Minister for Foreign Affairs and Táiniste Eamon Gilmore this week demonstrated an extraordinary change of heart about Ireland’s role in renditions. His claim that there is no evidence Shannon Airport has ever been used for this purpose is a complete u-turn from the views he and the Labour Party expressed when in opposition. Up until he took ministerial office he demanded that the Irish government inspect suspect aircraft going through Shannon. Now he is denying the existence of evidence that the airport has been repeatedly involved in such human rights abuse.
"In answer to a Dail question on Tuesday, Eamon Gilmore mislead the Dáil and the Irish people when he said there is no evidence that Shannon or any other Irish airport has ever been used for this purpose” said John Lannon of Shannonwatch. "As he himself pointed out to the Dail on 12 December 2007, a number of reports, including one from the Human Rights Commission, have stated that Shannon Airport has been used for the transiting of people who are, as he said "being ferreted away for the purpose of torture". In March 2006 Eamon Gilmore also highlighted a Council of Europe statement that the European Convention on Human Rights can be violated through an omission to act to stop such serious violations of human rights . "Not knowing is not good enough" said Mr Gilmore at the time".
2. Taoiseach Enda Kenny does not practice what he preaches ...
What Taoiseach Enda Kenny says: (1) Ireland is at the fore of promoting peace, justice, security and development. (2) "... the Irish people have demonstrated an instinctive respect for peace, justice and human rights. It is absolutely right that these values are transmitted to the next generation."
The President of Ireland
Dear Mr. President,
Firstly may I wish you and your family a wonderful family Christmas. And secondly and belatedly, may I wish you all success in your endeavours to be Present for all of us, all the people of Ireland.
This is a time for wisdom and balanced leadership at the top. There could no better man than your goodself.
As you may be aware, a US war plane was deliberately damaged recently at Shannon by concerned citizens acting in the spirit of the Nurnberg Principles. Under these Principles, as you know full well, Irish citizens have an obligation to prevent war crimes committed in the name of Ireland. This is the case when the Irish Government, by allowing Shannon to be used by American forces (some two million given hospitality to and from the killing fields of Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere) makes we Irish complicit in the war crimes of the United States.
I understand some minimal media coverage provided has disparaged the non-violent protest as "vandalism" . This is unfortunate as it fails to show to the majority in Ireland and our friends overseas that we Irish remain militarily neutral and do not approve or support wars of opportunity and aggression. Passively or otherwise, we do not engage in crimes against peace or humanity.
Mr. President, a word from you drawing attention to this courageous and entirely appropiate action at Shannon
Denis J. Haliday
AN EXCLUSIVE REPORT ON THE PEACEFUL ACT OF SABOTAGE
AT SHANNON WARPORT
Below we (Galway Alliance Against War) reproduce a handwritten communication we received from one of the members of the Peace Team that sabotaged a US troop transporter at Shannon warport last Tuesday morning, 20th December 2011. We have verified that this person participated in this action.
“Direct action is no substitute for mass political action for peace, nevertheless it felt great in the early hours of last Tuesday morning cutting the hydraulics on all the landing gear of that US troop transport plane.
“Why did we do it?
13/11/2011 - 14:00
15/11/2011 - 18:29
Shannonwatch Press Release
8th November, 2011
Members of the U.S. organization Veterans For Peace will take part in a vigil at Shannon Airport action on Sunday next, November 13th, at 2 pm. The vigil is organised by Shannonwatch to demand an end to the ongoing US military use of the airport, and to express opposition to the ongoing US occupation of Afghanistan. It will also call for action to be taken against landing US aircraft that are involved in renditions, illegal assassinations and other human rights abuse.
"Two-thirds of Iraq and Aftghanistan veterans do not believe these wars and occupations have done any good," says Gerry Condon, one of the representatives of Veterans For Peace who will be at Shannon. "We want all the troops to come home now and we want an end to drone bombings and torture too".
"As an Irish American, I am really upset to see Irish neutrality being trampled upon by the US military. Shannon Airport should not be used to ferry troops and weapons to war, or for CIA torture flights. I hope the Irish people are as outraged as I am, and will join our protest at Shannon this Sunday afternoon at 2 pm."
Veterns for Peace is a 21-year-old organization of thousands of veterans from several wars who now devote themselves to campaigning for peace. It is currently occupying “Freedom Plaza” in Washington, DC as part of the “Occupy Wall St.” movement.
"The ongoing US military use of Shannon is a feature of Ireland's failure to take a stand against the destructive policies of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan" said John Lannon of Shannonwatch. "Our neutrality has been abandoned, and we have become complicit in endless cycles of suffering and death".