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Protest Against the US Military Use of Shannon Airport

Marking 15 years of Ireland’s complicity in US imperial wars, today, people came to Shannon from all over the country to call for an end to the US military use of Shannon Airport, and for the restoration of Irish neutrality. Since the illegal invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 over 2.5 million armed US troops and countless military planes have transited through this so called civilian airport.

In 2013 the then chairperson of the Shannon Airport Authority (SAA), Rose Hynes revealed that Shannon Airport was not just willing to accommodate US military flights but that it was actively going after what she called ‘important’ and ‘lucrative’ US military traffic. Shannonwatch are dismayed by this admission that the Irish government, which owns the airport, has completely abandoned the notion of Irish neutrality and is planning continued participation in US wars of aggression. “When she addressed the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications last week, Ms Hynes claimed that military traffic has been in the DNA of Shannon for many years. In fact what is happening now is very different to the military use of Shannon in the past” said John Lannon. “US military traffic that traditionally passed through Shannon Airport consisted exclusively of peacetime soldiers. They were obliged to be unarmed, not even engaged in military exercises, and no munitions were allowed on their aircraft. This was well within the international rules for neutral states. In October 2001 this situation changed. Armed US troops on their way to war in Afghanistan, and later Iraq, were invited by the Irish Government to transit through Shannon Airport, in breach of international laws on neutrality.”

“By claiming the US military business is important, Rose Hynes is turning a blind eye to millions of avoidable deaths that resulted from these wars, and to the displacement and suffering of millions more people. And by claiming that military traffic is in the DNA of Shannon she is doing a grave disservice to the very many people living and working in Shannon who want nothing to do with unnecessary warfare.” http://www.shannonwatch.org/story/war…

Depleted uranium ammunition has been carried through Ireland’s Shannon Airport on board US military cargo planes on the way to Iraq, according to a former US soldier. Ireland remains an ostensibly neutral country and has restrictions on what military aircraft can carry when refuelling at its airports. Jim Massey, a former marine platoon sergeant in the US army, said he had used the controversial ammunition while on duty in Iraq.

“I know for a fact that ammunition has been brought through Shannon airport,” he told the Daily Ireland newspaper this week. http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/…

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