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Video Recordings of Demonstration to End US Military Use of Shannon (Sunday 9th October 2016)

As the 15th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan by the US and its allies was being marked at Shannon a Hercules C-130 sat on the tarmac at the airport. There was also an Omni Air International plane parked at the terminal building, probably waiting for troops to reboard on their way to continue the occupation of Afghanistan. 

To mark Ireland and Shannon's involvement in the continuing destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq and other parts of the Middle East, a crowd of over 50 people walked from Shannon Town Centre towards the airport but were stopped a long distance from the terminal building by a line of Gardai. The crowd, which included four TDs, at least one Senator and several local councillors, spent an hour engaging peacefully with the Gardai before moving to the perimeter fence of the airport where a Shannonwatch member pointed out and explained the presence of the two planes to the assembled crowd.

Questions over Ireland Involvement in Saudi Bombing of Yemen

A report two days ago from The Intercept ("Photos Show Fragments of U.S. Bombs at Site of Yemen Funeral Massacre) indicates that the bombs used to kill 140 funeral goers were MK-82 500 pound bombs manufactured and supplied by the US, and made by Raytheon. Given the larger number of US military Hercules C-130 and Clipper C40 transport aircraft that have been transitting through Shannon Airport there is a likelihood that some of the munitions being supplied to Saudi Arabia by the US are going through Ireland.

The report explains that Saudi Arabia's bombing campaign in Yemen began in March 2015 after Houthi rebels deposed the U.S.- and Saudi-backed dictator, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. Since the war began, Saudi Arabia has intentionally targeted numerous homes, factories, markets, schools, and hospitals.

It says:

Peace Events at Shannon on October 8th and 9th - Time to End Irish Involvement in War in the Middle East

Another venue change for the seminar: Because Bunratty Castle Hotel have become the THIRD hotel to cancel our booking, the event on Saturday will now be held in our Peace Tent just before the entrance to Shannon Airport.

Fifteen years after Shannon Airport was made available to the US military for their illegal invasions of Afghanistan and then Iraq, both countries are in violent turmoil. Here's a small snapshot of what happened in the last couple of days alone:

Shannonwatch Condemns Russian Involvement in Killing of Civilians

A Dutch-led investigation has concluded that a Buk SA-11 surface-to-air missile system was used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine two years ago, killing all 298 on board. It was transported from Russia at the request of Russian-backed separatists and returned to Russia the same night.

Shannonwatch condemns all such reckless attacks on civilians in war zones.

There is no justification for the type of action that resulted in such unnecessary loss of life. It is unacceptable, even the laws of war emphasise military necessity (an attack or action must be intended to help in the defeat of the enemy), distinction (belligerents must distinguish between combatants and civilians) and proportionality (belligerents must make sure that the harm caused to civilians is not excessive in relation to the military advantage expected by an attack.

The investigation into the shooting down of the Malaysian Airline plane largely confirmed the Russian government's role not only in the deployment of the missile system but also in the subsequent cover-up. 

More Lies and Cover-Up About what is Going On at Shannon

On a number of occasions the Minister for Foreign Affairs has told us (and the rest of Ireland) that most requests for foreign military aircraft to use the landing facilities at Shannon Airport concern aircraft refueling, as well as crew and passenger rest. Allmost all of these landinga are by US military planes of course. He has also said that some of these US military landings relate to the transport of dignitaries, flight crew training, aircrafy maintenance - and airport familiarization.

Like us, Clare Daly TD was curious about why it is necessary for the US military to engage in airport familiarisation in a small airport in the west of Ireland, given that the US has thousands of airports of its own adequate to such a task. Here's what the Minister said in reply to a parliamentary question from Clare on the matter (PQ 24502/16 answered 16 Sept 2016):

Another Long Day in Court for Peace Activists Dave Donnellan and Colm Roddy

Peace activists Dave Donnellan and Colm Roddy were back in Ennis District Court today (Sept 14th) as a result of charges arising from their peaceful peace action and attempt to search US military airctaft at Shannon Airport on May 25th. Here's a summary of the day's proceedings from our court reporter.

It was a long day for the two activists today in the Ennis courtroom. There was a massive list and the court sat right through the lunch hour. There were a few supporters too who shared the ordeal with the two activists, including a well known ShellToSea spokesperson who drove all the way from Mayo to show solidarity.

Dave was called first, eventually.

Inspector Tom Kennedy told Judge Durcan that the DPP had responded to the file sent by the gardaí and had chosen not to pursue a case in the circuit court. There were no new charges either.