Government Attempts to Deal with Terrorism Ring Hollow

The Government's Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Amendment Bill 2014 is passing through the Oireachtas at the moment. It was initially published in August of last year, and it creates three new offences. These are public provocation to commit a terrorist offence, recruitment for terrorism and training for terrorism. The offences carry sentences of up to 10 years in prison on conviction or on indictment in the higher courts.

At the time of its publication the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said that it lays the groundwork for Ireland's ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism in due course.

She went on to say "We stand with our European colleagues in doing everything in our power to ensure that there are no gaps in our law that can be exploited by those who would inflict terror and mayhem on innocent people at home or abroad."

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."

US Military Plane Inspection Attempt at Shannon Because of Lack of Oversight by Authorities

Edward Horgan of Veterans for Peace and Shannonwatch was detained at Shannon Airport last Saturday morning (April 18th) as a result of his attempt to search one of four US military Hercules C-130s at the airport. Speaking after being released by the Gardai, he said his action was a result of the failure of the Irish Government and the Gardaí to take steps to ensure that US military aircraft at Shannon are not acting in breach of international laws or Irish neutrality.

Dr Horgan was about to board a flight to London to attend the AGM of Veterans for Peace UK when he saw the Hercules aircraft nearby. He walked over towards the aircraft and he approached the first Hercules C130 he was stopped by an airport security officer. "I explained to him that I wished to search the four aircraft but he prevented me from doing so" said Dr Horgan. "He was then joined by other members of the airport police and I was taken to the terminal building where I was handed over to a Garda Immigration officer".

Before Flying, Search a Warplane

Edward Horgan of Veterans for Peace and Shannonwatch found himself in a position this morning (19th April) where he felt obliged to search at least one of the four US military planes sitting on the tarmac at Shannon Airport. Here's his account of how it happened:

This morning I was looking forward to taking a day trip to London to attend the AGM of Veterans for Peace UK. I recently helped to establish a Chapter of Veterans for Peace Ireland. I went to Shannon airport. As I was about to board my Aer Lingus flight to Heathrow, there were four US Hercules C130 warplanes parked in the centre of the airport a couple of hundred yards from my Aer Lingus flight.

For Good Friday its War not Peace at Shannon

Good Friday is commemorated by many in Ireland as the day Christ was crucified. Over the centuries, a corrupted version of Christianity perpetrated many crimes against humanity, including the Crusades and the Inquisition, just as a corrupted version of Islam is now perpetrating crimes against humanity in Kenya, Libya, Syria, and many countries across the Middle East. Ireland is continuing with its support for a corrupted version of the Crusades by allowing the US military to transport troops, war materials and special forces on assassination missions through Shannon Airport.

This Good Friday morning there were two US warplanes at Shannon. One was an Omni Air International chartered to carry US troops, and the other was a US Navy Hercules C130T. These warplanes were being protected by an Irish army patrol, arguably playing the role of Pontius Pilot's Roman Soldiers.

PETALS: Peaceful Endeavour to Terminate Aggressive Landings at Shannon

Shannonwatch, in partnership with Afri/Action from Ireland, has recently launched a shamrock-shaped card spelling out the acronym PETALS:  Peaceful Endeavour to Terminate Aggressive Landings at Shannon. It is intended to convey a gentle but firm message to ourselves and to our guests, especially those from the USA: the 'War on Terror' has eroded our long- and painfully established standards of international law and human rights, whilst wreaking havoc on the societies it purported to help and liberate.

More than 2.5 million troop movements through Shannon have made a shameful travesty of Ireland's claim to be fulfilling its neutral status and its commitments to peaceful conflict resolution and peacekeeping. The refusal to inspect military and military-related aircraft, including many clearly identified with illegal rendition and torture, is a flagrant breach of our government's and police force's duties under domestic and international law.