"Arrest of Galway Alliance Against War Activists is an Attack on the Irish Peace Movement"
An attack has been made on the peace movement in ireland- again. This morning, Tuesday 20th November, 2 activists from the Galway Alliance Against War peace group were arrested on ridiculous charges of criminal damage.
Margaretta D'Arcy, a woman of 78 years of age, and GAAW PRO Niall Farrell were nominated by the Galway anti-war group to participate in the international global week of action against drone-warfare by holding a peaceful protest on the runway of Shannon warport in County Clare on 7th October this year. It is known that US armed forces use the civilian airport as a transport hub for their troops and weaponry, but the exact nature of their warfare cargo is not known as no planes are ever searched. There is no reason to expect that chemical weapons such as white phosphorous and the dreaded killer drones are not transported through Shannon.
The 2 participants of the action staged the protest on the Shannon airport runway with placards denouncing the use of drones and also the use of Irish airports and airspace in the "War on Terror". They had been in situ for sometime and yet the incompetance of the airport security meant that they were not spotted. As they feared that they could pose a potentially serious safety risk to incoming flights they contacted airport security to alert them. They were subsequently removed from the runway.
Early this morning the 2 activists were each arrested at their homes in Galway on unspecified charges of criminal damage, and taken to Mill Street Garda Station.
Dette Mc Loughlin, acting as spokesperson for GAAW said,
"This is a attack on the entire Irish peace movement. The two people arrested were acting on behalf of all those against Ireland's participation in the horrific slaughter of innocents in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Why have these peace activists been arrested? Why are the military planes and their cargo transport planes and cia chartered jets that contain killers and killing machines not searched at Shannon airport? What about the criminal damage by the Irish government to our neutrality, and criminal damage done to our society by bankers, speculators and the government? Are the garda just trying to hide their own incompetance by now taking procedings? It is shameful!"
Mc Loughlin continued, "This is a further attempt to criminalise anyone that stands up and speaks out for peace and justice in this country. Look at the Rossport example, and the Galway Occupy movement. What is happening to Galway Alliance Against War and these other groups amounts to harrassment and intimidation. It is a clamp down on free speech and democracy. It is also an unacceptable waste of garda resources and public money. More and more action groups will be targetted as the government tries to enforce the suppression of dissent. We must not accept this."
Margaretta D'Arcy and Niall Farrell were later released after 6hours of interrogation at Mill Street garda station. They had been held in garda custody for 9 hours.
Dette Mc Loughlin
Galway Alliance Against War