Independent Media Centre Ireland

Pitstop Ploughshares statement on Not Guilty Verdict

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Tuesday July 25, 2006 13:16author by ploughshares support


The jury is the conscience of the community chosen randomly from Irish society. The conscience of the community has spoken. The government has no popular mandate in providing the civilian Shannon airport to service the US war machine in it's illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.

In 1996 in Liverpool the Jury acquittal of the four 'ploughshares' women contributed to the end of arms exports to the Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia and the independence of East Timor.

The decision of this jury should be a message to London, Washington DC and the Dail that Ireland wants no part in waging war on the people of Iraq. Refuelling of US warplanes at Shannon Airport should cease immediately.

Ciaron, Damien, Karen, Deirdre, Nuin

Comments (37 of 37)

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author by SP memberpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 13:25author address author phone

This is a welcome result. A victory for anti-war protesters against the Irish State.

author by Máire - Peaceful Means Campaignpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 13:28author address author phone


author by redjadepublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 13:30author address author phone

Wow. Not guilty!

I cannot begin to say how happy this makes me and how proud I am of Karen, Deirdre, Damien, Ciaron and Nuin (especially since she's a yank)

Question for the movement: What tactics will be used next to bring an end to the use of Shannon as a WarPort?

What's next - or better asked: Who's next?

• The War continues - even though it has been effectively lost by the invader countries
• Ireland's participation in the US War on Iraq (and soon, Iran and maybe Syria) continues
• A Majority of Irish oppose the War (but this fact does not affect parliamentary politics)

• Plus, a large majority of Americans oppose the War now

What to do next?

author by w. - wsm/aypublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 13:37author address author phone

This is absolutely brilliant guys, now where's the party!

author by John Jefferies - Cork Harbour Against Warship Visitspublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 13:39author address author phone

Congratulations to the five for their brave stance and also to the jury who saw through the smoke and mirrors constructed by the prosecution. Well done!

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author by eeekkkkpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 13:41author address author phone

Ring these people - tell them statement is available here and that the Ploughshares can be contacted at 087 9184552 - too many ppl to fone - no office

Phone numbers

96FM (Cork) 021 4392317 or 4551596

Anna Livia Radio 01 6445100

Clare FM 065 6828888

County Sound (Cork) 023 43106

Evening Echo (Cork) 021 4802142

Irish Examiner 021 4802102

Galway Bay FM 091 770000

INN radio news (national) 01 6629564

Limerick 95FM 061 319595

Limerick Leader 061 214500

Limerick Post 061 413338

Near FM 01 8485211

Pat Kenny Show 01 2083275

Red FM (Cork city) 021 4865500

TJ Flynn (Cl;are Champion) 087 9470696

Waterford Radio 051 846100

Village magazine 01 6425070 or 6425066

The Irish Sun 4792579

author by JonGpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 13:42author address author phone

Congrats guys.. justice was a long time coming..

author by pat cpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 13:48author address author phone

the people have spoken

bet mcdowell will attempt to try these cases in the SCC in future.

author by eeekkkkpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 13:57author address author phone

086 1512013
087 9638398

author by NMBpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 13:57author address author phone

Congratulations from California, USA. !!!!! May it ringgggg throughout the world!!!!!!

author by Olivia Ball - http://blog.rightsbase.orgpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 14:00author address author phone

Congratulations to the five! And thank you for your courage and endurance, your inspiring and faithful example. What a superb outcome. Hooray for the jury and congratulations to your defence team. Bloody marvellous.

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author by Sean O'Reillypublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 14:00author address author phone

Congratulations to the Pitstop Ploughshares from Ciaron's family in Australia. It has been a long time coming but justice has arrived,

Best wishes and party hard,

Sean O'Reilly

author by Green Inkpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 14:03author address author phone

You must be delighted that it's over. Well done for taking the moral stand that this immoral government won't.

author by Paul Rpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 14:04author email tarbhmaith at imagine dot ieauthor address author phone

I am so happy with this result, thank you

author by Larapublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 14:05author address author phone

Tá áthas an domhan orm! Comhgairdeas a chairde!

…they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid;...

Táim buíoch díomh go léir don misneach don foighne agus don diongbháilteacht a thaispeannaigh sibh na blianta beaga anuas.

author by faslanestarpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 14:06author address author phone

Well Done been thinking of you all.

It will be nice to see you again back where you belong in Scotland Karen.

author by dunkpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 14:12author address author phone

Protesters cleared of damaging US plane at Shannon
12:11 Five anti-war protesters have been found not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of criminally damaging a US aeroplane at Shannon Airport over three years ago.

Five not guilty of damaging US plane
(12:21) The jury in the trial of five people accused of causing unlawful damage to a US military plane at Shannon Airport has returned a verdict of not guilty.

12:36 Anti-war protestors acquitted over attack on US aircraft

first breaking news:
11:51 indymedia ireland:

notice how little coverage there was over the last few days, as opposed to the excellent, and surely difficult, coverage done by "court reporter" here on indymedia:
Ploughshares Trial - Closing Arguments

really great reading, hope some content makes its way into the papers, perhaps the village might put in a bit

author by LaLapublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 14:14author address author phone

Congrats. The right verdict.

Does anyone know what the story is with costs ? Who ends up paying for the damage also ?

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 14:14author address author phone

Well done Deirdre, Damien Ciaron, Karen, and Nuin.....your courage and determination is a shining example to all of us who want the collaboration of this Government with the warmongers to stop.



author by Liam Donohoepublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 14:22author address author phone

Well done to all.

I'm used to the high standards of the defendants in their own defence at this stage, but it seemed to me that in this trial their legal team did a particularly fine job in the closing arguments. Also that Kathy Kelly's evidence had the air of the ultimate veracity. Meanwhile Devally came across as something of an ill-informed fool

Surely the Irish Minister of Defence and the authorities at Shannon now stand to be personally indicted in terms of breaking the laws of this country re neutrality. Any legal experts here?

author by Máire - Peaceful Means Campaignpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 14:35author address author phone

Have contacted the Dublin phone numbers on that list: Anna Livia Radio, Inn radio, Near FM,
Pat Kenny Show number, Village Magazine (2 reporters at the court already), and the Irish Sun.
Will try to contact some of the other numbers on the list shortly, but mean time someone else may try to do so? See list above.
Thank you!

author by radiofanpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 14:43author address author phone

congratulations to you all. And thanks for taking this action on behalf of us all

we broadcasted your statement on the internet / galway pirate radio station:
we will keep doing so periodically during the day

(see for further info)
(tune in for a little radio anarchy!!)

author by antiwarpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 14:54author address author phone

Great news. justice is done

karen is a babe!! :)

author by aacpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 14:58author address author phone

Hopefully now the IAWM will back direct actions at Shannon Airport... what do you think? Time for a mass invasion of the fence?

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 15:25author address author phone

The victory of the 5 is, as far as I am concerned, a tipping point. As we are celebrating, the war is continuing not only in occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in Gaza and Lebanon. Joshua Casteel is sharing his experiences in Limerick, Galway and Cork and he'll be in the ATGWU on Thursday evening. A mass demonstration in support of the Palestinians and the Lebanese people is called for Saturday next. The anti-war movement, not just the IAWM, seems to me, is very active right now - let us not forget we are the people, all of us, that Richard Waghorne calls "scum".....we are the people the Sindo and RuthDE attack.....there is a story there I am sure.

And then will come a few weeks of reflection and preparation for September 23rd. Speaking in a strictly personal capacity everything is on the table right now...nothing is excluded, provided it is within the realms of possible and builds the movement.

So dear friend of the message above....reflection, unity and proposals please. In any form and manner you and your comrades/friends/colleagues/mates wish. We will respond.

Solidarity again to the 5 and their supporters .

author by Paul Baynespublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 15:29author address author phone

…and well done to the five defendants. 3 and a half years of waiting is finally rewarded with an acquittal. Well done to you all – it’s great personal news for you as well as being a huge positive outcome for true democracy and human rights.

This judgement creates huge credibility and legitimacy for the anti-war movement. The Ploughshares join other credible voices such as anti-war campaigners Denis Halliday and Ed Horgan. Halliday is the Irish former assistant secretary-general of the United Nations who resigned in protest at the running of the Oil for Food programme. Horgan is a former Irish army commandant who returned his medals in protest at the use of Shannon airport by the US military.

This is another example of brave and principled opposition to sustained hostility towards Iraq, from a decade of sanctions to an invasion in March 2003 which was 1) a totally illegal use of force under international law and 2) undertaken with motives which were entirely self-serving, despite being dressed up as humanitarian.

author by DBpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 15:36author address author phone

It should be remembered what SWP/IAWM had to say about the C5 and direct action in Shannon. It was the reason why I left the IAWM back then. Today is not really the day to get into it. Today is a day for celebrating. So any chance you might leave off, what we should all do now, bearing in mind the IAWM's past.

author by Ruairipublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 17:37author address author phone

This is powerful stuff. The power of human spirit and action has been revealed today. Let's see this as the beginning of a sea change in how this state views its citizens, its constitution and the lives of the poor and oppressed in the middle east and beyond.

Power to the people!

Power to the ploughshares!

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author by malatesta!publication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 18:11author address author phone

I call on the IAWM to seize this oppertunity to call for a mass action against shannon for the 23rd of september!

author by Ninpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 19:57author address author phone

I call on all grassroots anti war groups and activists to seize this oppurtunity to call for a mass action against shannon for the 23rd of september! Forget about the IAWM-SWP!

author by majella - OLA Voicespublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 23:20author address author phone

To each of you, thanks for the mammoth endurance of such a long time. The news of the acquittal was such a relief. Blessings on those who put the care of the community first and for no reward. What courage it takes!

author by Mary Kellypublication date Wed Jul 26, 2006 00:04author address author phone

is a brilliant verdict! Well done and well deserved for all the effort ye put in.

author by treenapublication date Wed Jul 26, 2006 00:10author address author phone

how great to hear your news! well done deidre, nuin, karen, ciaron and damien. justice has prevailed. your courage and story will inspire many.

author by TAX COMPLIANTpublication date Wed Jul 26, 2006 20:24author address author phone

Who will now pay the US Government for the damage done to the aircraft ?

Will the bill for the damage be paid by the Irish taxpayer ?

author by Apublication date Wed Jul 26, 2006 23:04author address author phone

1) Don't pay your federal taxes if you are a U.S. citizen. Half of your federal tax contributon goes down the rathole direct to the Penatgon paying for past, present & future wars.
2) The U.S. has spent $3.5billion on the war effort thus far. $US2.5 million is ppocket change.
3) The U.S. (& most imperial lmilitaries have a bassic attitude of wrrintg off any machinery they deploy to war, they don't expect to see it again!, at least this one crawled back to Texas).
4) Don't worry, be happy. F'n A to the Pitstop 5

author by Elainepublication date Thu Jul 27, 2006 01:56author address author phone

"Who will now pay the US Government for the damage done to the aircraft ?
Will the bill for the damage be paid by the Irish taxpayer ?"

Below you will find an extract from a Dáil Debate on the 20th May 2003, shortly after the wonderful Ploughshares action. The important point to note is that 'no international convention' exists regarding payment for damage done to a military aircraft, parked in the wrong place.
If they had parked it in Dublin city centre and came back to find it up on blocks with the radio missing, then they would have had to call their insurance company. I would imagine that this would be a similar situation. Unless the Irish Government want to get stroppy over losing in the courts this week and get in a cheap shot at the Ploughshares by saying that the taxpayers have to pay.
All being fair in love and (PR) wars.

"Mr. Boyle asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the reason for his assertion that the State is responsible for malicious damage caused by individuals to aircraft parked at Irish airports, in view of previous parliamentary replies from the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Defence that no international convention exists to convey such a liability. [13436/03]

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): In the months since the attack against the US cargo plane at Shannon there has been some speculation about the matter of responsibility for the cost of repairs to the aircraft.

The question of responsibility for costs remains an open question. The matter is not the subject of formal discussion between the Irish and US authorities. If raised by the US side the Government will give the matter full consideration, including from the perspective of whether any insurance arrangements might be applicable.

At the time the attack occurred the Government condemned the attack as utterly irresponsible and noted that while protesters are entitled to their views violent acts in the name of pacifism are surely a contradiction in terms. This irony will be compounded should the cost of repairing the damage done eventually falls on the Irish taxpayer."

I like a bit of irony as much as the next person but I would rather not have it compounded if that's ok.
A jury of their peers decided that their act was to save lives and protect property, and that they had 'lawful excuse' to disarm that plane.

Just as a 'by the by', during the first week of the trial evidence was given by Jeffrey Oxley, an expert in military intelligence.
While being questioned by Prosecution he was asked 'If an Iraqi soldier infiltrated Shannon' to disable something there before the 20th March, would it be an 'act of war'?
To which he answered 'Yes'. Shortly after he was asked if a '3rd party engaged in the same action, would it be any different? His answer was that it 'would not be considered to be an act of war unless it could be proved these people were working for one side or the other.'

Clearly that's not the case, so it looks like the U.S. Government will have to pay, as I can hardly see any insurance company paying out on that claim. Maybe they can use some of the backhanders they got from Haliburton?

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author by Apublication date Thu Jul 27, 2006 06:34author address author phone

Meant to write that the Pentagon has spent over $US 350 BILLION on this war not $US the Ploughshares $US 2.5 million is pocket change to the Pentagon.

U.S. bllack ops most likely pay out way more in bribes to Irish officials, government ministers, aviation authroities in terms of hard cash, coke, complimentariy flights of fantasy to the best "little whorehouses in Texas", Disney for the kids down home in Jeb's Florida etc. etc to secure Shannon as a militaried gas station for the war machine and a probable terrorist target as the war goes on.

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