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rabbitte seeks clarification from Bertie on use of Shannon
national | miscellaneous | news report Tuesday January 21, 2003 18:26 by Cathy Flanagan - Labour Party head_office at labour dot ie 17 Ely Place, Dublin 2 6784700
rabbitte accuses Government of taking on the role of silent spectator as we drift towards war, questions the use of Shannon airport by US military forces and calls for a debate in the Dail.
rabbitte WRITES TO TAOISEACH SEEKING CLARIFATION ON USE OF SHANNON
The Leader of the Labour Party, Pat rabbitte TD, has written to the Taoiseach asking him to clarify the government's position in regard to the provision of facilities at Shannon Airport for United States military forces who are participating in the U.S. preparations for war against Iraq and requesting the government to agree to a Dail debate on the deteriorating situation as a first priority as soon as the House returns next week.
In his letter Deputy rabbitte said:
"Against this background there must be concern about the growing use of Shannon Airport as an apparent staging post for the military build-up. Facilities that might quite properly be made available to a friendly country during peacetime, may not be appropriate during the course of a war, or in the build up to a war.
"I would therefore ask you to respond to the following questions as soon as possible.
2) What steps are being taken to ensure that aircraft landing at Shannon do
"I would urge the government to live up to the spirit and letter of Article 29.2 of the Constitution that commits this state to 'the principle of the pacific settlement of international disputes by international arbitration or judicial determination'. This should, of course, include exerting all possible pressure on Saddam Hussein to comply in full with all United Nations resolutions.
"Given the gravity of the situation, it is essential that when the Dail returns next week there should be a full scale debate on this crisis in which the government would say what steps it is taking to promote a pacific settlement of this dispute and to explain the basis on which it is providing facilities at Shannon Airport for the U.S. build up", the letter concluded.