Independent Media Centre Ireland

Acquitted anti-war activists to discuss Shannon demilitarisation campaign

category national | anti-war / imperialism | press release author Tuesday September 05, 2006 10:19author by Anti-War Irelandauthor email info at antiwarireland dot org

Press Release: Tuesday, 5 September 2006


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

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Comments (3 of 3)

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author by mepublication date Tue Sep 05, 2006 13:17author address author phone

Ciaran O'reilly is absolutely correct on this one - Shannon is an obvious target for Islamic fundamentalists and, when it happens, I hope people don't pretend that it wasn't foretold. The only way to avoid this is for Ireland to disengage drom assisting a war that most Irish people oppose.

author by Fiery Spublication date Tue Sep 05, 2006 19:55author address author phone

We allowed the Russians to pass through on the way to Cuba during the missile crisis. Nothing happened.

The only people responsible for any terrorist attack on Ireland will be those activists that have continually highlighted the issue of Shannon. Without that Al-Queda would not know where Ireland was.

author by Tim Houriganpublication date Fri Sep 08, 2006 14:08author address author phone

Fiery S :The only people responsible for any terrorist attack on Ireland will be those activists that have continually highlighted the issue of Shannon. Without that Al-Queda would not know where Ireland was.

Really? How about the US press boasting about the welcome given to their troops, and that was BEFORE the Shannon peace camp.
e.g. KUWAIT-ING GAME by Noelle Phillips. from NOVEMBER 2002

The journo reports 291 troops heading for Kuwait, stopping in Shannon, staying in the Clare Inn Hotel, touring Dromoland Castle, drinking in Poachers Pub, and meeting the US Army's highest ranking officer who also happened to passing through Shannon at the time.

Where's your moral outrage for her report? It was syndicated all over the US.

It's the Irish people that this was being kept from, by our cowardly government. The US was very quick to brag about the widespread support they got from places including Ireland. Anyone plotting on hitting the US military in a soft target could read about US miltiary using Shannon in US newspapers or online, or do you think that Islamic terrorist groups don't read US new sites, only the Irish Times?

The Government has been made aware of the dangers to Shannon, and carry on because of political reasons. Hoping nothing will go wrong, and blaming the whistleblowers if it ever does is not much of a safety policy is it?

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