Agreement to Allow British Fighter Planes into Irish Airspace Further Erodes Neutrality

On Monday last it was revealed (Irish Examiner) that an agreement was reached some years ago between the Irish and British governments about protecting this country's airspace from terrorist threats. It appears that civil servants from the Department of Defence, Department of Foreign Affairs and the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) entered into a bilateral agreement with British counterparts which would allow British Tornado fighter jets to shoot down aircraft in Irish airspace if they are hijacked by terrorists for a 9/11-style attack.

The agreement permits the British military to conduct armed operations in Irish sovereign or Irish-controlled airspace, and was taken without consultation with the army.

Shannonwatch are extremely concerned at this further erosion of Irish neutrality.

The World Must Support Ireland Against U.S. Wars

A Letter to Ireland from World Beyond War.

Add your name to the petition here.

Those of us outside Ireland, and in particular those of us in the United States, have a pressing and urgent responsibility to lend all the support we can to our brothers and sisters in Ireland who are resisting U.S. wars.

Despite Ireland's officially neutral status and its claim to have not gone to war since its founding in 1922, Ireland allowed the United States to use Shannon Airport during the Gulf War and, as part of the so-called coalition of the willing, during the wars that began in 2001. Between 2002 and the present date, over 2.5 million U.S. troops have passed through Shannon Airport, along with many weapons, and CIA airplanes used to transfer prisoners to places of torture. Casement Aerodrome has also been used. And, despite not being a member of NATO, Ireland has sent troops to participate in the illegal war on Afghanistan.

Report on Court Hearing - Colm Roddy and Dave Donnellan (July 20th, 2016)

Ennis District Court, Wednesday, 20th July 2016

Judge Patrick Durcan presiding.

Inspector Tom Kennedy prosecuting.

Cases

Garda O'Brien v Colm Roddy
Garda Moriarty v Dave Donnellan

Background

The charges arise from an incident at Shannon Airport on May 25th where the defendants made a peaceful protest at Shannon Airport and attempted to inspect a US military aircraft that was parked in the middle of the airfield.

The day after the action after spending a day in custody, the men were brought before recently appointed judge James Faughnan, in Gort District Court.

Judge Faughnan granted a request from Garda Superintendent Brendan McDonagh that the defendants bail would include a ban from entering the county of Clare other than for court related matters. He ignored the objections of Mr Roddy that the restrictions were unfair.

Over 25,000 Troops Through Shannon So Far This Year

The Minister for Transport,Tourism and Sport, the formerly independent-minded Shane Ross TD, has provided details of the ongoing use of Shannon Airport by the US Military. The man who is on record as saying "We are not a neutral nation; we are a neutered nation" has confirmed that in the first half of this year he has sanctioned the transit of 25,890 US soldiers through Shannon.  The monthly breakdown is January - 5999; February - 3679; March - 3668; April - 4182; May - 3811; June - 4551.

The number of requests Minister Ross's Department received to date in 2016 from civilian aircraft to land at Shannon Airport or pass through Irish airspace while carrying munitions was 475. Of these, 447 were issued with permits.

We need Irish version of Chilcot

Letter from Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch, printed in today's Irish Examiner.

During the month of June, while Nato exercises were taking place in Poland, I photographed a large number of US military aircraft at Shannon airport, including mid-air refuelling aircraft, whose only purpose is to refuel other military aircraft in mid-air. On July 12, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan TD gave a written reply to Clare Daly TD, who had asked the Minister "to ascertain from the United States Government if any of the US military aircraft that transited through Shannon Airport during the month of June 2016, were involved in any capacity, in supporting military exercises in Poland or elsewhere." Minister Flanagan replied as follows: "The US Embassy has reconfirmed details which it had provided previously in relation to the aircraft that transited through Shannon Airport last month. The Embassy has reconfirmed that the aircraft were unarmed, carried no arms, ammunition or explosives and did not engage in intelligence gathering. The Embassy further reconfirmed that the aircraft were not part of a military operation or exercise. Permission for landings by these aircraft was granted subject to these conditions."

Aircraft Linked to Renditions Back at Shannon

Shannon Airport has seen plenty of torture planes come and go - none of which were investigated by the authorities. Today (July 1st) one of them was back, although of course we don't know why it was there. We just know it was at US military facilities in Maryland and Alaska in the days before its arrival at Shannon this morning at 9.43am.