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.
PRO Irish Anti-War Movement,
PO Box 9260,
Tel: 087 6472737
Over the past few weeks at least three aircraft associated with the US military have spent an overnight at Shannon airport and there crews and military passengers have been accommodated in local hotels in Clare and Limerick and in several cases they either ignored Irish Government covid-19 regulations that are strictly applied to Irish citizens, or were inappropriately exempted from these regulations by authorities at Shannon airport.
Since October 2001, up to 10,000 US military aircraft and aircraft on contract to the US military have been refuelled at Shannon Airport the vast majority of which were associated with the US led wars in the Middle East, in which millions of people have unjustifiably lost their lives. Almost two decades later this unacceptable situation is ongoing and additional factors have come to light which could have serious consequences for the health and lives of people in counties Clare and Limerick. Over the past few weeks at least three such aircraft have spent an overnight at Shannon Airport.
On 25th January 2021 a US Navy C40A aircraft registration number 16-5829 arrived at Shannon airport at 19.06pm coming from Bahrain in the Persian Gulf, stayed overnight at Shannon airport and took off for the USA at 11.35am on 26th January. Its crew of five US Navy personnel and 48 US military passengers were allowed enter through Shannon Airport and travel to be accommodated in a hotel in Limerick City, even though they were in breach of Irish Government Covid-19 public health regulations.
"On February 8, four days after Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney raised the issue with the US charge d’affaires in Dublin Alexandra McKnight, another flight landed at Shannon with passengers allowed to stay overnight at a local hotel."
"Shannonwatch, a group of campaigners against the use of Shannon Airport by the US military, has said they are unhappy with the news that crew did not adhere to Irish health regulations, stating that there is a “significant” risk of the spread of the virus from travelling US military that use the airport without following the rules."
“The Irish Government have taken a completely lax approach to monitoring the activities of US military that go through Shannon. It is very important that public health rules are applied across the board – people are making huge sacrifices to suppress Covid,”
"Edward Horgan of the Shannonwatch group, which first notified Garda about the plane, said that a number of US flights have stayed overnight in the Shannon region in recent weeks. He questioned whether the passengers on every flight had presented negative PCR tests."
"Member of Parliament Cian O’Callaghan of the Social Democrats complained that the Irish government too often fails to respond to Americans’ disregard for the rules. It is unacceptable that there isn’t proper adherence to public health measures by anyone. It’s an unnecessary risk, and U.S. troops have to be subject to the same approach as anyone else,” he said."
Shannonwatch Call for Support for TDs Who Attempted to Inspect US Military Airplane
Shannonwatch, 23 February 2015
Shannonwatch are urging their supporters to come to Ennis District Court on Tuesday February 24th to support TDs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace who attempted to inspect a US military plane at Shannon last July. Their alleged offence is illegal entrance into a restricted area of the airport, and their action was in response to the failure of the authorities to inspect US aircraft at Shannon.
Shannonwatch have repeatedly called for an end to the US military use of Shannon. They also call for inspection of all military and suspected CIA aircraft at the airport for as long as they are being allowed to pass through.
Clare Daly and Mick Wallace have made it clear that as legislators and as citizens they have a responsibility to uphold Irish neutrality. They have made every attempt inside the Dáil to highlight Ireland's complicity in war at Shannon, but the government has refused to allow the Gardai to inspect US military aircraft.
Mick Wallace said: "Over the last two and a half years we have gone to great efforts to raise this issue in the Dáil. Former Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter repeatedly said to us to produce the evidence, and that is what we have attempted to do."
"It is pretty clear to most people that the use of Shannon by the US military who are engaged in several wars, who occupy sovereign states illegally and commit war crimes, is something that this State needs to put a stop to because this has gone on for far too long" he added.
NOTICE: The bus for Shannon will be leaving at 10.00 in the morning of Sunday 12th October from Liberty Hall. Those wishing to go should let us know by the 8th October.... Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for confirmation and questions.
Contributions would be welcome.
GALWAY ALLIANCE AGAINST WAR PRESS RELEASE
PEACE ACTIVIST TO BE JAILED ON FRIDAY
Niall Farrell of the Galway Alliance Against War is to be arrested on Friday, 1st of August on his return from abroad and sent to Limerick Prison for his involvement in a peace protest with Margaretta D’Arcy last September on the runway at Shannon airport. In June they were found guilty of having “interfered with the proper use” of Shannon airport and given a two week suspended sentence and what approximates to a €100 fine. Both refused to pay the fine or sign a so-called peace bond and Ms D’Arcy has since been imprisoned for her failure to comply with the Ennis District Court’s ruling.
Ms D’Arcy (80) and Mr Farrell (61) held the peace protest on the 1st September 2013 as it appeared a US war against Syria was imminent. The two peace activists were involved in a similar action on October 7th 2012, the 11th anniversary of the US war against Afghanistan, in opposition to the use of Shannon’s airport by the US military for which Ms D’Arcy was imprisoned for nearly 10 weeks.
The Gardaí have been in contact with Mr Farrell and the latter has agreed to surrender himself in the proximity of Liam Mellows statue on Eyre Square, Galway this coming Friday 1st August at 1.30pm.
In response to this development the Galway Alliance Against War intends to hold a short peace event at 1pm in front of the monument to Liam Mellows, the leader of the 1916 Rising in Galway, in what the peace group notes is “the centenary year of the 1st World War – that so-called ‘war to end all wars’.”
THE SLAUGHTER IN GAZA – THE SHANNON CONNECTION
MARGARETTA D’ARCY “To Abstain From Food” During 2 Week Imprisonment
On June 24th at Ennis District Court, Margaretta D’Arcy was given a two week prison sentence (along with her co-accused, Niall Farrell), to be suspended if she signed a bond to stay away from restricted areas of the airport, plus a fine of €100 (going up to €250 if she didn't sign). Ms D’Arcy is refusing to sign any such bond and will be liable for arrest from July 9th.
According to a spokesperson for the Galway Alliance Against War, Margaretta D’Arcy will make herself available for arrest at 11am next Wednesday July 9th at Galway’s Mill Street Garda.
A statement issued by Ms D’Arcy via GAAW reads: “Margaretta D’Arcy has the intention to abstain from food during her two week detention. In a small gesture of solidarity with all those who have lost their lives, their communities and homes destroyed. The Irish Government has to take responsibility because of its complicity in allowing the US military the use of Shannon, a civilian airport.”
Mr. Farrell has also stated he will not pay any fine by what he called a “kangaroo court”.
GAAW press release 4/7/14
SUN 8/6 2-3pm
US Military out of Shannon- Shannonwatch vigil.
Small roundabout - just before Shannon airport entrance
As US & NATO use the situation in Ukraine as an opportunity to raise their defence budgets, and Obama seeks to ramp up military capacity along Russia's border, the warplanes continue to come through Shannon Airport. All the while the Fine Gael / Labour government remains silent about the role Shannon is expected to play in US / NATO plans - just as they and the previous government remained silent about its role in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Last week a case in Ennis District Court showed how Gardai are targeting peace activists at Shannon instead of investigating violations of national and international law by CIA and US military personnel passing through the airport (See 'Case Dismissed: Peace Activists Have No Charges to Answer' on our website www.shannonwatch.org). This highlights a grotesque imbalance in how the law is being used to facilitate global injustices.
Come along to our monthly peace vigil outside the airport to show your opposition to this ongoing situation. Add your voice to our demands for an end to the State's complicity in war and human rights abuse and the harassment of people who are highlighting it.
FREE MARGARETTA D'ARCY, US OUT OF SHANNON
Called by Irish Anti War Movement & Peace and Neutrality Alliance. Supported by Shannon Watch, Richard Boyd Barrett TD and People before Profit.
14:00 The Spire, O'Connell St. Dublin | 22 February 2014