Summer of Protest Under Way at Shannon

  • Posted on: 7 July 2024
  • By: shannonwatch


Peace activists have started to hold vigils at Shannon Airport every weekend for the months of July and August, with the aim of highlighting and challenging the Irish government’s role in assisting the United States military in its overseas wars, and the war on Gaza in particular, by allowing military aircraft to transit and transport weaponry through Shannon. All are welcome to participate.

The vigils are being held from 6am each SAturday and Sunday morning, with the organisers keen to have a visible presence as passengers disembark from international flights and leave the airport.

Kate Thompson, one of the organisers, explains:

“Israel is on trial for genocide in the highest court in the world. Ireland is supporting South Africa in that case, which implies that the government believes genocide is being committed in Gaza. By allowing the US military to use Shannon airport, Ireland is in breach of its duty under international law to prevent genocide. We’re appealing to Irish politicians to end this complicity in war crimes in Gaza, but we also want to reach ordinary citizens, who may not be aware of how their governments collude in assisting Israel to carry out genocide.”

For over two decades Shannonwatch has tracked and documented regular US Air Force and Navy flights through the airport, and the passage of over three million US troops since 2002. Since October 2023 alone, Shannon Airport has facilitated 11 US military flights to fly to Israel, and allowed an additional 85 flights with US armed soldiers and military materials to transit on their way to Middle Eastern destinations. Throughout this time the Irish government has refused repeated calls by peace groups and opposition politicians to fulfil their obligations to inspect these aircraft.

While the Irish government now enjoys a reputation for being outspoken on Palestinian rights, those involved in the vigil argue that they are falling painfully short on actual action. The Recognition of Palestine is a purely symbolic gesture which has no effect on Palestinians under occupation or enduring airstrikes and famine in Gaza. The large number of petitions, protests and demonstrations occurring around the country every week suggests that many people in Ireland feel the same.

Welcoming others to stand in solidarity, Barry Sweeney said:

“With the US openly supporting and participating in the Genocide in Palestine, the continued use of Shannon Airport by the US military as a stepping stone in this pathway of shame and slaughter is utterly reprehensible and must be stopped immediately.”

The vigil organisers are inviting people from all over the country to participate. Volunteers can join the vigil at the roundabout at the entrance to the airport between 6am and 3pm each Saturday and Sunday in July and August.

For more information on the vigil contact Kinvara Palestine Solidarity Group at, or World Beyonf War Ireland at

Meanwhile, three peace activists have been charged with interfering with the operation, management and safety of Shannon Airport by entering the runway area and causing the closure of the airport on March 30th, contrary to Section 47 of the Air Navigation Act and Transport (Amendment) Act, 1998. They are also charged with trespass at the West Apron at the airport. The three are Emer Walshe, Aine Ni Threinir and Aindriu De Buitleir, all of Galway Palestine Solidarity Campaign (GPSC).

The court hearing is on 10th July at Ennis District Court, beginning at 10.30am. We encourage as many supporters as possible to be there.