The Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál Mac Donncha attended a peace vigil at Shannon Airport yesterday to show support for those opposed to the ongoing use of the airport by the US military.
Around 25 people attended the monthly event including 84-year-old artist and activist Margaretta D’Arcy whose opposition to use of the airport by the US military has previously landed her in prison.
US military aircraft have been transiting Shannon Airport since 2002 while on their way to and from conflicts including in Iraq and Afghanistan. Close to 3 million US troops and their weapons have transited the airport in that time, including over 60,000 in 2017.
Also last year, 334 applications were made to authorities here to allow US troop carriers to land at Shannon while permits were granted for a further 451 military aircraft to land at the airport.
Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál Mac Donncha said: “I support the opposition to the serious breaches of Irish neutrality taking place at Shannon Airport. This is in line with resolutions passed by Dublin City Council’s elected members. We are allowing US military aircraft to transit troops and weapons to warzones where they kill people. The Irish people have never approved of this gross misuse of a civilian airport, and in fact the majority of Irish people want Irish neutrality restored.”
“We are also now in the process of committing ourselves to PESCO, a European Army that will involve itself in the missions and crimes of NATO. This too is unacceptable,” Mr Mac Donncha said.
Shannonwatch spokesman John Lannon said: “We have been campaigning now for over 15 years to end the US military use of Shannon. Given the many ongoing conflicts in the Middle East in which the US is involved, it is vital that Ireland take a stand against ongoing military interventions that fuel these conflicts”.
After spending an hour displaying banners and flags at a roundabout close to the airport, the group marched around 100 metres to a security cordon where there was a large garda presence.