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Shannon Warport Peace Camp

category clare | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Monday January 08, 2007 18:33author by Conor Cregan - Cosantoiri Siochana Report this post to the editors

"Over one hundred CIA flights refueling at Shannon Airport"

On Saturday 6th January, Cosantori Siochana, hosted a 24 hour peace camp at Shannon Airport. This vigil coincided with the fourth anniversary of the first peace camp conceived on Nollaig na mBan during the build up to Geoge W. Bush’s war in Iraq. This was during a time when the world was mobilizing for war and peace. In year that the world screamed for leadership our weak kneed government signed its name to the death warrant of hundreds of Iraqi citizens. This act of treachery, praised by Bush, denied by Ahern. The murder perpetuates itself on daily basis on the streets, in the markets and in every state building with the butchers drying their hands through sands of the Iraqi desert

On the 20th of March in 2003 Bertie Ahern led his government into his biggest deceit to the people of Ireland. While his lieutenant stood in the inner circle of the United Nations Bertie Ahern signed a blank cheque for the US military to bring shame on the Irish nation. Without the ruse of a second resolution Ahern waved the young men and women US military through Shannon Airports duty free on their way to a heinous, pointless and what now seems an endless war.

Now twelve months on since na Cosantori Siochana set up our last peace camp we, again, call for ethical investment at Shannon Airport. We remember the thousands of people killed in Bush’s "War on Terror", including thousands of Iraqi and Afghani children, slaughtered by the U.S. military occupation of their country taking freedom’s name in vain. We call for an end to all war that that rages throughout the globe.

The last twelve months have been very eventful for the anti-war movement in Ireland. During this time the amount of US troops transiting to the theatres of war in Iraq and Afghanistan has surpassed one million and to date over three thousand have not made the return journey home. In modern warfare this number is very high but cannot compare to the civilian casualties that accumulate daily in Iraq.

A lot can happen in one year but the future does not seem to be bright for Shannon or Iraq. Here is a review of events in and around Shannon Airport during the last twelve months.

The year got off to a good start when Shannon Town Council passed the motion;

“Shannon Town Council supports the calls from across the political spectrum, and from members of the public, for the investigation of the possible use of Irish airports by the United States administration for the purposes of transporting prisoners for rendition for torture through Irish airports.”

This of course was ignored when less than twenty four hours when a US Hercules C130 made an emergency landing at Shannon Airport. This seemed to be a lucky escape for US service men who acquired a fault in one of the fuel lines whilst taking off from an undisclosed location.http://www.indymedia.ie/article/73658

In February Indymedia contributor Conor Cregan interviewed Bertie Ahern at the West County Hotel in Ennis during the national Ogra Fianna Fail conference in Ennis. This turned out to be a very entertaining piece but not everyone got the joke. Conor was locked into a room by an armed detective while Bertie made his escape into the conference centre. Essential viewing for the Brian Dobson’s of the world.

2006 was a busy year for Shannon Airport with record numbers of passengers passing through. Many VIP’s were among the millions of people that flew through Irelands second civilian airport but none as important as George W Bush who made two transit stops. Over 500 hundred members of An Gardai Siochana were on overtime as the sleeping US president blissfully passed through on his return journey after sorting out the problems in the Middle East. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74563

Throughout 2006 we kept the spotlight on the war crimes at Shannon Airport with some local demonstrations. In March we introduced the Black Shamrock Badge when members of the FEIC Campaign in Derry joined us for an unannounced protest at the terminal building at the Airport. This met with disapproval by An Gardai Siochana and the Airport Police who attacked us. We kept our cool as the authorities, under the command of Sgt Noel McMahon, tried to rip our banners out of our hands. Eventually they retreated and we proceeded to hand out Black Shamrocks to the patrons of Shannon Airport. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74933 In July Ed, Tim and others laid flowers at Shannon in rememberance of all the people killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/77008

2006 proved to be a very embarrassing year for the Ahern regime. Both the Council of Europe and the European Union investigated the US Extraordinary Rendition programme and found some frighten results. The US has been detaining people in secret prisons in Poland and Romania. The two reports have been conflicting but the most recent has criticized member states including Ireland for their complicity in this practice. Ofcourse Ahern sent out his lieutenants to twist the truth but the facts would not lie. They tried to smear ex Irish army officer Ed Horgan an unpatriotic but could not match his credentials. Over 140 CIA flights have come through Shannon Airport and while others passed through Dublin and Cork. In his recently published book the Times journalist Stephen Grey confirms Shannon Airport to be the CIA’s second biggest hub in Europe. Suspected CIA flights have been logged regularly by plane spotters. The most recent was on the apron at Shannon Airport in December 28th of last year. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76505

Regular readers of indymedia might remember that one of the first confirmed Extraordinary Rendition flights was at Shannon. N379P or the Guantanamo Express passed through Shannon Airport on January 18th 2003. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/67865
This brought one Shannon plane spotter to Brussels where retired Commandant Edward Horgan presented evidence, to the European Parliament, of over one hundred CIA flights refueling at Shannon Airport. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/75612

2006 was a year of victories in the courts for peace activists. In March the DPP finally dropped charges against four peace activists. Niall Harnett, Mags Liddy, Conor Cregan and St John Ó’Donnabháin were released from bail for want of prosecution by Judge Joseph Mangan on an application by the state to drop all charges against them.
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74769 Five days later a group of TD’s and Senators made a novel protest by flying into Shannon. The group was promptly removed by the Airport Police. Outside the airport they gave interview to the waiting press. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74888

On the 17th of March we commemorate the feast of St Patrick but in 2006 not everyone chose to celebrate our national saint. In a symbolic action a lone activist laid a hundred flowers at Shannon Airport to mark the US invasion of Iraq. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74895

In April the Irish Independent revealed that the US has transported Apache Helicopters through Shannon Airport with out authorization. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/75316 This story was first reported on Indymedia in February when the helicopters were loaded on to an Antonov 124. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74563#comment140451

May brought another major victory to our campaign. The biggest carrier of US troops World Airways announced they were pulling out of Shannon for the second time. In 2003 they pulled out temporarily as reaction to the actions of Mary Kelly and the Pit-Stop Ploughshares. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76233

In June the authorities at the airport started to take the rendition issue seriously. An Gardai Siochana stated that they had indeed searched planes at Shannon Airport. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76677
During the 2006 World Cup Germany’s airports where swamped with football fans and another troop carrier, Omni Air, started to use Shannon Airport. Ground staff at Shannon saw a man in chains on one of these flights and alerted the authorities causing a diplomatic incident. In an unprecedented move Bertie Ahern called a press conference to save face and once again the Irish Government gave permission in retrospect to the US military in the wake of a breach of law. Ahern told us the man in chains on that flight was US soldier and his namesake in the Foreign Affairs would still tell us no prisoners have come through Shannon http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76659. Workers at the Airport were instructed to watch out for US prisoners. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76685 An article in the Limerick Leader alleged that workers were convinced that many US planes were carrying more passengers than stated on the manifest. These vigilant employees have been ignored to date.

Later on in the year local peace activist Conor Cregan (citizens) arrested six US soldiers on the Limerick Road in Ennis. This made the headlines in the national news papers for the inept way the diplomatic incident was handled by An Gardai Siochana. The matter is still unresolved as Superintendent John Kearn of Ennis Gardai Station is still investigating the matter. The Dept. of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that the soldiers were in breach of Irish law. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76801

Over three and a half years after they decommissioned a US warplane at Shannon Airport, the Pit-Stop Ploughshares, left the Four Courts victorious in August. Ciaran O’Reilly, Deirdre Clancy, Karen Fallon Damien Moran and Nuin Dunlop put Ireland’s participation in the US’s war on Iraq and Afghanistan on trial and were vindicated in their actions by twelve Irish citizens in the Dublin Circuit Court. http://www.indymedia.ie/openwire?search_text=ploughshar...et=20

During this time another war was raging in the Middle East. The Israeli Defence Force invasion of Lebanon had displaced thousands of people. Many of these refugees fleeing from the war were transiting through Shannon Airport to the United States for safety. Plane Spotters waited for the arrival of 100 GBU-28 at the airport. Israel had called for the US to accelerate the delivery of these “bunker busting bombs” to use against Hezbollah. Under pressure Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern said in a statement that permission for these weapons transiting Shannon Airport would be denied. This would be just the start of the anti-war resistance to this heinous cargo. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/77501
On Saturday 29th July a demonstration of 150 people stopped two Atlas Air 747’s from landing at Prestwick Airport. The planes laden with the so called smart bombs were diverted to RAF Mildenhall military base in Suffolk. A week later the local peace activists entered the airport when another Atlas Air 747 landed at the airport. The activists boarded a US warplane to carry out a citizen’s weapon inspection. They were acquitted later in the year as the crown prosecution failed to establish whether they had permission from the “Pentagon” to enter the aircraft. http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/08/347102.html

After a long absence the anti-war movement in Ireland finally mobilized. Anti-war Ireland organized the only national demonstration at Shannon. Three ex US military interrogators spoke of the horrors in Abu Ghraib prison and how interrogators falsified information to meet targets.http://www.indymedia.ie/article/79356

Shannon Airport has been exposed to have been facilitating the world’s arms traders for decades. In 2006 leaked papers have shown the US to be transporting Apache Helicopters to Israel and M16 assault rifles to Bulgaria. These shipments were flown by ex-Soviet built airplanes. One such shipment went through Shannon on an Antonov 124 during the last stopover made by George W. Bush last March. The Russian logistics company, Volga Dnepr, has a permanent maintenance depot at Shannon so these massive cargo planes are regular visitors to Ireland. During the Horgan High Court case a motion of discovery was made by Judge Kearns and hundreds of documents were released by the Dept. of Foreign Affairs. Many of these documents have used in the defence of peace activists. These documents confirm that the US and Israeli militaries have used Shannon Airport to ship missiles, including patriots, back and forth to both countries. Cynically these weapons of mass destruction are being transported by civilian cargo companies such as Evergreen Airlines and Polar Air.

This year local Councilor Brian Meany attacked peace protesters in a Clare tabloid newspaper. The Green party candidate pandering for Clare votes blamed anti-war activists for the spiraling costs of security at Shannon Airport. The state has wasted over five million since 2002 in policing Shannon Airport since 2002. This figure does not include the amount wasted when George W. Bush visited this Island in 2004. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/79453

And these were some of the events at Shannon Airport in the year 2006. In thirty years time when the state release secret papers then we may have the full account of this governments complicity that is the “War on Terror”.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/75612





author by Conor Cregan - Cosantoiri Siochanapublication date Mon Jan 08, 2007 18:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

more !






author by Conor Cregan - Cosantoiri Siochanapublication date Mon Jan 08, 2007 19:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

5 !






author by Conor Cregan - Cosantoiri Siochanapublication date Mon Jan 08, 2007 19:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

More !






author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Mon Jan 08, 2007 19:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great work - great article - to all our friends in Cosantoiri a Happy and Successful 2007.

The plans of the Bush administration for a possible “surge” of up to 30,000 more US troops in Iraq is a politically insane act - the plan, to be announced by Bush in 48 hours, removes any excuses for the Irish government to continue facilitating the US military at Shannon airport in escalating this illegal war.

As a majority of US citizens are now opposed to the Iraq war - as expressed in the recent US mid-term elections - the Irish government have an obligation to stop facilitating this barbaric war being conducted by a government that no longer represents the US public - if it ever did!. A CBS poll today, Monday Jan 8th, shows that only 16% of the US public support the proposed Bush ‘surge’.

The fact that the US backed Iraqi “government” will shortly bring forward legislation that will give US and other western oil companies control of most of Iraq’s oil resources is damning evidence of the real agenda behind the US invasion of Iraq and the role assigned to the Iraqis put in place to facilitate this process. The deeply sectarian nature of the al-Maliki set-up, higlighted by the disaster of the Saddam execution, is the political background to this forthcoming nightmarish scenario.

Reports in the international media at the weekend suggesting that Israel has plans in place for a a series of nuclear strikes on Iran, confirm the warnings we have been been registering for some time that such an attack was possible and that the real threat to world peace comes from the US, Israel and their allies.

We, in the Irish Anti-War Movement, along with other anti-war groups, plan to make the issue of the US war in Iraq and the use of Shannon a major election issue and will hold a national anti-war demonstration outside the Fianna Fail pre-election Ard Fheis next March.

In proposing a surge of 30,000 US troops in Iraq, Bush is ignoring the Baker/Hamilton Iraq study group and the clearly expressed wish of the American people in the mid-term elections.
All serious analysis of the situation in Iraq, even by senior US military figures, has made it clear that the presence of US troops is part of the problem not the solution in Iraq. Sending more troops in is guaranteed to escalate the violence leading to the deaths of more innocent Iraqis and US troops.

The lame excuses Bertie Ahern’s government has made, up to this point, for allowing the US military to use Shannon, on the grounds of this country’s relationship with the US, can no longer be sustained. With a majority of Americans opposed to what Bush is doing and planning in Iraq, the only act of solidarity this country can make with the American people is to openly and publicly condemn what George Bush is doing and stop the transport of US troops through Shannon to kill and be killed in Iraq.

The Irish Anti-War Movement, along with its allies in the anti-war movement in Ireland, is determined to make Bush’s war and our government’s complicity with it a major issue in the forthcoming election.
As well as a large scale door-to-door campaign in every constituency, we have already started the mobilisation for a major demonstration outside the Fianna Fail pre-election Ard Fheis in March.
Since, the huge anti-war protests in 2003 and 2004, Bertie Ahern has done his best to try and kill off discussion about the role of Shannon in the US war machine. However, with the horror daily worsening in Iraq and Bush and Israel now planning to pour petrol on the fire, Irish silence and continued complicity cannot continue.

One more time, well done our friends in Cosantoiri - keep up the good work.
Solidarity with all of you. See some of you outside the US Embassy on Thursday 4.30 - 6.00.


author by Conor Cregan - Cosantoiri Siochanapublication date Mon Jan 08, 2007 19:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

ve !


The lodestar of the weekends proceedings : Asia & Tim's bambino, Goisa.
The lodestar of the weekends proceedings : Asia & Tim's bambino, Goisa.




author by guydebordisdeadpublication date Mon Jan 08, 2007 19:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Whatever happened to the announced action against Shannon?

Camping is all well and good but without action it's little more than appeasing your own consciences.

author by bALACLAVApublication date Mon Jan 08, 2007 20:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Will you lead the charge?

Or how to you appease your own consciences?

When your ready please.

author by guydebordisdeadpublication date Mon Jan 08, 2007 20:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I would glady lead said charge although I assume a more clandestine approach is favoured and most people would rather it was organised democratically without leaders.

The purpose of action in Shannon wouldn't be to appease my conscience but to strike a blow against Imperialism, so what happened to the planned action?

author by Sally - anti-war activistpublication date Mon Jan 08, 2007 20:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's a ZZ Top reunion! Good work though.

author by no.6 - lfc.publication date Mon Jan 08, 2007 22:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Congadulations to all who were at the Shannon Peace Camp.

Ye are the ones who fan the flames of discontent and keep alive the 'asleep' Public awareness on the issue.

We have an occupied Ireland once again , laced with cia ,spies, soldiers,hardware,machinery and prepuse lackeys in black and blue uniforms.

A most unconstitutional situation.

author by Burning Bush - Mount Horeb Appreciation Societypublication date Mon Jan 08, 2007 23:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Guydebordisdead" : Time to retire to your cooling "bord" or at least couch, for the action you hypocritically bear witness to, is in the offing. Hallelujah !. 'Nuff said !

author by Elainepublication date Mon Jan 22, 2007 14:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

with not one or two but three protests at Shannon. Two stand offs at the main gate and an unofficial visit by activists on the Sunday morning.

Some of the photos only hint at the cold and the rain. As we walked towards Shannon, shortly after dinner, the rain pelted down. It came at that particularly unpleasant 45 degree angle that left us soaking wet in a matter of minutes but only on one side. As we were walking away about an hour later, the strong winds ensured that the other side got a good soaking too. Returning to camp, we stood at the fire watching the steam from our clothes until we were dry.

Shortly before midnight, a smaller, but apparently hardier, group of activists headed back up to the main gate for another chit chat with the guards. The next morning we got word that at least half a dozen activists had entered Shannon to inspect the military hardware on display.

See article here... http://www.indymedia.ie/article/80494

Many thanks to the Rossport crew who brought their marquee. It was amazing to watch how quickly it can be taken down and folded away. All it needed was a little team work and we had that in spades at the weekend.

Drowned But Not Out
Drowned But Not Out

Grubs Up
Grubs Up

Banners Drawn Ready For The Stand off
Banners Drawn Ready For The Stand off

Ed Inspecting The Troops
Ed Inspecting The Troops

Drying Out At The Fire Between Actions
Drying Out At The Fire Between Actions

author by Elainepublication date Mon Jan 22, 2007 14:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

See the amazing Shrinking Marquee.

Striking Camp
Striking Camp

Pull It Over Here A Bit
Pull It Over Here A Bit

Now Fold It Up Real Small So It Will Fit In A Backpack
Now Fold It Up Real Small So It Will Fit In A Backpack

author by Chrispublication date Sun Mar 18, 2007 17:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play to all who took part in the protest - God bless em! We need witnesses to remind us of the injustices going on daily.

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