Approving US Military Flights Through Ireland With Weapons on Board is a Rubber Stamping Exercise

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) has recently started to publish a Monthly Report on Munitions of War Exemptions issued under the Air Navigation (Carriage of Munitions of War, Weapons and Dangerous Goods) Order, 1973 on its website. It can be be accessed via the following link http://www.dttas.ie/aviation/publications/english/statistics-munitions-war.

As the latest figures available show, a total of 427 permits were granted for civilian aircraft to take munitions through Irish airspace or airports in the first 6 months of this year. 149 of these were for flights with personal weapons of troops on board landing at Shannon Airport. Ten were for flights landing in Ireland with munitions classified as dangerous goods on board, and there were 260 flights classified as "other overflights in Irish airspace with munitions on board". The remaining ten were for flights by Irish Registered aircraft not entering Irish airspace

War-Torn Children Exhibition in Limerick

An exhibition of textiles, photographs and posters highlighting the devastating impact of war on children, their families and communities will take place from 17th to the 28th July in the CB1 Gallery, Central Buildings, 51a O'Connell Street, Limerick. The exhibition is commissioned by Doras Luimní and curated by Roberta Bacic, and is an adaptation of a larger collection exhibited at the Linen Hall Library, Belfast this year.

The aim of the exhibition is to raise awareness of the human impact of war and injustice, and to promote a culture of hospitality and welcome for refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution in Limerick. It will be accompanied by a series of lunchtime events that include a
workshop on how to make an arpillera doll, conducted by Roberta Bacic; a first-hand account of Iraq since the 2003 US Invasion by Hashim Alhadeedy;

Still No Accountability for Ireland's Complicity in Torture

Letter by Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch published in the Irish Independent on June 26th 2017.

Monday 26th June is designated as the UN day in support of victims of torture. The UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) was ratified on 26th June 1987. UNCAT was incorporated into Irish law by the Criminal Justice (UNCAT) Act 2000. The heinous crime of torture has not been eliminated and the 21st century has seen an increase in torture by states, including the United States, with its so called Extraordinary Rendition program, which saw torture inflicted on prisoners in Guantanamo and other prisons and so-called Black Sites, with the approval of officials of the US Government.

Munitions of War applications processed by DTTAS: 1 Jan 2017 to 31 May 2017 inclusive

In reply to a parliamentary question from Clare Daly TD, the Minister for Transport Shane Ross TD provided details of permits granted to take munitions fo war through Irish airports and airspace over the period 1 Jan 2017 to 31 May 2017.

While the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) imposes imposes restrictions on military aircraft landing at Irish airports or transiting through Irish airspace, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) does not do the same for military contracted planes.

Gardai Monitor Peace Activists instead of Warplanes at Shannon Airport

Garda surveillance of peace vigil at Shannon today

The monthly peace vigils at Shannon Airport continued today, with about 20 people gathering to highlight the unacceptable US military use of the airport. A few hours earlier a US Air Force Special Reserve plane left Shannon, probably on its way to or from the Middle East where US interventions continue to result in widespread loss of life. It should have been the focus of attention of the Gardai, whose job it is to detect and prevent crime, and to ensure our nation's security. But as usual it wasn't.

There could have been scores war criminals or kidnapped prisoners and stashes of lethal weapons on the plane. So just in case, the Gardai kept themselves busy doing something else.

Report on Appearance (for Mention) of Peace Activists Edward Horgan and Dan Dowling at Ennis Court

Report prepared by an interested party who attended the court

At Ennis District Court today, peace activists Edward Horgan and Dan Dowling were before the court, as part of an ongoing prosecution case against them for allegedly writing some graffiti on a US warplane at Shannon Airport on 25 April 2017. This particular hearing was just for mention, to set a future date for further mention dates, and to discuss issues such as ongoing bail conditions and discovery of documents by the prosecution to the defence. What could possibly go wrong?

US Air Force Special Ops at Shannon Airport

Image from http://www.af.mil/

On Monday June 5th, an inconspicuous US Air Force Special Operations airplane left Shannon heading towards the Miiddle East. The C-146A "Wolfhound" 12-3060 looks like a normal civilian plane but it is far from that. In fact it is used to support special forces operating in war zones.

According to the US Air Force themselves the C-146A's primary mission is "to provide U.S. Special Operations Command flexible, responsive and operational movement of small teams needed in support of Theater Special Operations Commands (TSOC)".

Air Force Special Operations Command aircrews conduct airlift missions to "prepared and semi-prepared airfields around the world" according to the US Air Force.

Does this mean Shannon Airport is now considered to be a "prepared" or "semi-prepared" US military airfield?

Ireland should be to forefront on highlighting Yemen atrocities

Letter by Shannonwatch's Edward Horgan published in today's Irish Independent and reproduced here in full.

Genocide is defined as "Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part". What is happening in Yemen at present falls within this category yet the international community is actively facilitating rather than preventing it. In the 1990s when questioned by a reporter about up to half a million children who died as a result of UN and Western imposed sanctions on Iraq, US Secretary of State Madeline Albright replied "Yes I believe it was worth it". Our Irish Government remained silent then. In 2017 a greater catastrophe is being perpetrated in Yemen actively supported by the United States and its allies. One branch of the United Nations, the UN Human Rights Committee, is condemning this situation, while the UN Security Council is the organisation that is imposing sanctions and a naval blockade that is preventing the importation of vital food supplies to Yemen, at the behest of its permanent members the US, supported by Britain and France. They do this on behalf of Saudi Arabia, which is the leading aggressor in Yemen, while selling large amounts of arms to Saudi Arabia.

Irish Activists Attending International Peace Summit in Brussels

On May 25th, government leaders from around the world will meet in Brussels for a NATO Summit which will be attended by US President Donald Trump. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg already met with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel on the 2nd May at Palais d'Egmont to prepare for this meeting, with a stated agenda including NATO's role in the fight against terrorism and EU relations. Meanwhile US President Trump has already announced a massive increase in military spending, and has demanded that Europe adopt a similar policy. The rise of defence budgets up to 2% of the Gross Domestic Product will undoubtedly be one of the most important topics at this Summit meeting.

The Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) have sent a strong delegation to attend a counter 'Yes to Peace...NO to NATO' Conference in Brussels which is organised by the World Peace Council (WPC). There they will meet up with other representatives of peace groups and peace activists from all over Europe and the United States.

Peace Activists Charged with Defacing a US Warplane at Shannon

Last night (April 25th) two peace activists, Edward Horgan, member of Veterans for Peace Ireland, and Dan Dowling entered Shannon Airport by route unknown, and went to the location on Taxiway 11 where two US Navy planes numbered 165836 and 165829 were parked. The warplanes were being protected by an Irish army patrol who were accompanied by a Garda. The peace activists managed to get as far as the aircraft, before they were seen by the Army patrol. It later transpired that someone, some person or persons unknown, had written the words DANGER DANGER DO NOT FLY on the engine of one of the warplanes. At about 10.50 pm after the peace activists had been discovered they were surrounded by Garda and airport Security patrol vehicles with blue flashing lights.