Galway Alliance Against War Press Release
A motion proposed by Labour councillor Colette Connolly to Galway City Council calling for the cessation of US troops travelling to war via Shannon Airport was defeated by the casting vote of the Deputy Mayor, Fianna Fail’s Ollie Crowe. Cllr. Connolly had proposed that Shannon airport should cease being a US military hub and instead be transformed into a hub for humanitarian aid. All FF, Independent PD Councillors opposed the motion as did most FG members of the council. However, to the surprise of many, FG’s Cllr Padraic Conneely supported the neutrality motion.
In a statement the Galway Alliance Against War thanked Cllr Colette Connolly for proposing the motion and the other 6 councillors for supporting her call to halt US troops travelling to war via Shannon airport. However, the local anti-war group had harsh criticism for the councillors who rejected the motion: “Galway is presented as a city of arts, culture and learning, you wouldn’t think so after this appalling rejection of Colette Connolly’s motion. This motion’s defeat comes in the direct aftermath of the butchery of 16 Afghani civilians – and that number is expected to increase – including 9 children by a US soldier, who probably stopped over in Shannon airport en route to Afghanistan and his killing spree. Those councillors are the archetypal ignorant gombeen politicians. They sully the name and image of Galway. They are a disgrace, an embarrassment.”
In its statement GAAW repeated its call on the Irish Government to halt the US military’s use of Shannon airport and also for the 7 Irish soldiers and 7 Gardaí to be withdrawn immediately in the wake of the murder of the 16 Afghani civilians. “The presence of members of the Irish army as well as Gardaí in Afghanistan is bestowing a legitimacy on the occupation of that country that is not deserved. We are not dealing here with one mentally-unbalanced US soldier, but with a host of armies, American, British, French, German etc., which have been on a rampage in Afghanistan for over ten years. It is the occupation that causes the endless slaughter in Afghanistan. The only solution is for all foreign troops to be withdrawn now.
“In response to this latest in a long line of dreadful atrocities carried out by the occupation forces on the Afghan population, we are calling on Eamon Gilmore, as Minister for Foreign Affairs, to withdraw the 7 Irish officers and 7 Gardaí, who are presently stationed there. It is worth noting why there are no more than 7 soldiers and 7 Gardaí in Afghanistan: under the Defence Act more than seven would have made a debate in the Dáil obligatory. No Irish government wished to debate the death of Irish neutrality since the so-called war on terror.”
For further information: Niall Farrell 091-792297 or 087-9159787
Eolas: Treasa Ní Cheannabháin: 091-590329 nó 087-8380224