Dermot Ahern (minister for Justice in 2008) was afraid of what would happen if it transpired that renditions "kidnappings" had been facilitated by the policy of allowing Shannon to be used by the US Military.
The latest WikiLeaks show that Ahern wanted random searches of planes to provide cover if it was ever discovered that renditions had taken place in Shannon. This was nothing more than a cynical attempt provide political cover for the government. It shows clearly that the government was worried about the public reaction and it shows that there can be no compromise on this issue the US Military must be completely banned form Shannon.
The extract from WikiLeaks is below or you can follow this link to read it all.
3. (C) Ahern noted that he had "put his neck on the chopping
block" and would pay a severe political price if it ever
turned out that rendition flights had entered Ireland or if
one was discovered in the future. He stated that he "could
use a little more information" about the flights, musing that
it might not be a bad idea to allow the random inspection of
a few planes to proceed, which would provide cover if a
rendition flight ever surfaced. He seemed quite convinced
that at least three flights involving renditions had refueled
at Shannon Airport before or after conducting renditions
4. (C) Comment: While Ahern's public stance on
extraordinary renditions is rock-solid, his musings during
the meeting seemed less assured. This was the only issue
during the meeting that agitated him; he spent considerable
time dwelling on it. Ahern seemed to be fishing for renewed
assurances from the Ambassador that no rendition flights have
transited Ireland, or would transit in the future.
Highlighting the recent attention drawn to renditions by the
IHRC report, later the same day the Parliamentary Foreign
Affairs Committee held a hearing on the matter. The hearing,
attended by POLOFFs, generally confirmed the Government's
view that there is no evidence that rendition flights have
transited Ireland. The hearing, which was barely reported by
the press, failed to achieve any traction for critics of
American policy. End comment.