shannonwatch's blog

US Troops in Breach of Defence Act at Shannon

On June 28th we were sent a photograph of three US soldiers, in uniform, outside the Topaz/Re-Store store in Shannon. We published the photograph on our Facebook page, and it prompted quite a reaction from the public.

The Defence Act 1954 prohibits the wearing of a foreign military uniform in the State without ministerial permission. Permission was granted in 2003 by then Minister for Foreign Affairs Brian Cowen to allow US military personnel to wear their uniforms in the transit areas of Irish airports, including Shannon Airport, but not outside the airport. We therefore wanted to know if these soldiers had been granted permission by the Minister for Defence, or if they were in fact in breach of the Defence Act.

Warplanes at Shannon, July 23rd

On July 23rd we recorded and photographed no fewer than three US warplanes at Shannon Airport. The most suspicious one was a C146A Wolfhound special operations aircraft. These are the type of missions it is used for by the US Air Force Special Operations Command, according to the American Special Ops website:

"Within United States Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the aircraft is used in the non-standard aviation role i.e. covert insertion, extraction and resupply of special operations forces. AFSOC operate a fleet of light and medium intra-theater aircraft that include the U-28A, C-145A Skytruck and C-146A Wolfhound. In the military role, the C-146A has been configured with special NVG-compatible lighting in the flight deck and cabin. While not publicly disclosed, the C-146A is likely to include a secure communications fitment as well as the capability to fit a defensive aids system (DAS).

Another Busy Day Supporting War at Shannon

July 12th was another busy day at Shannon Warport. Of particular importance was the arrival back of a National Air Cargo plane on contract to the US military using call-sign CMB545. It arrived at 9.38 am this morning 12 July. We tracked its recent war supporting flights as follows: (all times are local)

Hiding our Neutrality instead of Promoting it

This US air force Hercules C130 warplane was at Shannon Airport tonight, July 2nd, being protected by a combination of a Garda security team, Shannon Airport security, and an Irish Defence Forces security team.

Ennis Circuit Court Report, June 29th (2018)

Here is the court report from June 29th at Ennis Circuit Court, where Judge Gerald Keys ruled that the cases of Colm Roddy, Dave Donnellan, Dan Dowling and Edward Horgan should be transferred from Ennis Circuit Court to Dublin Circuit court. This means a trial by jury in Dublin. We have no doubt but that all these cases will eventually be dismissed, as they should be, either on grounds of justification of for technical legal reasons.

Our court reporter has been in many courtrooms over the last decade or so. It's not often that what's said and done in them surprises him. But this day's proceedings did. Here's his report from June 29th.

The four defendants, Ed Horgan, Dan Dowling, Dave Donnellan and Colm Roddy have been trying to have their cases transferred to Dublin from the moment they first set foot in the Circuit Court after the judge in the District Court refused jurisdiction.

Today was judgement day, with regard to that effort.

The defendants were in the courtroom for 10.30am and Judge Keys arrived shortly thereafter. They were the only defendants in the room.

KC-10 Emergency Landing at Shannon - Still a lot of Questions to be Answered

On June 3rd it was reported that a military aerial refuelling aircraft had made an emergency landing at Shannon Airport. It was a US Air Force McDonnell Douglas KC-10, and initial reports said it suffered a problem with one of its engines over the Atlantic.

Five fire brigade units were sent from Shannon Town and two more from Ennis in support of the airport's Fire and Rescue Service. The National Ambulance Service and Gardaí also sent resources to the airport.

According to local reports, an inspection of the aircraft afterwards discovered that a panel was missing from the jet's left engine.