D’Arcy Says Minister Should Stop Defending the Indefensible

Imprisoned peace activist Margaretta D'Arcy has reiterated her assertion that Shannon Airport's runway is being used improperly for the purposes of war, and has called on the Minister for Defence Alan Shatter to stop defending the indefensible military use of the airport. Speaking to John Lannon and Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch this Monday, she said that the State has a responsibility to ensure the proper use of the airport and to protect it against security threats.

"The fact that Niall Farrell and I could walk out onto the runway at Shannon demonstrates that it is not secure." said Ms D'Arcy. "The military use of the airport presents grave risks to the people in the airport or living nearby, as well as being in contravention of international laws and against the wishes of the majority of Irish people".

Large Turnout at Demonstration in Shannon

A crowd of 100 or more people turned out today in Shannon to demand an end to the U.S. military use of the airport. People travelled from Dublin, Galway, Cork and elsewhere to join locals for the regular monthly demonstration against the airport's complicity in war and human rights violations. This month's event had special significance as it called for the immediate release of peace activist Margaretta D'Arcy whose principled stand against the shameful misuse of Shannon has resulted in her imprisonment by the State.

The crowd included former UN Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday, TD's Mick Wallace and Clare Daly, and Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh (Sinn Fein). It also included Vietnam veteran Joseph Bangert who addressed the crowd, and expressed U.S. solidarity with Margaretta and everyone protesting at Shannon.

They Haven't Gone Away: U.S. Military Still Using Shannon

As Margaretta D'Arcy continues to serve the sentence imposed on her by the Irish State for opposing the U.S. military use of Shannon Airport, the war machines continue to land at the airport. The State's heavy handed treatment of Margaretta was an attempt to silence opposition to the routine presence of these war machines; instead it has made Irish people more aware of their complicity in the human suffering that comes with war. Shannonwatch continues to demand explanations from the Irish government, not only for this ongoing involvement in illegal, unjustified and never-ending war, but also for the many years of cover-up of rendition flights through Shannon. 

January Landings

Between Jan 1st and Jan 22nd, we recorded 4 KC-10's and 5 C-130's at Shannon. The KC-10 is a military version of the DC-10 airplane which is operated by the U.S.  Air Force. Its primary roles are transport and aerial refuelling of other military aircraft.

Margaretta D'Arcy Thanks Supporters and Highlights Role of Women in Conflict Resolution

On Saturday 25th January Zoe Lawlor and John Lannon of Shannonwatch visited Margaretta D'Arcy in Limerick Prison. She has been there now for 10 days, as a result of her conscientious refusal to sign an undertaking that she would stay away from the restricted areas of Shannon Airport. She has made it clear that she has no problem signing a peace bond - after all, peace is what she is campaigning for. However,  the runways at Shannon Airport are directly linked to crimes against humanity, and Margaretta has made it clear that her integrity would be violated if she undertook not to confront this improper use of the runways of a supposedly civilian airport in a supposedly neutral country.

Court Report for Margaretta D’Arcy and Niall Farrell: January 22nd Ennis Court

Report by Sarah Clancy

Judge Durkan Presiding

Peace activists Margaretta D'Arcy and Niall Farrell appeared today before a packed Ennis Courthouse in relation to a protest they had both made in Shannon Airport on September 1st 2013. At that time it looked increasingly likely that the US was about to declare war on Syria. Throughout the world there was considerable fear that there would be a dangerous escalation of the conflict there, and as Pope Francis was leading the faithful in prayer for an end to war in Syria, Margaretta and Niall had once again made their way to Shannon to express their opposition to a US war against Syria and in particular to Ireland's facilitation of any such conflict.

Margaretta D'Arcy in Good Spirits and Determined to Pursue Her 'Conversation With the State'

On Monday 20 January Margaretta D'Arcy was visited in Limerick prison by her son Finn Arden, Niall Farrell of Galway Alliance Against War, and Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch. She was in good form and very determined to continue her "conversation with the State" from within the walls and barbed wire of Limerick Prison. With regard to signing any documents or bonds that could lead to her release from prison she was adamant that she will only sign such undertakings if the Irish Government takes steps to end the US military use of Shannon airport. She made it clear that the protests on the Shannon runway by Niall Farrell and herself were to highlight the crimes being facilitated by the runway at Shannon and she said was this runway was part of the crime scene. If she were to give a written undertaking not to go on to this runway then she could be indirectly complicit in the crimes being committed by US military and CIA who are using this runway on their journeys to and from the wars in Afghanistan and drone attacks and murderous assassinations in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere.