Another Day in Court for Colm Roddy

Colm Roddy was "up for mention" at Ennis District Court today as a result of efforts by himself and Dave Donnellan to search two US military aircraft at Shannon Airport almost one year ago. Judge Durcan, who last November had struck out the charges against Colm Roddy had initially forgotten his previous dismissal of these charges, and then when he remembered, sought more information from the prosecution about the DPP's decision to overturn Judge Durcan's ruling in November. Inspector Kennedy was not in court and the prosecuting inspector knww nothing of te case, so the matter was adjourned once again to Wed 26th April.

Full report from our Court correspondent ...

What Kenny Won't but Should Say to Trump on St Patrick's Day

Enda Kenny handed over our neutrality and Shannon Airport to Obama. Time to take them back when he meets Trump.

On Friday, St Patrick's Day, Taoiseach Enda Kenny will pay homage to the man he called racist last year, Donald Trump.

When they meet there will be no mention of our neutrality, or the millions of mwn, women and children we have helped Trump's predecessors to kill in the Middle East.

No mention of the continued use of Shannon to kill and main.

No mention of the recent revelation that the US used depleted uranium in Syria in 2015.

Or the expected $60bn Trump will spend on military interference in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and other countries in the next year. Trump is increasing the military budget as a whole to close to $1trillion.

There will be no mention of Trump's determination to ramp up the nuclear arms race.

Remembering the Children who have Died because of War in the Middle East

Reading the name of Nawar al Awlaki, killed by US special forces in Yemen on 29th January 2017

Our Peace Vigil at Shannon today was a windy affair but Spring was in the air, so the joys of the season should have been evident. However Shannonwatch and other NGO research has revealed that war related deaths of children in the Middle East since the 1991 First Gulf War may have amounted to up to one million children dead. Since we in Ireland have been partly complicit in these deaths as a result of US military use of Shannon Airport we had started a project to try and put names on as many of these children who have died as possible. To us and of course to their families these children's deaths are not just "collateral damage".

Public Meeting on Peace and Neutrality in Tralee on March 4th

The peace and human rights group Shannonwatch will hold a public meeting at the Meadowlands Hotel, Tralee this Saturday 4th March at 2pm. It will look at Irelands's support for US wars of invasion and occupation by allowing armed US troops to pass through Shannon Airport on their way to Iraq and elsewhere despite claims that we are a neutral country. Speakers will include Edward Horgan and John Lannon of Shannonwatch, and Hashim Alhadeedy who is one of the many people who has had to flee from the war in Iraq. It is an open meeting, and everone is welcome to attend.

The people of the Middle East, especially children, need the help of the Irish people to stop wars and make peace. We, the people of Ireland need to restore Irish neutrality and get US military out of Shannon airport.

Report on Appearance of Peace Activist Colm Roddy in Ennis Court (Feb 15th)

From our Court Correspondent

This case arises as a result of a communicative peace activist protest action taken by Colm Roddy and Dave Donnelan on 25 May 2016, when they entered Shannon airport to search two US military aircraft, which they felt legally and morally obliged to search, because Gardai at Shannon airport have been directed by the Irish Government not to search or investigate any US military aircraft at Shannon airport.

When the case was called there was confusion from the outset, caused partly by the fact that at the last hearing held on 16th November 2016, when the case against Colm Roddy was struck out by Judge Durcan, neither Inspector Kennedy not Judge Grainne O'Neill, who was presiding today, were present, so both were new to the complexities of Colm's present legal situation.

Colm Roddy in Ennis Court on Wednesday Feb 15th

Colm (second from left) with friends and supporters outside Shannon Garda Station after his re-arrest

Gardai at Shannon have, over the years, failed in their duty to investigate torture and complicity in war crimes, and systematically avoided searching or investigating aircraft associated with the US military or CIA. As a result, Irish citizens have felt morally and legally obliged to do what the Gardai are refusing to do, that is search US and CIA aircraft at Shannon. Colm Roddy and Dave Donnellan attempted to do this last May, and were arrested for so doing. Theyhave been before the courts on several occasions in the meantime on spurious and unjustified charges of doing criminal damage.

This is an extract from the report on their court appearance of 16th Nov last 

"Colm began by complaining about the manner in which he had been arrested this morning by Garda Colm Moriarty, when he had arrived in Ennis today of his own accord from Dublin as he had done for each of the previous days hearings.

Now Easier Than Ever to Request US Military Aircraft Inspection; Still Impossible to Get One

Revelations over the manner in which Sergeant Maurice McCabe and others were treated because they dared to tell the truth once again calls into question the silence of Gardai over the failure to search suspected CIA rendition planes and US military aircraft at Shannon. We have repeatedly presented evidence (or what the authorities like to call "information") about breaches of the law at Shannon, yet these systematically are ignored.

Yet we know there are Gardai who agree with us when we say inspection of planes is necessary.  

And we have been told about "instructions" from the Attorney General, and about "policy decisions" not to search CIA aircraft.

We've had peace activists arrested, sometimes for simply being in a car park taking photographs.

We are physically restrained from entering the airport - the most recent example being when we organised a demonstration against the US immigration ban and wanted to deliver letters to the airport authorities.

We've had hotel bookings cancelled without any plausible explanation.

Peace and Anti-Racism Groups Condemn Immigration Ban at Irish Airports

Irish peace and anti-racism groups have joined together to denounce the implementation of a US Immigration ban on Muslims at pre-clearance facilities in Dublin and Shannon airports.

US President Trump signed an order which means people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen travelling to the US via Ireland are likely to be detained.

"Shannon and Dublin's complicity in allowing the US to deny entry to approved refugees, asylum seekers, visa holders and even US legal residents is shocking" said John Lannon of Shannonwatch. "We call on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to express Ireland's revulsion at the bans imposed by President Trump, and to ensure that the Irish airport authorities and Gardai do not facilitate this unjust and discriminatory order in any way."

"The fact that people could now be barred from planes at Shannon because of their religion or country of origin is in stark contrast to the fact that CIA torturers and US military personnel linked to war crimes have been allowed to pass through the same airport unimpeded." said Lannon.

Another Busy Night for Warplanes at Shannon

Last night (Jan 24th) was a busy night for warplanes at Shannon Airport. At 6pm a Shannonwatch member photographed a Miami Air aircraft that may have been trying to disguise its presence at there, or at least disguise the fact that it is on contract to the US military.

The aircraft number was N739MA. It took off from Pease Air Force Base in the USA and landed at Shannon on Monday at 08:42 using a civilian call sign BSK171. It took off from Shannon again at 10:05 then flew on towards Europe and landed at Chania airport in Crete, this time using a US military call sign and then headed for Muwaffaq Salti Airbase, near Al Azraq, Jordan.

That base is currently involved in launching bombing raids in Syria.

Missed Opportunity to Ask Questions about US Military Use of Shannon Airport

Press Statement from Limerick Councillor Cian Prendiville (AAA)

Cllr. Cian Prendiville has expressed disappointment that councillors did not get a chance to ask questions of Matthew Thomas the new CEO of Shannon Airport after he addressed the council yesterday. The AAA Councillor described it as a 'lost opportunity'.

"We had a surreal situation where the head of the airport was kind enough to attended the council meeting, yet half the councillors weren't even in the room, and those of us that were there were told to just sit there and say nothing. No questions, no discussion. The councillors were just there as nodding dogs it seemed. The future of the airport is very important for the region and proper balanced regional development, and councillors should have been allowed to discuss it.

"In addition to that, I had a number of very important questions that I think the people of Limerick and the mid west need to know about Shannon Airport, in particular the dangers flowing from its use as a military airport by the US army, air force and navy . I will now be writing to Matthew Thomas of Shannon Airport asking him those questions: