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category clare | anti-war / imperialism | opinion/analysis author Tuesday January 25, 2005 12:24author by Tim Hourigan - MAMAauthor phone 087-9777703 Report this post to the editors

Peace groups object as jobs go, but war stays.

Troops through Shannon up 26% on previous year. Workforce is down 50%.
That's the same workforce who were force- fed the story that their jobs depended on US military use of the airport.
Other lies surround the economic arguments of US Military use of Shannon Airport.

FIGURES released this month by the Dept of Foreign Affairs show that 158,549 US troops passed through Shannon Airport in 2004 (compared to 125,855 in 2003)

The figures indicate that these troops arrived on 1,502 flights (which would be the chartered American Trans Air [ATA], North American, and World jets seen daily at Shannon) and that also there were 753 military aircraft (i.e. officially declared marked aircraft such as the Hercules, C-9s and C-40s) and also 816 'aircraft carrying munitions' which would basically cover the chartered cargo flights operated by Evergreen International and other charter companies, carrying weapons and explosives through a civilian international airport.


Contrast this dramatic increase in business to the dramatic decrease in staff at Shannon, where 260 of the 520 staff are expected to lose their jobs.

During the peak of the opposition of US military use of Shannon, some of the workers spoke out against servicing military aircraft, but they were told time and again by their bosses and the government, that
their jobs depended on the US military dollar at Shannon.
Yet, after keeping a lid on Shannon's darker activities, and watching record military business, half of them are facing the chop because of Government decisions, not the actions of peaceniks.

On ex-worker described a 'climate of fear' in the airport, where workers were expected to keep quiet about what came through the airport and “just give em the food and fuel”.
Some threatened to boycott work on military flights, as illegal and immoral work. According to the former worker, they were told that they would be sacked for this, and that the unions would not back them up.

Another current worker, speaking on condition of anonymity "said that the US military flights at Shannon are treated like royalty". Although the troops represent only 6% of passenger figures, 95% of the security costs are from the military flights.
They have their own gate at the airport - Gate 42- which is reserved
for the military, and it has had special fences and guard cabins erected, and regularly has armed Garda stationed there, as well as a recently installed hi-tech 'invisible barrier' that uses microwave beams to detect motion around the perimeter near the enclosed military stand. There are also specially fenced off and illuminated parking areas in the centre of the airfield for cargo flights carrying ‘uninspected items’ for the Pentagon. These are regularly guarded by the Irish Army and Garda Siochána. The likes of Aer Lingus and Ryanair only see a security van as it passes them by going from the military cargo area to the troop flights.

Official figures repeatedly refer to ‘revenue’ of over €18 million from the military business. But revenue is merely income before profit, and when the costs are removed, the military business is costing the taxpayer plenty. Firstly, there’s the €3 million euros in Air Traffic Control fees that the Pentagon refused to pay last year, and which was paid instead by the Irish Dept of Transport. Then there’s the extra security for the military. The new cameras and motion detectors are not cheap and the extra garda and army overtime cost is estimated at over 20 million (about half of which was on the weekend of the Bush visit to Clare). When these costs are considered, the US military landings at Shannon, are sucking money OUT of the tax coffers, not putting them in.

If the government’s attitude to Shannon doesn’t change it could well end up like Prestwick in Scotland. Prestwick is large modern airport, with its own train station. It was previously busy, but following government policy changes, most of its business comes from Ryanair, and the US and Israeli military.

author by SNN Watchpublication date Tue Jan 25, 2005 15:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1st Photo:
10,000 US Troops a month move through 'Neutral' Ireland

2nd Photo:
High Tech Banshee Detection Device installed at Shannon Airport

US Troops at Shannon
US Troops at Shannon

Banshee Detector
Banshee Detector

author by Eoin Dubskypublication date Tue Jan 25, 2005 21:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nice one Tim, and many thanks to the photographer too.

Perhaps someone studying accounting might be able to do a study on military refueling at Shannon: costs, revenue, etc...

Though that extra security looks kinda fancy, there's no reason to give up hope. People break into far higher security bases in the UK, US and elsewhere every few months. :-)

...Which reminds me: 16 April 2005 Bombspotting Belgium (http://www.bomspotting.be/en/home_en.php)

author by hmmmmm. - the V crewpublication date Tue Jan 25, 2005 22:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the US federal defecit is currently estimated at 368million.
Thats lots of debt.
Meanwhile on the other side of reality today Pressie ZP of Spain expressed the support of his country for the plans of Pres. Kirchner of Argentina during his "whirlwind" visit of south america to carry on saying "fk u" to the IMF and announced bunsiness deals to assist Argentinians through the difficults being forced upon them by the Wolfson and Wolf co. crew of the non elected global institution crew. Oh and Private Citizen "beware the new style communists" Bill Gates (who lost @ the Xbox game 3 years ago) has given 750,000,000$ (which is a lot of money) to a new foundation to provide vaccines to kids "for curable desieses" in the 3rd world, and has indicated that he doesn't want his corp (MS) challenging the EU decisions that the monopoly things was errant. Mr Bill has just recently taken time out from his role as "numero uno neuveaux riche billionaire" to co-chair the WEF conference which was held behind metal sheets in the fortress town of Berne Switzerland.
Meanwhile on the Iraqi war side of things, locals are saying that the new regime there is just as bad on the torture side as the old one ran by Saddam all those years ago. Oh well they never really thought of preparing for him going did they?
Anyway say it once say it again-

"They can not prosecute their war".

author by Starstruck - DGN (Sydney Branch)publication date Wed Jan 26, 2005 09:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nice article there,discredits completely any remaining justification the Government might try to use for the use of Shannon.

The Government here in Oz have pedalled the same bullshit economic arguments for their part in the War and seem to have pulled the wolol fairly effectively over peoples eyes..

With Bush getting re-elected and the U.S snooping around Iran,things could get much much worse before they get better and our continued involvement might become a taken-for-granted service received by the U.S if it does not cease soon.

Soon we might have good ol Bertie using the word Freedom! 28 times in every one of his captivating dribbles..

Sjannon and the whoring out to warmongers must stop and our neutrality must regain some credibility if that is at all possible.

author by Chaffpublication date Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Take some strips of aluminium foil and attach to a stick which you can place in the ground in range of the detectors. Alu foil is very good at reflecting microwave radiation and when the wind blows the strips around it should keep the boyos busy chasing banshees!

author by Ray Hanrahanpublication date Mon Jan 31, 2005 15:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When you consider that half of the Irish state's security budget last year for Shannon was expended on the Bush visit, doesn't it appear as if the relationship between Ireland's rulers and those of the United States resembles that of a mediaeval monarch inflicting a royal progress upon one of his vassals? Yes, that is the relationship, and no end of bleating on about 'freedom' and 'democracy' from our 'republican aristocracy' cannot draw attention away from the fact that they too wear their master's leash and collar.

author by Kevin Myerspublication date Thu Mar 03, 2005 05:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish workers who continue to work at Shannon are exactly the same as the "Little Eichmanns" who made the Third Reich run on time. The sooner Shannon is finally closed down the better. Better that these bowsies are forced to emigrate than continue serving the Evil Empire.

author by A10publication date Thu Mar 03, 2005 14:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In security and its related industries keeping an eye on youse hairies andother munchkins.
so you are actually useful for somthing .Increasing security contracts,sales of hi tech surveillance equipment,etc etc. From somone actively employed in the security sector a big THANKS.You are paying for my livlyhood.

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