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Acquitted anti-war activists to discuss Shannon demilitarisation campaign
Press Release: Tuesday, 5 September 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Two of the Pitstop Ploughshares, sensationally acquitted by a Dublin jury, will discuss their campaign to "demilitarise" Shannon Airport at a public meeting in Dublin city centre on Thursday evening.
Deirdre Clancy and Ciaron O'Reilly, along with three others, were found not guilty of criminal damage in a unanimous verdict six weeks ago, despite their proud admission that they "disarmed" a US Navy jet in February 2003. This is their first public meeting in Dublin since that trial.
Shortly after the trial O'Reilly said the group's next step would be to demand that the Government remove the US military from Shannon – or he and other activists would take "non-violent direct action" to close the airport.
Thursday's meeting, organised by Anti-War Ireland (AWI), is in the ATGWU Hall at 55 Middle Abbey Street at 7.30pm.
Journalist Harry Browne, like Deirdre Clancy a member of AWI, will also speak. The public meeting will be chaired by AWI member and NUI Maynooth Lecturer in Sociology Colin Coulter.
In addition, O'Reilly and Clancy will speak in Belfast next Tuesday, 12 September, in Jurys Inn on Great Victoria Street at 8pm. Colm Breathnach of AWI will join them there.
"The worst fears of the five who damaged a military aircraft and the 100,000-plus who marched in Dublin in the same month have been realised in the bloody and brutal occupation of Iraq," Harry Browne said.
Activists continue to campaign against Irish "complicity" in the ongoing US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to warn of the dangers of more of the same in Iran.
"Shannon is clearly a potential target," O'Reilly said. More than 300,000 US troops passed through the airport in the last year.
"The Fianna Fail/PD government has steadfastly supported the murderous actions of the Bush regime by facilitating its war machine at Shannon Airport," Clancy said. "Indeed, Shannon remains a hub airport for the US military on its way to war in the Middle East."
"In this context, Irish 'neutrality', if it ever existed, has been rendered null and void."
Admission to both the Dublin and Belfast meetings is free and all are welcome.
Anti-War Ireland Media Contacts: Colin Coulter 086 123 4520 or Harry Browne 087 764 8065
To contact Ciaron O'Reilly, phone 087 9184552
To contact Deirdre Clancy, phone 086 1512013