More Ministerial Confusion over Sovereign Immunity
Mon, 25/11/2013 - by shannonwatch
Our Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore is finding it difficult to explain what sovereign immunity means in the context of the US military use of Shannon. Despite being asked a series of direct questions on the issue by Clare Daly TD, he repeated the mantra that it "is recognised as applying in respect of foreign state or military aircraft". But he didnt say what that means. (See Dáil debate on Military Aircraft Landings here)
Gilmore also seems to have redefined the concept of neutrality. In answering the questions in the Dáil he said that Ireland's policy of neutrality was characterised by "non-participation in military alliances". In other words supporting military alliances is ok with his brand of neutrality.
In fact what he was describing is non-belligerence. Even if Ireland is not taking part militarily in wars being fought by the US or NATO, it is providing support for them at Shannon. Therefore it isn't neutral.
Of course Gilmore will also know that Ireland cannot even claim to be non-belligerent since it has spent million of euros deploying military personnel to the NATO-led war in Afghanistan.
14/05/2013 - 19:30
14/05/2013 - 21:00
Hosted by Irish Anti-War Movement, Sinn Féin, Socialist Party, People Before Profit Alliance, Peace & Neutrality Alliance
Tues 14th May 2013 7:30PM
Speakers will include:
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Part 1: Col. Ann Wright Speaks in Galway
Part 2: Col. Ann Wright Speaks in Galway
Part 3: Col. Ann Wright Speaks in Galway
Part 4: Col. Ann Wright Speaks in Galway
On Feb. 3rd 2003, the Pitstop Plougshares were charged with $2.5 million "criminal damage" followng their nonvolent dsablng of a U.S. Navy warplane. Initially remanded in Limerick Prison they were brought to trial three Itmes over the following three years at Dublin's historic Four Courts. In 2006 following two mistrials, the Ploughshares - Deirdre Clancy, Nuin Dunlop, Karen Fallon, Damien Moran and Caron O'Reilly - were unanimously acquitted of all charges by a Dublin jury. Accordng to WikiLeaks released Dubln U.S. embassy cables, the action and acquittal sent shock waves through the U.S. and Irish government war conspirators.
Deirdre and Ciaron were joined on Sunday by sizeable contingent of Garda and anti-war activists from Dublin, Galway and Limerick. Many of those gathered mantain a monthly anti-war persence at the airport and ongoing opposition to the continued use of the civilian airport by the U.S. military and C.I.A.
The gathering began by reading the February 2003 action statement of Derdre Clancy, Nuin Dunlop, Karen Fallon, Damien Moran and Ciaron O'Reilly. This was followed by remembering the dead of Iraq, those soldiers who passed through Shannon to their deaths and anti-war activsts who had resisted the militarisation of the airport who have sadly passed away over the past ten years. Imprisoned U.S. military whistleblower Bradley Mannng http://www.bradleymanning.org/ ,who passed through Shannon Airport to deployment in Iraq, was also remembered. Reflections were then shared by all gathered before mustard seeds were scattered as a symbol of hope for future nonviolent resistance at the airport.
ÁINE McMAHON - IRISH TIMES
Ann Wright, a former US diplomat and the highest ranking member of the US military to resign over the Iraq war, has cautioned against Ireland getting involved in Nato.
Ms Wright was special guest at a joint Irish Anti-War Movement/ Peace and Neutrality Alliance meeting in Dublin yesterday. She is most noted for having been one of three state department officials to publicly resign in protest at the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.
“I would urge the citizens of Ireland to really push back on this attempt to get Ireland as a part of the Nato forces. We have seen what has happened in Afghanistan and the numbers of Afghans that have been killed in by military operations,” said Ms Wright.
Ms Wright praised Ireland’s record of neutrality but warned it was now being “shopped around” by Nato. “They are trying to get Ireland to join up with them .The secretary general of Nato, Rasmussen, is here today to try and convince the Irish Government to join up with Nato,” she said.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, on a visit to Dublin this week, encouraged Ireland to get involved in more Nato projects and to develop its defence forces. Ms Wright described any involvement of Ireland with Nato as a “slippery slope”.
“It’s a much different road than working with UN forces doing peace keeping operations in Lebanon, [as] Ireland has done for a long time.”