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Ed Horgan arrested at Shannon this morning
anti-war / imperialism |
Thursday December 22, 2005 14:15 by SNN Watch
On way to UK, held by Airport police.
Ed was detained and forcibly removed from the duty free area this morning while waiting to board a flight to the UK to visit his children and grandchildren. He was brought to the Airport Police Inspectors office, his mobile phone and camera confiscated, but then the Gardai refused to arrest him. He has been released.
Just two days after appearing at the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs, at which there was testimony of repeated harrassment of peace activists by the authorities, Ed Horgan was arrested this morning by Airport Police while waiting to board a flight to the UK, where he intends to spend Christmas with his children and grandchildren.
Ed Horgan made sure to be at the airport early this morning to catch his flight, and of course, it was no surprise for him to see US military flights at the airport. By text he informed this reporter that there was a World Airways jet N801DE at Gate 42 (the US military gate) and an ATA jet N552TZ beside it . Both airliners are chartered to carry troops for the Pentagon.
Of course, only two days earlier, Ed was part of a four person presentation to the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs, which received detailed evidence of US military use of Shannon Airport, including troops, cargo flights, and CIA aircraft. The committee was also told that peace activists were subjected to systematic harrassment at the airport while doing perfectly legal things such as taking notes or photographs or aircraft. Specifically mentioned were instances where activists were taking photos in public places, and were detained and had cameras taken and in some cases the film removed and destroyed. Senators and TDs replied that the activists should not have to put up with such behaviour.
This morning, Ed took some photos from the public car park before checking in, having a cup of tea, and then going to the departures lounge, with his passport and boarding card at the ready.
While in the boarding area, he was approached by Airport Police Inspector John Martin, who had him forcibly removed from the area. Ed protested loudly that this was an unlawful arrest. his camera and mobile phone were taken.
Ed was taken to Inspector Martin's office and told he was being held under the Air Transport and Navigation Act.
Two members of the Garda Siochana were also present and Ed demanded that they ring the station sergeant at Shannon Garda Station.
At one stage Ed's phone rang, and it turned out to be Senator David Norris on the line.
The Gardai refused to arrest Ed, as requested by the airport police, and he was subsequently released and his phone and camera given back to him. In his last phone call, he said he said that he thinks he will still make his flight.