Case Dismissed: Peace Activists Have No Charges to Answer

On Tuesday May 27th, two members of Shannonwatch appeared in Ennis District Court to answer a charge under the Public Order Act, Section 8. This related to an incident that took place on October 13th 2013.

On that date, Dr. Edward Horgan and Tim Hourigan were at Shannon Airport prior to the start of Shannonwatch's monthly vigil, and had gone up to the airport for their regular routine of taking photographs of any suspicious aircraft and meeting others in the hotel for tea, before joining the vigil.

They had photographed two suspicious aircraft, and were heading back to the hotel, when they were met by two Gardai who accused them of having trespassed in a restricted area. The planespotters had in fact been on the public footpath next to Long Term Car Park 4, so they told the Gardai that they denied any accusation of trespass. The Gardai then invoked the Public Order Act and directed the peace activists to 'leave the area'.

Remembering Departed Friends

Shannonwatch was saddened by the passing of two of our dear friends in the last week and a half. On Tuesday 29th May, Esta Carter, who was a lifelong struggler against injustice and a stalwart of the peace movement, died. Just one week later on Tuesday 6th May, another wonderful person, Anne Clinton, passed away. She too was always on the side of the oppressed and campaigned tirelessly to end war and oppression.

Garda Reports of Instructions Not to Search Rendition Planes Need to be Clarified

Recent disturbing revelations in relation to the behaviour of Garda management and the Minister for Justice give new significance to statements made by members of An Garda Siochana about instructions not to search suspected CIA rendition and US military aircraft at Shannon Airport.

Over the last eight years, Gardai of various ranks have told members of Shannonwatch that an "instruction" or "policy decision" or "letter of advice" has existed in relation to the searching of these aircraft.

In 2006, in a conversation with a member of Shannonwatch, a detective superintendent referred to a "letter of advice" from the Attorney General to the Garda Commissioner that US military and CIA associated aircraft at Shannon were not to be searched. Again on 30th October 2007, at Shannon Airport, an officer informed the same Shannonwatch member that Gardaí at Shannon had been instructed by the Attorney General not to search US military or CIA associated aircraft at the airport.

Statement from Margaretta D'Arcy on her Release from Mountjoy Prison

At a News Conference in Buswell's Hotel today (Saturday, March 22, 2014), immediately following her release from Mountjoy Prison, peace activist, artist and human rights campaigner, Margaretta D'Arcy, discussed her nine weeks in both Limerick and Mountjoy Prisons and the reasons for her arrest.

Hellfire Missiles Coming Through Shannon?

A US Hercules C-130 photographed at Shannon last week


A report in The Guardian Newspaper on 16 March 2014 reveals that 100 Hellfire missiles were sent by the US Government to Iraq over the past few weeks. It is not known whether these weapons were transported through Shannon Airport, but we do know that several US Air Force Hercules C130 aircraft were refuelled at Shannon Airport during this period, and that none of these aircraft were searched by Gardai, or by the Irish army who were guarding these aircraft while they were at Shannon, in some cases overnight.

Shannon Protests are not Going Away

Last month the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar expressed surprise that the number of protests at Shannon Airport has increased in the past two years despite a two-thirds drop in US military flights in the same period. We're glad he's noticed our peace efforts and we can assure him there will be plenty more.

This weekend showed that the protests are definitely not going away until such time as the US military use of the airport ends. On Saturday International Women's Day was marked by a gathering at the site of the original women's peace camp from 2002/2003 (see separate report). And on Sunday people gathered to once again demand an end to the ongoing US military use of the airport, and to show their solidarity with imprisoned peace activist Margaretta D'Arcy.