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Search words: shannon
Ireland's war on Afghanistan on trial this week
Dubsky -v- Ireland - Four Courts, February 8th-11th
A judicial review of Ireland's participation in the US war in Afghanistan will be heard in the Irish High Court on February 8th, 9th and 10th. The case was initiated over two years by Eoin Dubsky, who joined with many others to protest against the US military overflights and refueling when in 2002 most refused to recognise Ireland's part in the bombing of Afghanistan. Previous pre-trial hearings were successful in forcing the State to produce information on US military activity in Shannon.
The case primarily concerns the orders (or waiver of orders) which were made by the Irish government to allow US military flights pass through Ireland for the war in Afghanistan without Dail consent or UN resolutions. An estimated 400,000 American troops have passed through shannon Airport alone since September 2001. The true number of weapons and explosives which have passed through is unknown.
Unlike the Iraq war, the Irish government never sought the assent of the Irish parliament to allow Ireland's airspace and airports be used for American military flights relevant to the Afghanistan war.
In the aftermath of September 11th the Government said normal conditions were waived in respect of aircraft operating in pursuit of the implementation of the Security Council Resolution 1368 "to bring to justice the perpetrators of 911" yet the attacks Afghanistan and Iraq and now Iran have nothing to do with combatting terrorism." Blank Cheque: Revisiting Ireland's decision to refuel US warplanes). Disclosure from cases did reveal that for a period US military troops and cargo passed through Shannon without permissions.
Eoin was arrested for painting peace slogans onto a USAF C-130 at Shannon Airport three days before initiating his case in the High Court, September 2002. In the six months that followed the airport was the sight of many protests and vigils, a peace camp and further direct actions (including Pitstop Ploughshares and Mary Kelly). This judicial review does not effect his previous case and his criminal record (for damaging the warplane). Whether the case will have an effect on US military overflights and refueling depends on what we do with it. There was little response to Ed Horgan's judicial review over Iraq, which established that a neutral country cannot allow movement of substantial armed troops and munitions through its territory but was defeated because Justice Kearns said that Ireland neutrality is only "aspirational" and we are not under any obligation to obey customary international law.
Action: Come along to Court 13 or 14 (ask for Dubsky -v- Ireland), The Four Courts, February 8-11th to lend support.