Dáil Debates

Archive for the ‘Foreign Affairs’ Category

Dáil Debates, Foreign Affairs, Human Rights

Dáil Issues, Foreign Affairs

 

Minister Charlie Flanagan stands over public funds given directly to the Clinton Foundation.

To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the appropriateness of €2.776 million in public funds being given as direct funding to the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Health Access Initiative between 2008 and 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Clare Daly.
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 25th October, 2016.
Ref No: 30275/16
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Foreign Affairs, Human Rights

Press Release

27th Oct 2016

Five peace group have come together to oppose the awarding of the Tipperary International Peace Prize to US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday next (October 30th). Galway Alliance Against War, the Irish Anti-War Movement, the Peace and Neutrality Alliance, Shannonwatch and Veterans for Peace also intend to hold protests at Shannon Airport and at Aherlow House Hotel in Tipperary where the award ceremony will take place.

Speaking on behalf of the five organisations, Edward Horgan of Veterans for Peace posed the question: “What peace has John Kerry achieved and where?”

“The award of peace prizes should be based on truth, integrity and justification” continued Dr Horgan. “Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded in the past to several people who were guilty of starting or being complicit in wars of aggression and human rights abuses. Henry Kissinger is a case in point.  Another example is Barack Obama who was awarded his Nobel Peace Prize just before he began authorising targeted assassinations and bombings that killed thousands of innocent civilians.”

“John Kerry and the United States of America claim to be defending the civilised world against Islamic terrorists and dictators” said Jim Roche of the Irish Anti War Movement. ”Yet the reality is that the United States has killed many multiples of the numbers killed by Islamic terrorists in its so-called War on Terror. US led wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria were all initiated without UN approval and with appalling consequences.”

“Terrorist acts by individuals, rebel group and militaries cannot be condoned, and neither can acts of aggression by states” said Roger Cole of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance. “The government that John Kerry represents is guilty of state terrorism. Since 1945 the US has overthrown fifty governments, including democracies, crushed some 30 liberation movements, supported tyrannies, and set up torture chambers from Egypt to Guatemala – a fact pointed out by journalist John Pilger. As a result of their actions countless men, women and children have been bombed to death.”

“This is not the type of government that the Tipperary Peace Convention should be bestowing a peace prize upon” added Mr Cole.

“While state terrorism, and state human rights abuses are not confined to the US, they are the ones using Shannon Airport to wage wars of aggression in the Middle East” said John Lannon of Shannonwatch “We oppose the US military use of Shannon and we oppose the US policies that lead to conflict rather than resolving it, it is important therefore that we show our opposition to all forms of misguided support for these policies here in Ireland.”

For more information please contact Edward Horgan – email: edwardhorgan45@gmail.com, phone: 085 8519623 or John Lannon – email: jclannon@gmail.com; phone 087 8225087

Foreign Affairs, Human Rights

Five Planes at Shannon Airport 26/10/2016

FIVE US WARPLANES AT SHANNON AIRPORT – SHANNON WATCH

Today at Shannon airport, we are contributing to the pain being suffered by thousands of women and children like the Syrian lady described below. There are no less than six United States war planes at Shannon this evening at about 4pm. Two are US Navy C40 cargo and troop transport aircraft, numbers 5832 and 8981, and these arrived at Shannon last night from Sigonella Air base in Sicily Italy, and probably from the Middle East before that. Most likely they are on their way back to the USA to collect more war materials that will be used in the ongoing assault on Mosul in Iraq. The next one is also US Navy, a Hercules C130 number CW4994. Then we have two US Marine Corps Hercules KC130 mid air refuelling tankers, numbers QB 7984 and QB 5736. If these two refuelling tankers are heading for the Middle East then they are probably joining the nine other mid air refuelling tankers that passed through Shannon airport in June this year. Their main purpose is to refuel fighter and bomber aircraft in mid air, so they can spend even more time dropping bombs and missiles without having to return to base to refuel. These two arrived at about 3pm this afternoon. These five aircraft are being protected by an Irish army patrol, accompanied by a Garda patrol car on Taxiway 11. Meanwhile at the main terminal building gate 42 a large Kalitta Air, Boeing 747-222B cargo aircraft on charter to the US military arrived at Shannon yesterday, from Texas, via Prestwick in Scotland. This Kalitta air plane took off again from Shannon at about 7.30 pm this evening. Looks like the peoples of Syria and Iraq are in the process of having a lot more air attacks in the coming days and weeks, and we in Ireland are giving the United States full frontal cooperation at Shannon airport in its business of killing and destruction.

WHAT I WAS…
I was a student, once.
I graduated from a prestigious university and shook hands with its founder when I received my diploma.
Now my hands grasp at others’ unwanted clothes;
Cling desperately to donated gifts for my children;
Shove aside other mothers who might win these prizes instead of me.
I was a teacher, before.
I taught English to Syria’s brightest and used up the electricity marking books late into the night.
Now strangers speak to me slowly, like a baby, asking “Do…you…understand?”
And I fool myself that I’m sleeping when night falls
And there is no light but the stars’ to see by.
Really I am doing the same as in daylight, just on my back.
I was a neighbour, back then.
I made baklava and brought it to Aleema when she was ill.
We car-shared on school runs.
Now I live next to strange men who shout and fight late into the night, whilst I clutch my children;
Next to foreign women who pull my hair and accuse me of cutting in the lunch line.
I was a woman, long ago.
I wore make up, I went shopping with friends in Damascus.
I brushed my black hair before a dressing table mirror.
Now I wash with wet wipes.
I search for donated shoes that fit; style is a rare and happy coincidence.
I queue to use portable toilets filled hourly by thousands of ill and unwashed strangers.
Those that bother to use them, at least.
I was a wife.
Ahmad brought me bracelets from the market on his way home from work.
He got grumpy when I woke him in the morning but smiled when he heard me singing.
He hugged our children,
And kissed me before he left,
And went out humming, as he always does.
As he always did.
Now I tell my name to the English girl before me and shake my head when she asks for my husband’s.
She nods and tries to look understanding. But what can she understand?
This girl, barely more than a teenager,
Never having known war, never having loved, never having had to run from chaos to strife, never having lost?
What can she know?
But then I remember, and I forgive.
For I was her, once.