Remembering the Children who have Died because of War in the Middle East

Reading the name of Nawar al Awlaki, killed by US special forces in Yemen on 29th January 2017

Our Peace Vigil at Shannon today was a windy affair but Spring was in the air, so the joys of the season should have been evident. However Shannonwatch and other NGO research has revealed that war related deaths of children in the Middle East since the 1991 First Gulf War may have amounted to up to one million children dead. Since we in Ireland have been partly complicit in these deaths as a result of US military use of Shannon Airport we had started a project to try and put names on as many of these children who have died as possible. To us and of course to their families these children's deaths are not just "collateral damage".

Public Meeting on Peace and Neutrality in Tralee on March 4th

The peace and human rights group Shannonwatch will hold a public meeting at the Meadowlands Hotel, Tralee this Saturday 4th March at 2pm. It will look at Irelands's support for US wars of invasion and occupation by allowing armed US troops to pass through Shannon Airport on their way to Iraq and elsewhere despite claims that we are a neutral country. Speakers will include Edward Horgan and John Lannon of Shannonwatch, and Hashim Alhadeedy who is one of the many people who has had to flee from the war in Iraq. It is an open meeting, and everone is welcome to attend.

The people of the Middle East, especially children, need the help of the Irish people to stop wars and make peace. We, the people of Ireland need to restore Irish neutrality and get US military out of Shannon airport.

Report on Appearance of Peace Activist Colm Roddy in Ennis Court (Feb 15th)

From our Court Correspondent

This case arises as a result of a communicative peace activist protest action taken by Colm Roddy and Dave Donnelan on 25 May 2016, when they entered Shannon airport to search two US military aircraft, which they felt legally and morally obliged to search, because Gardai at Shannon airport have been directed by the Irish Government not to search or investigate any US military aircraft at Shannon airport.

When the case was called there was confusion from the outset, caused partly by the fact that at the last hearing held on 16th November 2016, when the case against Colm Roddy was struck out by Judge Durcan, neither Inspector Kennedy not Judge Grainne O'Neill, who was presiding today, were present, so both were new to the complexities of Colm's present legal situation.

Colm Roddy in Ennis Court on Wednesday Feb 15th

Colm (second from left) with friends and supporters outside Shannon Garda Station after his re-arrest

Gardai at Shannon have, over the years, failed in their duty to investigate torture and complicity in war crimes, and systematically avoided searching or investigating aircraft associated with the US military or CIA. As a result, Irish citizens have felt morally and legally obliged to do what the Gardai are refusing to do, that is search US and CIA aircraft at Shannon. Colm Roddy and Dave Donnellan attempted to do this last May, and were arrested for so doing. Theyhave been before the courts on several occasions in the meantime on spurious and unjustified charges of doing criminal damage.

This is an extract from the report on their court appearance of 16th Nov last 

"Colm began by complaining about the manner in which he had been arrested this morning by Garda Colm Moriarty, when he had arrived in Ennis today of his own accord from Dublin as he had done for each of the previous days hearings.

Now Easier Than Ever to Request US Military Aircraft Inspection; Still Impossible to Get One

Revelations over the manner in which Sergeant Maurice McCabe and others were treated because they dared to tell the truth once again calls into question the silence of Gardai over the failure to search suspected CIA rendition planes and US military aircraft at Shannon. We have repeatedly presented evidence (or what the authorities like to call "information") about breaches of the law at Shannon, yet these systematically are ignored.

Yet we know there are Gardai who agree with us when we say inspection of planes is necessary.  

And we have been told about "instructions" from the Attorney General, and about "policy decisions" not to search CIA aircraft.

We've had peace activists arrested, sometimes for simply being in a car park taking photographs.

We are physically restrained from entering the airport - the most recent example being when we organised a demonstration against the US immigration ban and wanted to deliver letters to the airport authorities.

We've had hotel bookings cancelled without any plausible explanation.

Peace and Anti-Racism Groups Condemn Immigration Ban at Irish Airports

Irish peace and anti-racism groups have joined together to denounce the implementation of a US Immigration ban on Muslims at pre-clearance facilities in Dublin and Shannon airports.

US President Trump signed an order which means people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen travelling to the US via Ireland are likely to be detained.

"Shannon and Dublin's complicity in allowing the US to deny entry to approved refugees, asylum seekers, visa holders and even US legal residents is shocking" said John Lannon of Shannonwatch. "We call on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to express Ireland's revulsion at the bans imposed by President Trump, and to ensure that the Irish airport authorities and Gardai do not facilitate this unjust and discriminatory order in any way."

"The fact that people could now be barred from planes at Shannon because of their religion or country of origin is in stark contrast to the fact that CIA torturers and US military personnel linked to war crimes have been allowed to pass through the same airport unimpeded." said Lannon.