This morning Gardai searched the home of Galway Alliance Against War (GAAW) PRO, Niall Farrell, in relation to a peaceful act of sabotage on a US troop transporter at Shannon on the morning of 20th December 2011. At the time GAAW had received a handwritten communication from one of the members of the Peace Team involved in the action, and it would seem that this was the basis for the Gardai’s search.
Gardai spent over three hours at Mr. Farrell’s house at the end of which they took all his computers away.
At the time of the act of sabotage GAAW reported that it was an expression of the disgust of the people who undertook it at the role of successive Irish Governments being accessories to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to torture. The letter they received from one of the team involved said “Our first priority in this peace action was to prevent harm coming to anyone: preventing injury and death to the Afghani people by disrupting the flow of foreign soldiers into their country; preventing harm to the people working at Shannon warport and preventing harm to US troops by preventing the plane from transporting them to their deaths.”
The letter went on to say “Shannon warport is intrinsically linked to so-called extraordinary rendition. The leaders of Fianna Fail, the former Progressive Democrats, the Greens and now Fine Gael and the Labour Party have blood on their hands.”
At the time the peace action got very little media attention. The consequences of the action in terms of the US military use of Shannon, or the level of investigation undertaken at the time, are therefore not known. Equally, GAAW do not know why their PRO is now being subjected to Garda investigation.
GAAW have worked with many organisations and groups over the years to oppose the US military use of Shannon. One organisation in particular that they have worked with is the Labour Party. In a statement today Mr Farrell said “It is baffling to think that I am now the subject of Garda investigation for reporting on a peaceful action at Shannon while they sit in a government that facilitates war crimes by the US military in Afghanistan”.
GAAW members will attend a peaceful vigil at Shannon next Sunday (10 June) to continue their ongoing opposition to the US military presence there