Shannonwatch Appalled at Court Decision to Convict Mick Wallace and Clare Daly

Shannonwatch are appalled at today's decision by a court in Ennis to convict TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly for their attempts to search a US military plane at Shannon. The two TDs were given two maximum €1000 fines each by Judge Durkan, despite the overwhelming evidence to support their case that they had no alternative but to do what they did.

"The court accepted without qualification the knowledge and expertise of the witnesses who outlined serious breaches of neutrality and other laws at Shannon." said Clare Daly. "And let's remember the details of this evidence as presented to the court. There was evidence of guns on military planes, of soldiers going to war through a country that claims to be neutral, of CIA rendition planes, and of ongoing refusals to inspect these planes. The judge accepted that Mick and I have been obstructed, sidetracked and ignored in our efforts to discover the truth about Shannon. Yet in sentencing us he took an extremely narrow view of the law. He effectively admitted that his hands were tied, and he refused to deal with all the evidence presented to him."

In delivering his judgement the judge said that the issues raised should be addressed in another forum. "That forum is clearly the parliament and the legislature which has been exposed as being deficient in any system of regulation and oversight of what is going through Shannon" said Clare Daly. "The evidence that Shannon is being used in an illegal way is now overwhelming. The information coming from government departments shows that nobody is taking responsibility for Irelands support for war and that the government's claims are clearly nonsense.

"We were not breaching the peace when we went over a fence at Shannon" said Mick Wallace. "We were trying to promote peace while the government is facilitating war".

Shannonwatch believe that Mick Wallace and Clare Daly have been utterly vindicated in the action they took. "We have spent years looking for answers to our questions about the military planes passing through Shannon." said spokesperson John Lannon. "Now two TDs who tried to get the answers for us have been told they have 3 months to pay fines imposed or face prison. This is a sad reflection on a system and a government that will go to any lengths to protect their support for wars that kill and main innocent people."

"We have become an integral part of a militarised US policy that causes more conflict than it resolves" said Lannon. 

Shannonwatch will continue to monitor US military use of Shannon Airport and to challenge the failure of the authorities and the government to investigate breaches of international laws there.

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