Archive for the ‘International’ Category
Clare raising the impact of ending the Mare Nostrum coastguard rescue off the Italian coast and the growing humanitarian crisis as hundreds of fleeing refugees are drowning.
by Thomas G. Maher
The European Union and The United States of America have begun negotiations to implement the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP), which proposes to remove trade barriers between the US and the EU. These trade barriers exist in relation to a diverse range of areas such as; food safety regulations, customs tariffs on imports and exports, labour rights and environmental issues. Below is a brief outline of some of the potential affects TTIP could have in Europe and Ireland.
Statement from Shannon Watch on the Furor over 2 Russian warplanes “not” in Irish sovereign airspace…A sharp contrast to the 100’s of American ones that land every year…
The Irish Government and media appear to be in a panic about two Russian TU-95 bomber aircraft that flew down the west coast of Ireland at least 50 miles out to sea, and not through Irish sovereign airspace. A statement issued by the Irish Department of Defence said “non-controlled and non-notified flight activity by Russian aircraft is not acceptable”. This same Department of Defence of a supposedly neutral Irish state has issued no such statements about the transit of almost two and half million US troops through Shannon airport since 2001, and provides Irish soldiers to guard US military aircraft at Shannon.
This evening at 5 pm there were two such US military planes at Shannon Airport. One was “disguised” as a civilian plane flying the colours of Omni Air International but is being used to transport up to 300 armed US troops through Ireland. It was being protected by a Garda Siocana patrol car. The other aircraft was a US Navy C40 which can be used to transport military cargo and soldiers. This plane was being guarded by an Irish army patrol. These planes were not 50 miles out to sea and flying at 50,000 or so feet. They were on the tarmac at Shannon Airport and the Omni troop carrier was getting ready to take off having been refueled at Shannon – all in breach of international laws on neutrality.
Between 2008 and end of 2014 about thirteen thousand US military aircraft passed through Irish airspace and about two thousand of these aircraft actually landed and were refueled at Shannon.
During the same period about twelve thousand chartered aircraft, most of which were probably carrying US troops flew through Irish airspace and about four thousand of these landed and were refueled at Shannon Airport. These figures do not include any US military aircraft that may have their transponders switched off, and does not include all US warplanes that flew through Irish airspace between 2001 and 2008. Therefore the total number of US military associated aircraft flying through Irish airspace between 2001 and 2015 may be in excess of fifty thousand (yes that’s 50,000).
Defence Minister Simon Coveney TD said “we will make it very clear … this is an unacceptable situation,” said Mr Coveney. He was referring to the 2 lone Russian TU 95 warplanes that did not enter Irish airspace or land on any Irish territory, and were probably flying above the regulation height whereby they are not obliged to have their transponders switched on. At least they were visible to Air Traffic Control radars, unlike US “Stealth” Fighter planes that most likely do not switch on their transponders and are designed to be invisible to radar. It is likely that such US Stealth aircraft frequently fly through Irish airspace and the airspace controlled by Irish air traffic controllers.
It’s time the Irish Government explained why a country that claims to be neutral has allowed and approved serious breaches of international laws on neutrality, and why it has allowed 50,000 US military aircraft and US troop-carrying chartered aircraft to fly through Irish airspace.
Click on the links below to hear Clare’s contribution to statements on Europe: