Wallace and Daly fined over Shannon protest

Wallace and Daly fined over Shannon protest

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US Navy C130 at Shannon. Photo: © Pat Flynn, 2014

Independent TDs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace appeared in Ennis District Court today where they were found guilty of two charges of breaching by-laws at Shannon Airport in July 2014.

The pair were fined €2000 each having originally been charged for attempting to make their way to a remote taxiway where two US military aircraft were parked at the time.

Both have raised the issue of US military use of Shannon in the past and have questioned why the Irish authorities don’t search military aircraft.

Claire Daly and Mick Wallace approach an airplane in Shannon
Claire Daly and Mick Wallace approach an airplane in Shannon
Mick Wallace and Clare Daly following today's court hearing in Ennis - Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
Mick Wallace and Clare Daly following today’s court hearing in Ennis – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

 

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  1. I admire the courage of Deputies Clare Daly and Mick Wallace in taking a stand against the use of Shannon airport by military aircraft suspected of carrying munitions or playing a part in so-called “renditions.” The fines imposed on them by Ennis District Court for entering a security zone are in frightful contrast to the enormity of what is happening at Shannon airport and its implications for our fragile supposed neutrality.

    One can argue over what constitutes a just war, but what is certain is that ill-advised American intervention in the Middle East in the past has contributed to the present nightmare scenario off the Libyan coast and in the Mediterranean where thousands of people have drowned in a desperate attempt to escape a plethora of war zones and oppressive regimes.

    The invasion of Iraq made the whole region more dangerous that it was previously, spawning new terrorist groups including the execrable Isis and its various offshoots and allies. The intervention in Libya helped to replace Gaddafi’s regime with a situation that makes him look tame by comparison. And throughout all the mayhem endangered by Western meddling in that part of the world, Shannon had a proverbial welcome on the mat for the US war machine.

    When I saw those images of Clare and Mick exiting the courthouse on the RTE news I couldn’t help recalling a scene from the comedy film Airplane: A frail elderly lady approaching the check-in counter at an airport is suddenly set upon by a dozen security men who wrestle her to the floor and frisk her. Meanwhile, as she remonstrates with them, half a dozen powerfully built sinister looking fellows armed with machine guns and rocket launchers are casually waved through.

    Justice is blind, the ancient axiom states. There are times, alas, when it is blind in only one eye.

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