Before Flying, Search a Warplane

Edward Horgan of Veterans for Peace and Shannonwatch found himself in a position this morning (19th April) where he felt obliged to search at least one of the four US military planes sitting on the tarmac at Shannon Airport. Here's his account of how it happened:

This morning I was looking forward to taking a day trip to London to attend the AGM of Veterans for Peace UK. I recently helped to establish a Chapter of Veterans for Peace Ireland. I went to Shannon airport. As I was about to board my Aer Lingus flight to Heathrow, there were four US Hercules C130 warplanes parked in the centre of the airport a couple of hundred yards from my Aer Lingus flight.

For Good Friday its War not Peace at Shannon

Good Friday is commemorated by many in Ireland as the day Christ was crucified. Over the centuries, a corrupted version of Christianity perpetrated many crimes against humanity, including the Crusades and the Inquisition, just as a corrupted version of Islam is now perpetrating crimes against humanity in Kenya, Libya, Syria, and many countries across the Middle East. Ireland is continuing with its support for a corrupted version of the Crusades by allowing the US military to transport troops, war materials and special forces on assassination missions through Shannon Airport.

This Good Friday morning there were two US warplanes at Shannon. One was an Omni Air International chartered to carry US troops, and the other was a US Navy Hercules C130T. These warplanes were being protected by an Irish army patrol, arguably playing the role of Pontius Pilot's Roman Soldiers.

PETALS: Peaceful Endeavour to Terminate Aggressive Landings at Shannon

Shannonwatch, in partnership with Afri/Action from Ireland, has recently launched a shamrock-shaped card spelling out the acronym PETALS:  Peaceful Endeavour to Terminate Aggressive Landings at Shannon. It is intended to convey a gentle but firm message to ourselves and to our guests, especially those from the USA: the 'War on Terror' has eroded our long- and painfully established standards of international law and human rights, whilst wreaking havoc on the societies it purported to help and liberate.

More than 2.5 million troop movements through Shannon have made a shameful travesty of Ireland's claim to be fulfilling its neutral status and its commitments to peaceful conflict resolution and peacekeeping. The refusal to inspect military and military-related aircraft, including many clearly identified with illegal rendition and torture, is a flagrant breach of our government's and police force's duties under domestic and international law. 

Shannonwatch Calls for Support for Mick Wallace and Clare Daly on Day 2 of their Trial

TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly are back in court in Ennis at 2pm on Tuesday March 10th as a result of their attempt to inspect a US military aircraft at Shannon Airport.

This is the second day of a case that has already heard evidence from a number of witnesses who outlined the problematic nature of the US military presence at Shannon. These witnesses included Irish Times Security Analyst Dr Tom Clonan, former UN Deputy Secretary Denis Halliday, international lawyer and neutrality expert Roberto Zamora, and Dr Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch.

Too Many US Military Aircraft Emergencies at Shannon

Less than a week after we had an emergency landing of a US military aircraft used in electronic warfare at Shannon Airport, we've had another emergency landing by another of the US's military aircraft.

EC-130H electronic warfare aircraft at Shannon on March 1st, after making emergency landing

Early on the morning of Saturday 28th Feb an EC-130H 'Compass Call', which is a variant of the Hercules C-130 that operates in an airborne tactical weapon system role to disrupt enemy command and control communications, landed after suffering engine problems. As the Clare Herald reported, Shannon Airport’s emergency plan was quickly implemented with units of the fire brigade from Shannon and Ennis along with ambulances from Limerick and Ennis being sent to the airport in support of the airport’s own fire and rescue service.

Court Case Highlights Issues Relating to US Military and CIA Use of Shannon Airport

On Tuesday 24th February the first part of the State's case against TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly took place. The case was adjourned until March 10th at 2pm (again in Ennis court) when a number of defence witnesses plus Mick and Clare themselves will give evidence.

Mick and Clare are in court because they climbed a fence and walked towards an US military plane at Shannon in order to inspect it.

We will provide a full report and analysis of the case when it has concluded, but for now it is sufficient to note the main contributors to date. Airport Police officers and Gardai have already given evidence for the State, and five witnesses have presented evidence in support of the defence. The first of these was Irish Times Security Analyst Dr Tom Clonan. Some of the key points of his contribution are outlined here. UN Deputy Secretary Denis Halliday, international lawyer and neutrality expert Roberto Zamora, and Dr Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch also appeared as witnesses. In addition, a former worker at Shannon gave evidence of routinely seeing guns stored in overhead lockers and under seats on US troop carriers. He also spoke about seeing other US planes that remained far away from the terminal building and which he and other workers were not allowed onto while delivering food. These were what workers referred to as the "rendition planes".