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State Tries to Criminalise Conor Cregan

category national | anti-war / imperialism | feature author Wednesday October 08, 2008 13:26author by Seán Ryan Report this post to the editors

featured image
Troublemakers Inc.

More than two years have passed since these two cases began. On Thursday last, Conor was at a special sitting of Ennis District Court for the finale.

Here’s the short version of the story:

The match started. Inspector Tom Kennedy kicked off. He passed the ball towards the last minute substitute. But too late, Cregan had the ball before the substitute even got a look at it. The last minute substitute wandered off looking dazed and confused. Cregan passed the ball back to Kennedy. Kennedy next tries to give the ball to his next team-mate. Not quick enough though, Cregan intercepts, passes back to Kennedy and waits to see who’s next. Kennedy begins to see Conor’s plan and decides to pass it to a professional this time round. Too slow Tom. Cregan takes the ball; the professional is made to look like a complete amateur. Cregan taps it back to Kennedy.

Poor Inspector Kennedy sees three of his players stumbling around, trying to figure out what just hit them. I don’t know if any of this influenced his next move.

The inspector lined up his shot, kicked the football, as hard as he could, nearly busting the net. G… O… A… L!!!!!! (Own goal that is.)

“You’re in trouble aren’t you inspector?” suggested the Ref, almost paternally.

“I am,” reflected the dejected and ashamed looking inspector in such a voice that one knows the reflection derived from an informed place.

Case dismissed. Same with the second one.

On top of the victory, activists have been shown the writing on the wall. We have an admission that activists are singled out as cases for special treatment. The special treatment consists of confrontation, harassment and physical abuse. This special treatment is applied until activists give up on practicing their right to protest or in the case of others, give up their right to investigate international and national war crimes that nobody else’ll investigate.

Some people get up after you think you’ve knocked them down. Sometimes they get up, so unexpectedly and with so much force, inspectors who sometimes get flashes of their own writing on the wall, might just for once, get a glimpse of the bigger picture.

I spose it could have been a lot worse…

Yeah that’s right…

It might have gone to a place where Conor got to call some witnesses of his own after exposing the rest of Inspector Tom’s problem/team first. Things could have been a lot worse from the inspector’s point of view I spose…

Here’s the longer version of the day’s events

Conor Cregan has had two charges hanging over him for more than two years. This has gone all the way to the High Court and all the way back to Judge Mangan’s little patch, back in Ennis. On Thursday the second day of October, Conor and his McKenzie, Owen Rice, arrived in town for the final showdown in this epic battle.

The courtroom was pretty full, for a special sitting. There were a few short issues on first and they were dealt with in short order. The only lengthy issue, other than Conor’s two cases, was played out over the lunch break.

Inspector Tom called some guy, Brendan Mullin, an engineer from Shannon airport, who helped to buy land or something, he apparently expands and contracts the area of the aerodrome, defining the jurisdiction whereby the Air Transport and Navigation Act is applied. Or something…

What was interesting about this witness was not so much his evidence, but the fact that he should not have existed in the first place. Tom had added this witness to the squad without Conor Cregan’s prior knowledge. Moreover, Tom informed the court that this witnesses’ evidence was going to be used in both cases. Conor had been granted a Gary Doyle order years ago, when these two cases first started.

Conor quizzed the engineer in what seemed to be a bored manner after Mangan J. refused an application to dismiss, in spite of the fact that Conor should have been informed of the existence of the witness and his evidence, as per the Gary Doyle order, so that he might attempt to prepare a defence. Judge Mangan decided that he’d watch the farce and possibly decide at some point in the future if Conor had been prejudiced.

After softening up the first witness for a few minutes, Conor Cregan turned up the heat.

‘Do you have any legal training?’ Conor enquired, trying to ascertain if the witness had any actual legal might behind his ability to announce legal jurisdictions.

After asking the witness if he had any proof with him to prove that the party he said were owners of the property that defines the aerodrome, were the owners, and he didn’t, the Judge excused him and directed him back from whence he came, to procure some proofs of his claims.

The row of schoolchildren, who’d been brought to observe our justice system in action, seemed to come out of their state of disinterest as Inspector Tom’s first witness left the building and as the first hints of redness crept into his complexion.

Lillian O’Shea, airport police officer and airport fire brigade officer, both at the same time, takes the stand. Don’t ask me… Cutbacks or something…

Inspector Tom presses on, unaware, it would seem, that the seeds of destruction have already been sown, and encourages Officer Twoforthepriceofone to spin her tale.

Lillian tells those assembled that it’s the 23rd of July, some two years ago. It’s around midnight and Conor Cregan rides into view on a bicycle. Officer Twoforthepriceofone who’s manning the “Gantry,” near the entrance to the airport, recognises Conor from her many dealings with him in the past (and probably the odd photo or two) and decides to stop and to confront him. A brief chat later and Officer Twoforthepriceforone demands to know the details of Mr. Cregan’s lawful business at the airport. The witness tells the court that she has asserted her authority and yet, Mr. Cregan has told her that she has no authority, has gotten back on his bike and has cycled off in the direction of the terminal at the heart of the airport. Officer Twoforthepriceofone runs back to the Gantry to place a call to Inspector John “Sierra Papa” Martin, to sound the general alarm: There’s a bandit, or is it a banned person, coming his way.

The scene is set. An eyebrow Mexican wave begins on my right and circles around to my left. The kids are fully awake now. We’re not talking about maps anymore. Some dude has ignored the cops.

Inspector Kennedy handed the witness over to Conor with almost a flourish. Very arrogant of the inspector, considering it would be the signal for the onset of his humiliation. Not to mention what Officer Twoforthepriceofone was about to reveal to the court. Yeah, here’s what happens with a witness one is allowed to prepare for is examined.

Had Officer O’Shea presented her warrant card for Conor’s inspection? Like she’s supposed to, when requested to do so, as demanded by the Air Transport and Navigation act. She’d displayed her ID alright and demonstrated how she’d done so for the Judge. She seemed to offer a breast towards the Judge for his perusal. Whatever went through the Judge’s mind at this unusual juncture, he kept to himself. This vision was enhanced by the fact that the ID and warrant card, that had probably adorned the offered breast, was currently in front of the Judge. The warrant card had been tendered to the Judge when the witness was sworn in. Yup, you have to show the warrant card to the Judge when the court requires authorisation.

Anyway, after a brief lesson from Conor, who pointed out that the warrant card was at the back of the ID and that displaying the ID was not the same as displaying the warrant card, the witness seemed to have some difficulties in understanding, even Inspector Kennedy jumped into the discussion.

The kids around the courtroom were having a ball.

Finally, lesson learned, Twoforthepriceofone, when asked by Conor if she had established her authorisation by exhibiting her ID card, answered that she had.

Once Conor established that the witness hadn’t shown her warrant card, he began to question her some more, scoring points and gathering intelligence regarding the activities that take place at the airport. And poor Tom Kennedy had to sit there and watch it.

After Twoforthepriceofone learned that saying that the phrase: “stopped everyone” was not the same as saying that that “some were stopped,” Conor got her to make an interesting revelation or two:

Activists who have caused “problems” are to be stopped and harassed. They are to be stopped and harassed until they stop protesting or investigating.

A bank of photographs of activists and details about them are available to recognise those who’ve been singled out for special treatment.

Officer Twoforthepriceofone testified that her instructions to confront identified activists had arrived from various parties. One of those named was Inspector John “Sierra Papa” Martin.

Not wanting impressionable minds to be warped with reality, Judge Mangan informed the court that it was perfectly acceptable to form a list of potential ‘troublemakers’ for use at the airport. He repeated this a few times so that everybody understood. Cool.

What Judge Mangan didn’t comment on of course, was the point. I mean it’s perfectly okay for me to consider Judge Mangan to be somewhat of a potential idiot. It’s okay too for me to consider inspector Tom Kennedy to be a potential pliable muppet who is fully conscious of the swill he’s expecting the court and the public to swallow. But what if I act on these possibly unfounded beliefs? What if I end up confronting and assaulting the good Judge? That’s the point that the Judge missed. You can think what you want; it does not follow that you may break the law.

A sickly looking Inspector Kennedy, batting for the DPP, called his third witness. Garda Conor Fleming is a special garda who can simultaneously exist in many alternate realities. If anyone could turn this around for the Inspector, garda Fleming would.

Garda Fleming arrived at the airport a little after midnight and immediately began to phase shift into different dimensions, though this didn’t become apparent until Conor Cregan was offered the witness.

Conor was arrested before Fleming arrived.

Conor was not under arrest when Fleming arrived.

Conor was being detained when Fleming arrived.

Conor wasn’t being detained when Fleming arrived, Conor seemed to be enjoying the company of Sierra Papa and another officer, despite the fact that Fleming remembered Conor Cregan running up to him when he’d arrived, stating that he’d been assaulted.

Garda Fleming said that he’d investigated the complaint alleged by Conor. He said that he’d gathered the evidence and had cautioned Sierra Papa etc. He said that he’d been satisfied that Conor hadn’t been assaulted. Conor Cregan later pointed out to Fleming that had he watched the evidence that he’d collected from Conor, that he might have arrived at a different set of beliefs. Fleming hadn’t watched the video evidence that he’d taken from Conor. Inspector Kennedy got into an animated argument, mostly with himself about this video evidence. Even judge Mangan jumped in occasionally.

Fleming said to the court that he believed Conor was at the airport without lawful excuse. Apparently, in most of Fleming’s dimensions, one needs lawful excuse to enter an airport. The witness said that he had demanded under section 8 of the Public Order Act that Mr. Cregan leave the immediate vicinity.

Conor left the immediate vicinity by walking into the airport terminal building.

Once Conor had established the definition of “vicinity” with Fleming and managed to get the garda to revise a few times his estimate of how far Conor had walked into the building, before he was arrested, lunch was called.

This was the last that was seen of the schoolchildren as they filed out of the courtroom, talking animatedly.

After lunch, the intrepid garda Fleming was back in the stand and was slowly put out of his misery.

The afternoon’s interdimensional theme: Who arrested Conor?

Garda Fleming reckoned that Conor had been arrested in the airport building by Inspector Sierra Papa. Garda Fleming was very sure that he hadn’t arrested Conor at any time.

The summons said that Fleming was the arresting officer. Though in fairness, the summons was calling on Conor to answer to allegations about a crime that doesn’t exist in law.

A receipt signed by the member in charge said that Fleming had been the arresting officer.

Another row ensued with Inspector Kennedy around this time, with the Inspector babbling incoherently about the video footage again. He was not mollified by having it pointed out to him that he was confusing the video footage taken by CCTV with the footage shot by Conor on the night in question. The inspector desperately went into the fact that Conor had had to institute Judicial Review proceedings, just to have his Gary Doyle order complied with – he’d had his Gary Doyle order and he’d been given video footage and a transcript from the video that Conor had shot.

Conor excused the witness and Inspector Kennedy re-called his first witness once more. I almost felt sorry for the Inspector at this point, considering that he’d just said that the Gary Doyle order had been fully complied with. I almost felt sorry for Tom, who was turning a deathly purple colour.

Conor played around with the engineer a bit before demanding the deeds that identified the legal owners of Shannon airport. Brendan Mullin looked like a caged monkey and tuned to the Judge for a helping hand. Judge Mangan wasn’t allowing this farce to go any further, once he satisfied himself that Brendan hadn’t brought the necessary paperwork to establish his claims as fact. As Brendan’s testimony was being considered in both cases against Conor, the Judge binned both, without the details of the second being revealed.

Funny thing is, I cannot fathom why Inspector Tom added the engineer to his list of witnesses in the first place. Who in Christ’s name was going to dispute the area under the jurisdiction of the Air Transport and Navigation Act? I’m pretty damned sure Conor wasn’t going to.

author by Kafka's cousinpublication date Sat Oct 04, 2008 14:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for a fascinating report. And thanks to Conor.

What does a guy have to do to get a conviction round here?

author by Chrissiepublication date Sat Oct 04, 2008 17:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done all; we need more troublemakers to stir up people's consciences!

author by Ciaron - Dublin Catholic Worker/ Ploughsharespublication date Sat Oct 04, 2008 22:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great article, great photo.
We're six years into this war that has claimed over 1 million Iraqi lives (Lancet Report) and over 4,000 young Americans, most who passed through Shannon Airport.
Henry Rollins recently reflected at Electric Picnic on his visits to the some 20,000 U.S. trrops who passed through Shannon to the killing and dyihng in Iraq to return disabledthrough the Veterans hopspital in D.C. (They only ship the able bodied through Shannon back and forth, that helps the Irish sleep at night...the dead and wounded go through Saudi and Germany on the trip home) "Young men and women in their prime years in diapers being visited by their children in diapers. Only difference is that the kids will one day get out off diapers these vets never will!"
A war that long ago lost its sex appeal for the NGO's and never really focused the attention of the Irish left on Ireland's major contribution to the killing being Shannon Airport.

All the arguments about the superiority of "mass mobilisations" in O'Connel St. over nonviolent resistance at Shannon (captured well in the "Route irish" doc have come and gone, along with those who made the arguments. What we're left with in anti war Ireland is the small affinity groups of resistance, such as those pictured above, the Raytheon crews in Derry, the CW's at the GPO that keep on keeping on engaging the Irish contibutuiion to the U.S.S. killfests in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Congratulations, celebration and many thanx to Conor and the crew that surrounded him on this occasion in court. Best thing I've heard of since your citizen's arrest of the U.S. troops on that County Clare country lane!
It ain't over til its over.

Related Link: http://www.peaceontrial.com
author by lulupublication date Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play to Conor & comrades for all they've done to resist the illegal wars & Ireland's spineless complicity

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Sun Oct 05, 2008 17:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nice one, Conor, and all those who supported him. It would be no bad thing to see some other citizens arrests being made - if Shannon Airport is Irish territory, then surely the wearing of forreign battledress in that airport is illegal? Just a point.

author by Johnpublication date Sun Oct 05, 2008 21:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Remember that the October anti-war/anti-torture vigil takes place at Shannon on Sunday 12th from 2pm to 3pm. Do try to come along if you can ... it has been shifted to an earlier time to facilitate people travelling from around the country.

Now more than ever there is a need to keep the pressure on the authorities. They must be held accountable for their part in an evil and unnecesary war; there must be an end to the complicity in human rights abuse; and the wall of silence surrounding both must be broken. Stopping Ireland's involvement is only one step along the way towards justice, peace and accountability, but it is a necessary first step for us to take.

From what was said in the court on Thursday it is clear that the state sees anyone who questions what goes on at Shannon as a "problem". Lets continue to be a problem, until the truth and the real law-breakers are exposed.

As an added bonus for those who turn up on Sunday - you may even get to meet an inspector or two in person as they protect and defend ...

author by Edward Horganpublication date Sun Oct 05, 2008 23:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Lest we forget,
The reason a small groups of us continue to fight for human rights at Shannon, in spite of being falsely labelled as "POTENTIAL TROUBLEMAKERS" by Judge Mangan and others, is that Shannon airport has been knowingly used to facilitate the unlawful wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that have caused the deaths of well over one million people, and used also to facilitate the kidnap and torture of thousands of prisoners.
The most basic human right is the right to life, and over one million people have had their right to life snuffed out by the US Government, with the active complicity of the Irish Government. Bertie Ahern and several other Fianna Fail TDs and MEPs who supported the participation of Ireland in the Iraq war are now lining themselves up as possible candidates for the Presidency of Ireland.

We need far more support at Shannon airport over the comming months so that we can continue to make trouble for all those who continue to be complicit in crimes against humanity. Let us not forget also that Judge Mangan is one of those who has been complicit in the criminality that has been ongoing at Shannon, by abuse of the Irish justice system against dozens of human rights activists, especially in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

author by I.like.acronyms.publication date Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Lillian O’Shea, airport police officer and airport fire brigade officer, both at the same time, takes the stand. Don’t ask me… Cutbacks or something…

They were originally called the Airport Police & Emergency Services, until someone finally realised that driving around in a big yellow van marked "APES" was causing the wrong reaction when someone called for help.

When not prosituting themselves for the US military and Irish gombeen politicians they can be seen enforcing parking and smoking regulations on the non-military customers of Shannon Airport.

author by Edward Horganpublication date Mon Oct 06, 2008 13:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

CONOR LALLY, Crime Correspondent Irish Times reports in todays times that "GARDAÍ AND Revenue's Customs Service are to launch a major security initiative at the Republic's smaller airports and airfields amid concerns they are being used by drugs gangs to smuggle in major consignments.

The initiative, called Air Watch, will seek the public's assistance in identifying suspect behaviour in and around regional airports and more remote landing strips.

The operation will be Garda-led and will be launched before the end of the year. Gardaí will work closely with Revenue, whose Customs Excise service is responsible for detecting drugs and firearms being smuggled into the State at airports and sea ports."

Wouldn't it be great if the Gardai actually did the job they are paid to do at Shannon airport? After the Aer Lingus "immoral" pull out from Shannon airport, Shannon is now just a declining regional airport, so members of the public will be asked to keep a lookout for suspicious activity there.
Past experiences by concerned members of the public are not encouraging. I speak as one who had been arrested or detained at Shannon airport five times so far, for the alleged crime of daring to report criminal activity at Shannon airport to the Gardai.
Following Conor Cregan's victory at Ennis court last Thursday, we now intend to offer an expanded service to the gardai at Shannon whereby we will not only report suspicious activities at Shannon to the Gardai, but we will also carry out citizens arrests of US troops and CIA tortures behaving illegally at Shannon as well as searches of suspicious aircraft.

This new AIR WATCH is a good idea. We are also watching the unlawful activies of the Gardai and others at Shannon airport, and have been doing so for some time.

author by Satchmopublication date Mon Oct 06, 2008 13:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For the purpose of enabling the "Money Masters" (and all who support them) to commit the most horrendous of crimes against humanity -- and to get away with them -- the police do everything they possibly can to criminalise decent, law-abiding, conscientious objectors.

"Axe me about perverting the course of justice man?"

For more on the "Money Masters", see http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Money+Masters&btnG...earch

author by Contrarian - Mythbusterspublication date Mon Oct 06, 2008 13:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Myth No. 1 (Seán Ryan) They were originally called the Airport Police & Emergency Services, until someone finally realised that driving around in a big yellow van marked "APES" was causing the wrong reaction
Pure urban myth. They are and have always been known as "APFS" ie Airport Police and Fire Service. Individual members are colloquially referred to as "APF"s. The APES acronym is one of those stories you might like to be true but isn't.

Myth No. 2 (Fred Johnston) if Shannon Airport is Irish territory, then surely the wearing of forreign battledress in that airport is illegal?Again, simply not true. Uniformed foreign military personnel may lawfully be present in the State with the permission of the Minister. (Section 317, Defence Act 1954) Which has been granted. Also to be filed under "a story you might like to be true but isn't."

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Mon Oct 06, 2008 14:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When did the Minister give permission for this? If this is so, why has at least one ordinary citizen been able to execute a citizen's arrest already on a uniformed USD combatant?

author by Jerry Corneliuspublication date Mon Oct 06, 2008 14:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1. Heres a reference to APES from 2001:
A jet with 180 people on board dramatically aborted its take off at Dublin airport yesterday after an engine blow out. The Airport Police emergency service immediately swung into action
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/jet-takeoff-abo....html

2. The permission to wear foreign uniforms is supposed to given on a case by case basis under the 1954 Defence Act, Section 317 paras 1 & 2. There is no record of any Ministerial order under the 1954 Defence Act, Section 317 para 3 giving blanket permission for these mercenaries to wear their uniforms.

317.—(1) No person shall, save with the consent in writing of a Minister of State, enter or land in the State while wearing any foreign uniform.

(2) No person shall, save with the consent in writing of a Minister of State, go into any public place in the State while wearing any foreign uniform.

[(3) A Minister of State may from time to time direct that subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall not during a specified period apply in respect of any particular class (defined in such manner as he thinks fit) of persons, and in that case the said subsections shall not apply during that period in respect of that class of persons.


Related Link: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1954/en/act/pub/0018/sec0317.html#zza18y1954s317
author by notaltogetheruncontrary.publication date Mon Oct 06, 2008 16:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Myth No. 1 (Seán Ryan)
Seán Ryan didn't make that comment. It is clear in the comments thread that it was made as a response to a question he posted in the article. Tsk, Tsk.

Individual members are colloquially referred to as "APF"s.
The airport police are referred to as APO's now. Airport Police Officers.

At any rate, your comment is a distraction from the main point that these APES/APOs are acting in a political manner to prevent the monitoring of military and CIA use of Shannon Airport, they well know that the movements of aircraft so gathered has already been referred to in European investigations into CIA torture flights, and could possibly be useful in a prosecution in some future date.

author by Ciaron - Dublin Catholic Worker/Ploughsharespublication date Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Each week at our Dublin GPO (and at any a place and time besdies!) Colim Roddy dons his orange Gitmo outift to protest Irish complicity in the C.I.A. kidnap and rendition program refueled reguarly at Shannon Airport.

Meanwhile in the land of the free, Ed Kinane, just spent a week in the jail for sharing the same fahion sense as Colim at the State Fair in his hometown of Syracuse, New York.
http://www.witnesstorture.org/node/1162

Catholic Worker organisers are deploying to Washington D.C. for the first 100 days of the new U.S. Presidency to facilitate nonviolent resistance at the White House to Shutdown Gitmo.

Pitstop Ploughshare Trial Organiser Carmen Trotta will be one of the 7 C.W. organisers in D.C. if you think you can muster a Solidarity action at a U.S. Embassy, or other significant sIte, in your town or country during this period make contact with Carmen and the other organisers.

More background and info on the hundred days to shutdown Gitmo
www.witnesstorture.org

Related Link: http://www.witnesstorture.org
author by Curious.publication date Tue Oct 07, 2008 16:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So, I'm reading this court report, and thinking to myself about what was revealed in the cross examination of APO Lillian O'Shea admitted, under cross examination, that those deemed to be peace activists, are to be stopped and harrassed until they leave.

The APO's cannot order anyone to leave just because they don't like them.
Under Section 33 of the Air Transport & Navigation Act, they can order people to leave who refuse to identify themselves, or state their purpose for being there, and they can also order people to leave if they believe that they do not have lawful purpose.

But, in the light of what APO Lillian O'Shea has admitted, it is obvious that the APOs are in no way actually attempting to ascertain whether or not the peace activists have lawful business, they are just trying to chuck them out regardless (which they are not entitled to do under Section 33.

I think from here on in, any APO trotting out this line of crap, can simply have Lillian O'Shea's admission thrown back at them. Where it would go from there is an interesting line...

Well done to Conor in extracting this admission, under oath from the Airport authorities.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Tue Oct 07, 2008 19:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I know what the law is on the matter, but WHEN do we have the minister giving the US military permission to wear full battle dress on irish soil?

author by Conor Creganpublication date Wed Oct 08, 2008 01:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A few years ago I made a citizens arrest on six US soldiers. It wasn't totally legal but it caused a bit of a stir. It made the newspapers and one even had a picture of me on the front page. The local Superintendent was making noises about having me brought to court for wrongful use of the 999 number. I was getting death threats, from Walter Mitty types, on US blogs and some wanker in Dublin called twenty major published a libelous tread on his blog.

Of course this all stopped after I threatened legal action but I felt it prudent to write to the Government to see where I stood on the matter.

A nice chap from the Dept. of Foreign affairs wrote me explaining the legal situation. The Minister has given the US military permission for their troops to wear their uniforms in the transit area of Shannon airport. Further permission needs to be sought if the troops want to venture outside that area. When I arrested the six GI Joes this permission was not sought and they should not have been wearing their uniforms on the ‘roads of Ireland’. However this like every other breach of protocol, domestic law, international law etc has been ignored.

Why? - because the economy might be negatively effected and where would we then?

Thanks for the kind words of support and the death threats. They keep me going.

author by Hamletpublication date Wed Oct 08, 2008 08:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You're right Connor.

In one way or another the "economy" is everything now to most of us -- and by "us" I mean the Republic of Ireland "Nation State" itself, and the vast majority of our citizens (say 99.99% or so of them?).

And, the 400 billion Euros bailout requirement for our banks (added to the many other similar ones now "urgently needed" elsewhere in the world) will presently open the flood-gates to yet more and even greater skulduggery of various kinds no doubt: both here in the Republic of Ireland, and elsewhere around the globe.

"Ay, sir. To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand."

Beware the "Fishmongers of Usury" I'd say (you can tell them by their stench) -- assuming of course it's not already too late for that, as sadly I suspect might well be the case???

Related link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22To+be+honest%2C...f&oq=

author by Ain't it a blast?publication date Wed Oct 08, 2008 14:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why? - because the economy might be negatively effected and where would we then?

Yeah, I laughed at that as well.
No US business would pull out of a profitable market, just because the war machine was refused landing rights.
Also, the friggin' war (and the huge borrowing used to finance it) hasn't helped the current
economic situation, driving up the price of oil, and diverting energy from civilian purposes.

So, Bush and his free-market friends, have fecked up the global economy and our leaders helped them to do it.

author by mé féin - scs.publication date Wed Oct 08, 2008 16:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Shannon Town Council last night passed a motion calling for inspections for suspected rendition flights passing through the State.

Full story linked below.

Related Link: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/1008/breaking66.htm
author by anonpublication date Wed Oct 08, 2008 19:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

“The representatives of the people of Shannon join Cork City Council, Derry City Council and Kilkenny County Council in declaring themselves‘rendition-free’, and I would urge other local authorities across the country to follow suit,”

How can they declare themselves rendition free when they haven't checked the planes. Amnesty is letting these craven councillors off the hook. why support the call for inspection by declaring area free from rendition without inspections.

author by Speechlesspublication date Wed Oct 08, 2008 21:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The leaders of these two very large "soverign" nation states (Canada & Australia), which of course are at opposite sides of the globe to each other virtually, appear to be serving some other authority, higher than their own nations.

Who can this mystery authority be?

See the evidence in the 3 minute video clip at: http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/439.html

author by creditcrunchedpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

self-interested motion by councillors
How can they declare themselves rendition free when they haven't checked the planes. Amnesty is letting these craven councillors off the hook. why support the call for inspection by declaring area free from rendition without inspections.

Of course the town council doesn't have the power to make the airport rendition free.
The airport is next to, not in the town, and the Gardai are acting on political orders to ignore these CIA planes rather than inspect them to seek out any torturers who may be on board. Having the town council pass this motion increases the political and moral pressure to enforce the laws against illegal acts such as kidnapping and torture.
It wasn't so long ago that even the parish priest in Shannon was told to shut up when he spoke out in mass against the war, so having the town council pass this motion is a step forward.

Just because something isn't achieved in the first step doesn't mean the first step should be condemned.

author by anonpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2008 13:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have no problem with them calling for inspections, being 'anti-rendition'. I do have problem them DECLARING their towns free from rendition without there having been checks, that is totally contradictory to the request for inspections and the language is clear it is simply a measure to absolve and distance themselves from the issue.

"Last year Derry City Council became the first local authority on the island of Ireland to declare its local airport free of rendition flights."
How can it do that without a system of checks?

The councillors have declared themselves rendition without doing a thing, amazing, typical craven.

author by Glad to see motionpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2008 19:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Re anon’s remarks above … I am quite sure the proposer of the Shannon Town Council motion was not trying “to absolve and distance [himself] from the issue”. If he was, he would have just stayed quiet!

Although the motion is largely symbolic and without any enforceable substance, it does state unequivocally that the elected representatives of Shannon Town support "the demand ... for a system of inspection of foreign aircraft to ensure that Ireland is never, even unwittingly, an accessory to rendition or torture.” No obfuscating it with the issue of jobs, or lack of evidence, or futility of searches or anything else. It just says they want inspections.

But if, from time to time, any of them forget they said this, they should be reminded. So should their party colleagues in government. And their family and friends who are working to ensure the unimpeded movement of torturers through the airport.

author by Ghostpublication date Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An effort was made (last Friday) to bring this particular example of such abuse to the attention of some senior politicians and religious leaders.

Details at: http://www.humanrightsireland.com/PresidentGeorgeWBush/...l.htm

"Something is rotten (VERY ROTTEN) in the state of Denmark (and in the Republic of Ireland also M'lud)."

author by St.Johnpublication date Mon Oct 13, 2008 17:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Always nice to see the Guards being put in their place - no better man :)

author by Patrickpublication date Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Republic of Ireland is still trying to criminalise citizens who are objecting to two illegal wars that have already brought death and serious injury to several thousands of civilians (in Iraq and Afghanistan) -- many of whom are children far too young to be guilty of any wrongdoing whatsoever?

If so, it's not just the guards (police) that need to be put in their place?

Related link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Illegal+wars%2C+Ir...f&oq=

author by karen fallon - ..................publication date Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

well done to connor and owen!!!!
just goes to show that with a little intelligence and common sense, the farce can be shown up for what it really is.
i admire you both for your dedication and of course for your sense of humour too.
keep it up lads, don't let the bar stewards grind ye down!!¬!!!

author by Newshoundpublication date Fri Oct 17, 2008 14:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Kyle "Dusty" Foggo has pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe to steer CIA contracts towards his lifelong friend, and military contractor.

He faced almost 30 charges, but in a plea bargain will not face all, and the case will be moved from San Diego to Virginia (where CIA HQ is based).

Foggo is creditied with being the architect of the Extraordinary Rendition program.

see today's Phoenix page 9 for more.

Of course, he is not charged with torture, murder, or any of the other stuff that the CIA does on a day to day basis...

author by Raymondpublication date Fri Oct 17, 2008 20:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The very straightforward and convincing examination of the basic facts in the 24 minute video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Khut8xbXK8 strongly suggest that not only was the 2003 invasion of Iraq completely illegal under international law, but that the whole sick and extremely rotten business was also very clearly and fully in breach of the United States Constitution.

"It's just a goddamned piece of paper!" -- President George W. Bush's view of the US Constitution, as related at http://www.indymedia.ie/article/89452#comment237415

In addition, it is further claimed in this video that, among several other things, the ongoing occupation of Iraq by the United States is illegal under international law as well.

The video also contains some very interesting observations regarding the way that the destruction of important ancient heritage sites in Iraq was also a breach of international law -- observations which equally apply I suspect to what our own Government has done, or is about to do, in places like Tara and Turoe (see at https://www.indymedia.ie/article/84679#comment209964 ).

author by Lara Hillpublication date Sat Oct 18, 2008 14:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Raymond, thanks very much for putting up the link to the 24 minute 'Pinky Show Video'. It's a brilliant and simple summary of the illegality surrounding the invasion and continuing occupation of Iraq. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in non-violent protest.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sun Nov 09, 2008 16:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I got a lift back to Limerick from Ennis, after the beating delivered by Conor in court, in Ed Horgan's car. I asked the occupants if I could record an open discussion about the day's events and the goings on in Shannon generally. They agreed.

At one point I asked Tim Hourigan how it felt to be treated as a criminal by the gardaí and APO's when it was the intention of activists like Tim to investigate crimes in an attempt to secure justice.

Here's what he had to say:



audio Tim Hourigan 2.02 Mb
author by Pythagoraspublication date Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of evil people, but because ordinary people do nothing about it."  (Albert Einstein -- for more on this person's views see at: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein)

Related link:http: //www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=The+world+is+a+dangerous+place+to+live%2C+not+because+of+evil+people%2C+but+because+ordinary+people+do+nothing+about+it.++Albert+Einstein&btnG=Search

author by Euclidpublication date Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think the "broken" link in the post at Nov 13, 2008 12:05 above was meant to be: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=The+world+is+a+dan...earch

A few more of Albert Einstein's comments on life (taken from http://www.cultureofpeace.com/heroes/pages-e/einstein-q...s.htm ), which appear to be still very relevant some 53 years or so after his death, are provided below:

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."

"One has to realize that the powerful industrial groups concerned in the manufacture of arms are doing their best in all countries to prevent the peaceful settlement of international disputes, and that rulers can achieve this great end only if they are sure of the vigorous support of the majority of their peoples."

"There's been a quantum leap technologically in our age, but unless there's another quantum leap in human relations, unless we learn to live in a new way towards one another, there will be a catastrophe."

Related Link: http://www.cultureofpeace.com
author by Albertpublication date Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them."

See at http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22Problems+cannot...f&oq=

http://www.humanrightsireland.com/PresidentGeorgeWBush/...l.htm

author by Virginiapublication date Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I recently came across another quote attributed to Albert Einstein which struck an inspirational type of chord somewhere deep within me:

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe.”

Similarly with: “Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”

Obviously, and this is new to me, it seems there was much more to Albert Einstein than "e equals mc squared"?

Maybe humanity still has a lot to learn from his apparently many penetrating insights into "natural law" -- which are not widely know about at the present time?

Related link: http://thinkexist.com/quotes/like/problems_cannot_be_so...2020/

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