Veteran peace activist Ed Horgan defends himself in Court in Ennis today, for his ‘crime’ in attempting to search US military aircraft in Shannon earlier this year…report reproduced from his website…
I spent all day in Ennis Court today and this will be just the first of many days.
I’m charged with the heinous crime of attempting to search US warplanes at Shannon airport on 18 April 2015, or something like that (see below).
Today was just for preliminaries – like getting discovery of prosecution statements and telling the Judge that, yes I will be contesting the charges – you bet!
The listings for cases before the court today and most other days goes alphabetically so I my case should have come up in the morning as it should have been about number 30. Instead I was listed number 99, almost at the end of the list. This is almost standard practice for peace activists cases in Ennis District Court and is probably intended as a form of punishment to keep us peace activists in court all day. This will be the fifth time I have been brought to Court in Ennis on spurious charges for daring to protest at Shannon airport over US military and CIA aircraft being refuelled there. Each case involved several days in court. All my previous cases were dismissed, even though in three of them some Gardaí gave false evidence so as to try and secure a conviction. It matters little to me whether I am convicted or not – in fact any conviction will be appealed and therefore get more exposure for breaches of Irish neutrality at Shannon.
Here is what I am accused of:
OFFENCE ALLEGED: THAT YOU
ON THE 18TH APRIL 2015 AT SHANNON AIRPORT CO. CLARE IN THE SAID DISTRICT COURT AREA OF ENNIS, DISTRICT NO 12, DID ENTER A PART OF SHANNON AIRPORT TO WHICH PERSONS WERE NOT FOR THAT TIME PERMITTED. CONTRARY TO REGULATION 10(4) OF THE AIRPORT BYELAWS S.I. No 69 of 2015 MADE UNDER SECTION 15 OF THE STATE AIRPORTS ACT 2014 AS AMMENDED BY SECTION 45 OF THE STATE AIRPORT (SHANNON GROUP) ACT, 2014.
Wow, did I do that!!! Well we shall see.
On the day in question I was on my way to attend a Veterans for Peace conference in London. As I was about to board my Aer Lingus flight at Shannon airport to go to London there were not one, but four US military Hercules C130 aircraft parked nearby on the runway, in very clear breach of international laws on neutrality as confirmed by High Court Judge Nicholas Kearns in the Horgan V Ireland case in 2003.
Here is what Judge Kearns found (he is now President of the High Court):
“The court is prepared to hold therefore that there is an identifiable rule of customary law in relation to the status of neutrality whereunder a neutral state may not permit the movement of large numbers of troops or munitions of one belligerent State through its territory en route to a theatre of war with another”
Below are the 4 warplanes that I photographed before being refused permission to board my Aer Lingus plane to London.
Lets see how all this pans out over the next few months or even years before I am eventually found not guilty or whatever.I was representing myself today but plan to have a legal team when the case goes to trial.
Someone asked, did I have many supporters in court? Yes I did, two in particular, Judge Patrick Durkan, and Inspector Tom Kennedy. Sure that’s the whole idea, use the state system to expose its own wrong-doings.