The question of whether or not the Gardai can inspect US military aircraft at Shannon is something that the various personnel, agencies and services in the Department of Justice and Equality seem to have very different understandings of. The Minister says they can't. The Gardai themselves seem to think they can if there is good reason to. And at least one judge believes they can.
So who's right?
Only last week, on November 5th, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter, said that "the Garda Síochána has no role in relation to the inspection of foreign State or military aircraft which, in accordance with international law, enjoy sovereign immunity." Sovereign immunity prevents a government or its subdivisions, departments, and agencies from being sued without its consent. In other words they are above the law.