Features

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Features, Foreign Affairs

Below, a press release from Shannonwatch on the dismissal of charges brought against peace activist Edward Horgan.

Shannonwatch welcomes the dismissal of charges brought by the State against Edward Horgan at Ennis District Court today. The charges were a result of his attempt to inspect US military aircraft parked near the terminal building on April 18th 2015.

“Today’s acquittal at Ennis District would was a small step in the right direction towards ending US military use of Shannon” said Dr Horgan. “This is just the latest in a series of trials of peace activists over their efforts to prevent complicity with war crimes at Shannon airport. This campaign will continue until Irish neutrality is restored, and Shannon airport is returned to proper civilian use only.”

Dr Horgan was on his way to a peace conference in London on the day in question when he saw four US Hercules C-130 turboprop aircraft lined up just beyond the Aer Lingus plane he was boarding. Evidence to the court showed that he engaged in a “communicative protest” by walking towards the military planes to highlight the need to inspect them.
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Features, Foreign Affairs

Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch on the NATO warships in Dublin port last weekend, and continuing, routine breaches of Irish neutrality at Shannon:

In a further breach of Irish neutrality, six NATO warships were providing ‘fun’ for children at Dublin port last weekend (this will help us to ignore the children who are killed and maimed by NATO bombs in the Middle East, and the children being drowned almost daily trying to flee from these conflicts).

Meanwhile, on Sunday morning at Shannon there were four US warplanes lined up on the centre of the airport being protected by three levels of questionable security: Irish army, Gardaí, and airport police. It was a somewhat unusual array of warplanes. There was a Hercules C130 number CW5159, a US Navy C40 Clipper cargo/troop carrier number 5831, an executive jet number 093, and a small turbo prop aircraft number 8205. All this in a supposedly neutral country, as the United States continues its wars of aggression and resource wars across the Middle East, supported by Ireland.
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Features, Foreign Affairs

Tomorrow (5 April) the German Federal Administrative Court will consider whether the US is waging an unconstitutional war via its military base in Ramstein. According to the German peace movement, US military drones are being operated in real-time from the US via Ramstein. The case is interesting from an Irish point of view in that the crux of it is that the use by the US military of a site on German territory for the killing of civilians elsewhere is in contravention of German and international law. Given Shannon airport’s longstanding position as a de facto US military base, the arguments and outcome of this case should be of interest to anyone concerned by Ireland’s facilitating and supporting US wars and invasions around the world.

Below, an interview with Peter Becker, the lawyer for the plaintiff in the case, which was originally published in the German daily Junge Welt. Translation by Niall Farrell.

‘We call for the monitoring of the Ramstein airbase’

On April 5th the Federal Administrative Court will consider whether the USA is waging an unconstitutional war via its military base in Ramstein. An interview with Peter Becker, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs in a case against the German government
Interview: Susan Bonath
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Features

Extract From My Inaugural Speech to The Senate

after Juvenal

I will stand up for the fleas
just trying to make an honest living
in the toupees of white men
who like to surprise their mistresses
by leaping out of wardrobes.

We need to start thinking outside
the small parallelogram; realise
large parts of this country are a vast
hair-transplant waiting to happen
the moment the necessary funds become available,
or not available, as the case may be.
We are cycling our high nellies
into uncharted territory right now;
wherever we’re going,
we’re not there yet.

At times like this we think
in particular of those who haven’t
been forgotten but should be;
those who’ve sacrificed
nothing, and when the hour comes
will do so again. Speaking
as the mother of an elderly child,
what we’re all crying out for
right now are more
underwater hospitals.

While these are being built, I promise
to introduce legislation to put
mustard on all your sandwiches,
whether you want it there or not.
The party opposite have used
my longstanding support for the right
of limousine drivers to knock old ladies
down at roundabouts, to accuse me
of being in favour of everything.

Let the record show, I’m against
type two diabetes in most circumstances
and think every sexual relationship,
right down to the humble sweaty handshake,
should be equality proofed by a government inspector
before being allowed to proceed.

These are the issues I’ll be both talking about
and not talking about. Who at the end,
and perhaps also the beginning
of the day, will make your children’s future
that bit more catastrophic?

Posterity, mark my every syllable,
will hold festivals
where members of the public will gather
at their own considerable expense
to aggressively forget what I said here today.
And what I didn’t say.

KEVIN HIGGINS