Bail denied to US Peace Veterans
Protests at Shannon abound
St Patrick's Day 2019
Two US veterans for Peace entered Shannon airport around 10 a.m. yesterday morning, St Patrick;s Day, to approach a US plane they believed was carrying up to 300 armed troops to war zones. They are Ken Mayers and Tarak Kauff. The two were arrested and this morning they have been denied bail in Ennis District Court. They had been questioned in Shannon Garda station throughout yesterday and held there overnight
According to Ed Horgan of Shannonwatch an OMNI Air International plane, tail number N351AX, had arrived at Shannon Airport about 8.30 a.m. from Eielson US air force base in Fairbanks Alaska, most likely on its way to the Middle East with up to 300 armed US troops.
The Veterans were carrying a large banner that said:
U.S. VETERANS SAY RESPECT IRISH NEUTRALITY
U.S. WAR MACHINE OUT OF SHANNON AIRPORT
VETERANS FOR PEACE
They walked across the air field but were apprehended by airport security and Gardai before reaching the plane. This morning they were charged in Ennis Court with trespass and criminal damage.
The Peace Veterans' action happened before a scheduled protest at Shannon that was later attended by over two dozen people.
Today there is outrage among peace activists that bail has been denied to their fellow protestors.
There were three other protests, two within the airport and one outside the boundaries, yesterday. Two peace activists had unfurled a protest banner inside the terminal around 10 a.m. but were persuaded by Gardaí to desist. I arrived shortly afterwards and showed my own protest sign saying MURDER via SHANNON. As I had done in February 2006 I also recited the poem A Dream of Peace aloud as a prelude to a speech about what was happening at Shannon. Three Gardaí arrived and after dialogue ordered me to put away the sign which eventually I did. Later, at the protest outside we all tried to hold our flags or banners against a swirling wind and then approached the waiting Gardaí where Ed Horgan challenged them about their refusal to search planes passing through Shannon. Several others including three different US Veterans for Peace added their voices to the urgent pleas to the Gardaí to do their duty at Shannon airport.
Before leaving the remaining Veterans for Peace led the group in singing a protest song to the air of Galway Bay. The first verse went as follows:
Do you know who flies across the seas to Ireland?
The US Army has the right of way
You can sit and watch the aircraft land at Shannon
Transporting troops and weapons every day