BREACH OF COVID RESTRICTIONS BY US TROOPS AT SHANNON AIRPORT - UNPUBLISHED LETTER TO IRISH TIMES

Dear Sir,

your report (US military troops travelling into Shannon breached Covid-19 rules, 15 February) underplays the significance of what is a shocking breach by US military personnel of Irish Covid 19 Level 5 lockdown restrictions. The surveillance of US military plane landings by Shannon Watch reveals that such breaches occurred on at least three separate occasions in the last few weeks. In each case the US military personnel were waved through the airport, were accommodated in hotels in either Clare or Limerick and seem to have been exempted from Covid 19 restrictions by Shannon Airport Authorities.

An apology from the US Embassy, as Minister Coveney offers us, is just not good enough.

What an appalling insult to the Irish people who are making huge sacrifices and are doing their best to fight the Covid virus by socially isolating, missing work and school and staying home. What an appalling insult to Irish neutrality. What we see here is yet another profound example of the Irish Government's craven submission to the needs of the US military machine in its imperial escapades, unyielding even during this frightening time of a global pandemic. What an outrage that at one stage during the lockdown of flights into Ireland, the only flights coming in to Ireland were those bringing PPE for our health service and US military aircraft through Shannon.

These latest incidents of US military personnel breaking Irish Government protocols on Covid 19 restrictions expose yet again the contradiction of our supposedly neutral country offering such a facility to the US military. Eighteen years of US led war has achieved nothing but horrific suffering and hardship to the people of the middle east. It is time for Ireland to stop this collusion in this wanton carnage once and for all.

Yours etc.

JIM ROCHE,
PRO Irish Anti-War Movement,
PO Box 9260,
Dublin 1.

Tel: 087 6472737