegally.

"Deputies Daly and Wallace wished to search these aircraft for the purposes of confirming whether they were involved in military operations, or were carrying weapons or munitions, or were engaged in activities that were not in accordance with the Irish Government's stated policy of neutrality" said Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch. "They were there to verify whether or not the planes were in accordance with US Government assurances to the Irish Government on such matters."

"As members of the Oireachtas Deputies Daly and Wallace believe that they have a duty to ensure the Irish Government complies with its obligations under international laws, including customary international laws on neutrality, the Geneva Conventions on War, and the UN Convention on Torture" said Mr. Horgan. "The two aircraft that were at Shannon on 24th July may have been in breach of these and other Irish laws like the Criminal Justice [UN Convention Against Torture] Act, 2000. Without inspections, which the authorities and the government refuse to do, there is no way of knowing if they are. But as Shannonwatch have repeatedly reported, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that they may be."

Deputies Daly and Wallace believe that there is substantial prime facia evidence that US military and CIA associated aircraft involved in the so-called extraordinary rendition of prisoners were refuelled at Shannon Airport. This is in addition to the incontrovertible evidence that US military and chartered aircraft have been transporting armed troops and war materials through Shannon Airport in clear breach of Ireland's obligations under international laws on neutrality.

"The deputies believe that they were obliged to take their actions to search and investigate the two US aircraft because the Irish Government and the Gardai have consistently failed to do so" said John Lannon, also of Shannonwatch.  "They have been requested to do so on numerous occasions, and have been presented with large amounts of information and evidence concerning these aircraft by peace activists and organisations like Shannonwatch, the Irish Peace and Neutrality Alliance and Galway Alliance Against War".

The court summons served to Mick Wallace and Clare Daly is one of a series of such summons handed out in recent years to peace activists who have attempted to record military landings or to seek enforcement of the law at Shannon. Two Galway Alliance Against War activists, Margaretta D'Arcy and Niall Farrell were imprisoned as a result of their peaceful actions but to date no US military aircraft have been inspected as far as Shannonwatch is aware.

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