Shannon Airport’s Ongoing Involvement in War Needs to be Challenged

Seven years after the U.S. military were given the use of Shannon Airport for the invasion of Iraq, in breach of international laws on neutrality, the airport continues to provide vital logistical support for two wars. Around 5000 troops plus their weapons transit through the airport every week, as do contracted cargo planes and other military aircraft on their way to and from Iraq and Afghanistan. The airport is also known to have been used by the CIA as part of their worldwide networks of kidnapping and torture.

On Wednesday February 10th at 11am, Shannonwatch will hold a press conference with PANA, the Peace and Neutrality Alliance, in Buswells Hotel Dublin. There they will announce details of a vigil that marks seven years of peaceful protest at the airport. The vigil will be held on Valentines Day (Feb 14th), and will use the symbol of a black heart to show that it is war, and not love, that is being promoted at Shannon.

Details of 2009 war-related traffic through Shannon will also be announced at the press conference. These figures show an alarmingly high scale of war activity at a supposedly civilian airport. "With the withdrawal of Aer Lingus, Delta and Ryan Air from Shannon it is now a de-facto US air base" said a spokesperson for the group. "Irish people need to be made aware of the extent to which the airport has been militarized and the dangers that presents. We need to question why the government has supported the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan for so long, and why they hide the real extent of our support. These wars have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of displaced people, and have no positive outcomes in sight."

Shannonwatch is a group of peace & human rights activists based in the mid-West of Ireland. It campaigns to end the U.S. military use of Shannon Airport and to stop rendition flights through the airport. It also seeks to obtain accountability from the Irish government for complicity in human rights abuse and for the decisions to support wars that are both illegal and immoral. It records military and suspected CIA traffic through the airport and publishes summaries on its website www.shannonwatch.org.

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