Mother’s Day at Shannon Airport

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Some thoughts from Ed Horgan of Shannonwatch on Mother’s Day.

So it’s happy Mother’s Day isn’t it. Lets hope some of the thousands, and more likely tens of thousands, of mothers, will have a happy Mother’s Day, as they flee from the conflicts in the Middle East with their little children, as they huddle at the razor wire fences, in the snow and rain, on the borders with Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, and Slovakia, being refused refugee protection.

At Shannon airport this morning it was cold, wet and windy, but I was dressed in warm clothing and was able to go the Park Inn hotel and warm up with tea and a scone after taking the photos below.

There were three US warplanes at Shannon airport this morning. One was a large C17 US Air Force, Air Mobility Command, Charleston Air Force base, and its registration number was 77180. It was on its way to Abu Dhabi in the Persian Gulf, and most likely delivering armed US troops and munitions into one or more of the war zones, in Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq or Syria. This aircraft is quite capable of transporting several deadly Drones that are killing dozens of people each week in the Middle East.

The other two US military aircraft were US Navy C40 Clipper transport aircraft capable of transporting armed troops and/or large quantities of munitions and other war materials. Their registration numbers were 6693, and 8981. Unusually, in addition to an Irish army security patrol, these aircraft were being protected by no less than at least four separate Garda Patrol cars, one of which was following my movements around the perimeter of the airport. Shannon Garda station does not have four patrol cars, so it is likely that additional Garda resources were called in from Ennis and rural Co Clare, on special weekend overtime. Rural crime in Co Clare is probably being ignored this weekend so as to protect potential war criminals transiting through Shannon airport.

I phoned Shannon Garda Station and requested from Garda Doherty, who answered the phone, that Shannon Gardaí search and investigate these aircraft. I later went to the Shannon Garda Station and made a formal written request that these three US warplanes be searched and investigated for being in breach of international laws on neutrality and Irish and US government regulations concerning the carriage of weapons and war materials through Shannon airport and being engaged in military operations. I also requested the Gardaí to investigate whether any war criminals were on board any of these three warplanes.

How many mothers will be killed today in the Middle East by soldiers who transited through Shannon airport on aircraft like these, or forced to flee with the surviving members of their families as their homes were destroyed by bombs and drones? Ireland has so far allowed over three million armed US troops to transit through Shannon airport, on their way to and from the Middle East, where they have caused mayhem in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria. How many of the resulting refugees have we allowed into Ireland over the past 15 years of these conflicts? A couple of hundred, or a couple of dozen?? This is the biggest international refugee crisis since World War Two. In excess of ten million people have been forced to flee their homes as refugees or displaced people, and we in Ireland are TODAY, this MOTHER’S DAY, at SHANNON AIRPORT, actively contributing to this huge unjust, and unjustifiable, crisis and suffering.

We now only have a caretaker Government. The people of Ireland need to take care of our neighbours’ children and their mothers in the Middle East by ending US military use of Shannon airport and by taking in and giving refugee status to many more of those refugees that we have helped to make homeless.

Shannon airport is profiting from US military use of its airport, even if we the Irish taxpayers are being forced to subsidise the US military wars in the Middle East, by paying over €40 million so far for the landing fees of US military aircraft and millions of additional Euro in special security for these aircraft, while our hospitals are deprived of essential funding.

Its now time for the Irish people to BOYCOTT SHANNON AIRPORT until such time as US military use of Shannon airport is ended. Those who live in the Mid West who have to use Shannon occasionally, should avoid paying for any facilities at Shannon, including car parking (use taxis or public transport), and avoid using Duty Free, or restaurants, or airport shops.

We owe this at least, and much more, to the people we are helping to kill and make homeless in the Middle East.

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