Fire on US Military Contracted Plane at Shannon Airport Raises Serious Questions

Shannonwatch are calling for an immediate review of the safety standards applied to US military and military contracted planes at Shannon Airport. A fire on an Omni Air International troop carrier brought the airport to a standstill on Thursday August 15th. This once again highlights the dangers posed by daily military traffic at a civilian airport like Shannon.

The troop carrier, which is reported to be carrying approximately 150 troops, was on its way to the Middle East. It had arrived earlier from Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma USA.

"We know that it's standard practice for the troops on these planes to have their weapons with them," said John Lannon of Shannonwatch. "But what we don't know, because the Irish government refuses to conduct proper inspections of US military planes at Shannon, is whether or not there were munitions on board."

Solidarity with Kings Bay Ploughshares 7

We were delighted to welcome US peace activists Ellen and Teresa Grady to our August peace vigil at Shannon Airport on Sunday August 11th. Their sister Clare is one of seven Catholic Plowshares activists who entered Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in St. Mary's, Georgia in April 2018 to expose the illegal and immoral nuclear weapons at the base. The seven non-violently and symbolically disarmed the Trident nuclear submarine base, and could face 25 years in prison for their action.  Some of them have already been jailed for over a year before trial. 

US Troop Carriers - Not Needed at Shannon or Anywhere Else

Sunday August 4th at Shannon Airport - two Omni Air International planes on contract to the US military.

N828AX arrived from the largest US air base in the Middle East at Al Udeid in Qatar. It refuelled and took off again at 03.23 am in the morning, heading for Buckley Air Base in Colorado. It also landed at Dallas Forth Worth in Texas. 

N477AX arrived from Dallas Fort Worth in Texas at 18.18 pm refuelled and took off again towards the Middle East.

Photograph of N828AX at Shannon in October 2018. N477AX photographed on Aug 4th 2019 (also at Shannon). Both taken by Shannonwatch

Authorities Hiding the US Military Use of Shannon While Companies Like US Alliance Promote It

Why is it that the media or state/semi state bodies conspire to hide the fact US military use of Shannon Airport?

Shannon has been providing direct support for US military operations for close to 20 years. Companies like US Alliance that provide ground handling services for the US military at Shannon promote the airport on the basis that it has

  • No slots/noise restriction
  • Runway 3,200 meter
  • US Department of Homeland security base in Shannon operating CBP clearance
  • 24/7 operations

Yes, that says no noise restrictions! The US military are being encouraged to take whatever loud, intrusive military planes they want in or out of Shannon at any time of the day or night. Just like they would at any of their military bases.

To emphasise the point, US Alliance even refer to the ground handling for the US military as Base Ops EINN on their website.

High Court Refuses to Allow Ken Mayers and Tarak Kauff to Return to the US

Vetaran fo Peace Tarak Kauff wrote the following introduction to a piece by Ken Mayers on the refusal of the High Court to allow them to return to the US while awaiting trial. Ken and Tarak are being charged as a result of their attempt to inspect a US contracted military place at Shannon Airport in March.

My "partner in (exposing) crime" Ken Mayers, wrote this excellent and  very thorough report on our current situation and the lead-up to it. As Ken says in closing, "we will continue our mission as long as we are here." Our mission when we came to this beautiful country, and what will continue even after we eventually get back to the states is opposing and exposing in every way we can, the U.S. War Machine and in this particular case, the Irish government, court system and media's abysmal complicity and betrayal of it's own people's desire for peace and neutrality - not to mention the 700-year ongoing struggle for real Irish independence, first from the British and now from the economic and bloody boot-heel of U.S. and NATO imperialism. In the mean time, we deeply appreciate all the solidarity and support and please continue your own efforts to oppose and resist what I mention above. That is the real issue. - Tarak

From Ken Mayers:

SUMMARY:  The high court has denied our appeal to have our bail conditions modified in order to allow us to return to the United States until our trial. However the judge said that we may appeal again after the trial date has been set, which we think will happen in October. 

Open Letters to US President Donald Trump and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Here are the two letters handed over for delivery to US President Donald Trump and Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar during the protests at Shannon today. We have been assured that they will be delivered.

Open letter to Mr Donald Trump, President of the United States of America

Dear US President Donald Trump,

As President of the United States of America, with which the people of Ireland have very close friendship and kinship ties, you should be very welcome in Ireland. However, because of your racist, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic and anti-migrant views and actions, many people in Ireland reject and protest your presence here. 

As US President you have approved the use of torture, in contravention of the UN Convention Against Torture.

You and your government continue to wage unjustified wars of aggression in breach of the UN Charter.

You have allowed US forces to transit through Shannon airport in breach of international laws on neutrality.