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.

Jailed for Refusing to Be Silent: Peace Activist Margaretta D'Arcy

Margaretta D'Arcy is not a war criminal. Nor is she a human rights abuser, or the commander of an invading army. But she has spent many years drawing attention to the fact that these type of people pass through Shannon Airport regularly. The legally and morally correct response from the Irish police would be to investigate this complicity in wrongdoing at Shannon. Instead they imprisoned 79 year old Margaretta because she wouldn't promise to stay away from the airport.

A peace activist who draws too much attention to US and NATO injustices is locked up in supposedly neutral Ireland, while the country's morally corrupt government continues to bend over backwards to support their imperialist plundering. Ireland is obligated under customary international laws on neutrality to not allow US troops involved in wars to transit through Irish territory, and to arrest any such soldiers found on Irish territory. But the government not only refuses to do this - it even welcomes them.

Guantanamo Granny Tries to Arrest Judge

On Wednesday 11th December, In Ennis District court. Margaretta D'Arcy of Galway Alliance Against War attempted to make a citizen arrest on Patrick Durcan the presiding judge.  Margaretta claimed he was complicit in supporting criminal acts at Shannon Airport because in passing sentence on her and Niall Farrell who went onto the runway to protest against the US military use of the airport, he ignored the fact that Shannon Airport has violated the integrity of the Irish Constitution Articles 28 and 29 as well as the Charter of Fundamental Rights recognised by the European Union and European Court of Human Rights. According to Margaretta, it puts the security of the U.S. war machines above the security of its civilian passengers.

"His suspended sentence reveals where his concerns are so long as I observe crimes that are going on in Shannon from the outside I don't go to jail but if I try and stop war crimes inside the airport I will be locked up for three months" said Ms D'Arcy.