US out of Shannon
The Dublin government has for decades been willing to allow foreign armies use its airports for the movement of troops, aircraft and materials. In return the relevant airports receive payment of landing fees and other income in the form of fuel sales, waste disposal services etc. The Dublin government also believes that the provision of such facilities creates goodwill which in turn enhances the prospect of ‘direct investment’ from those countries whose militaries make use of Irish airports.
This trade-off of money and jobs in exchange for collaboration in mass murder is not only an affront to the twenty-six counties alleged neutrality but also an affront to that most basic of human rights – the right to life.
Due to its strategically important location it is Shannon Airport that has received the lions share of these military ‘stop-overs’, with Dublin, Casement and other airports being used on a less regular basis. Indeed, for much of the Cold War both the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics made regular use of the Shannon facility.
This use of Irish airports by foreign armies went on unknown, and unopposed, by the vast majority of Irish people until the so-called ‘War on Terror’ was launched by the US in 2001. Irish opposition to this thinly-veiled adventure in twenty-first century imperialism has been widespread and consistent. In February 2003, on the eve of the US/British invasion of Iraq more than one hundred thousand people demonstrated in Dublin against both the invasion and the use of Shannon airport by the US and its allies.
This massive mobilisation was largely ignored by the Dublin government who have pro-actively encouraged the US military into Shannon. It is estimated that somewhere in excess of half a million US troops have passed through the airport since the start of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. In addition the airport has regularly been used by CIA aircraft involved in the kidnap and torture flights euphemistically called ‘extraordinary rendition’. These planes are used to transport prisoners to jails such as Guantanamo Bay in US occupied Cuba and Abu Ghraib in US occupied Iraq.
Since its foundation éirígí has been actively involved in opposing the use of Shannon and other Irish airports by imperialist armies. eirígí activists regularly help organise, and participate in, public opposition to the Dublin governments complicity in the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Iraq and Afganistan.
éirígí is affiliated to the Irish Anti War Movement and the Peace And Neutrality Alliance.