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Speaker At Peace Booklet Launch Tonight In Galway Arrested In Shannon

category national | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Friday November 23, 2012 13:56author by GALWAY ALLIANCE AGAINST WAR Report this post to the editors

One of the main speakers at a booklet launch in Charlie Byrne’s bookshop, Galway, this evening at 6pm has been arrested by the Gardai in relation to ‘criminal damage’ at Shannon Airport.
A photo of Niall Farrell being taken away in handcuffs (behind his back) like a dangerous criminal on Tuesday morning. No doubt (Rtd Commandant) Edward Horgan - one of the Shannonwatch peace monitors at Shannon warport -  was treated similarly this mornin
A photo of Niall Farrell being taken away in handcuffs (behind his back) like a dangerous criminal on Tuesday morning. No doubt (Rtd Commandant) Edward Horgan - one of the Shannonwatch peace monitors at Shannon warport - was treated similarly this mornin

Peace activist Retired Commandant Edward Horgan was billed to speak with the journalist and broadcaster Harry Browne at the launch of a booklet on US military activity in Shannon airport, entitled Shannon: War & rendition.This launch includes the unveiling of a postcard campaign by the Galway Alliance Against War opposing the transport of “Killer Drones” via Shannon airport.
According to GAAW spokesperson Niall Farrell the launch will be going ahead: “Edward Horgan’s arrest is just another act of petty harassment. It will, however, not disrupt the booklet launch in Charlie Byrne’s. It is an absurd situation that deadly weaponry and armed US soldiers travel freely through Shannon airport to foreign countries to carry out acts of criminality and the forces of law and order in this country arrest peace activists on suspicion of committing ‘criminal damage’.”
Booklet can be viewed online: http://www.shannonwatch.org/sites/shannonwatch.org/file...R.pdf

author by grumppublication date Fri Nov 23, 2012 16:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

they are just doing what they are told to do by the US embassy

Irish politicians and gardai are just servile US and corporate lapdogs.

Anyone in rossport will tell you that

We know from the wikileaks cables that the foreign minister reported to the US embassy on shannon and conspired with them during the ploughshares trial

This is political policing plain and simple

author by Peace activistpublication date Sat Nov 24, 2012 13:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A retired Irish Army Commandant and former UN peacekeeper has been arrested and questioned by Gardaí about a security breach at Shannon Airport last month, REPORTS PAT FLYNN, in Clare Herald

Dr Edward Horgan (67) is the third person to be arrested in connection with the October 7th incident during which two others made their way onto the runway at Shannon.

He was detained at his home in Castletroy in Limerick at 8.30am yesterday and taken to Shannon Garda station for questioning in relation to alleged criminal damage at the airport.

Dr Horgan confirmed last night that he was arrested and questioned in relation to the October 7th incident.

He was released without charge shortly before 3.00pm. Dr Horgan confirmed that despite being detained for 6 hours, he refused to answer any questions.

On the day of the security breach, a number of people had gathered at the south western end of the airport.

78-year-old woman Margaretta D'Arcy (78) and Niall Farrell (59) made their way through a hole in the perimeter fence onto the runway.

The pair, who were both carrying large banners and flags were arrested at the time and questioned for several hours before being released without charge later that night.

On Tuesday, the same pair were arrested again and detained at a Garda station in Galway under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. They were again released without charge.

A video of the October 7th incident was later posted on Youtube and showed the pair making their way onto the runway before being intercepted by airport police personnel about 15 minutes later.

The garda investigation into the incident is continuing.

Meanwhile, airport authorities have installed hundreds of metres of razor wire along the top and lower sections of the airport's security fence in an effort to prevent further breaches.

Last month's incident was the second security breach at Shannon in 10 months. Last December, an Omni Air International jet, used to transport US troops, was damaged at Shannon after a hole was cut in the perimeter fence.

An unnamed group later claimed responsibility for the incident during which the hydraulic lines on the jet were cut and graffiti sprayed on the aircraft.

No arrests have been made in relation to that incident.

author by peace activistpublication date Sun Nov 25, 2012 18:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Arrests and detention without Trial?
The Gardai at Shannon have apparently adopted a new tactic to deal with peace activists. Instead of charging peace activists with various offences as they have done frequently in the past, they now appear to have adopted a policy of arresting peace activists at their homes, bringing them to a Garda station, and interrogating them for periods of about 6 hours, during which time they are held incommunicado, and confined to a Garda cell or interview room. It could be argued that this practice amounts to punishment without trial, and this may be the intention. A Jury in Dublin acquitted the five Catholic Workers on a charge of Criminal Damage to a US military plane at Shannon in 2003, and the Appeal Court belatedly overturned the conviction of Mary Kelly for damage to the same aircraft. All six of these peace activists had admitted damaging this warplane and the estimated cost of repairs was in the region of two millions dollars. They were acquitted primarily because their defence was that their actions were not criminal but were undertaken for the justifiable reasons that they were trying to prevent this aircraft from participating in the Iraq war in which tens of thousands of innocent civilians were killed. This may explain the reluctance of the “authorities” to prosecute peace activists who are attempting to expose complicity with war crimes and torture at Shannon airport.
20th December 2011 some peace activists damaged a US troop transporting aircraft at Shannon airport, a DC 10 belonging to OMNI Air, so as to prevent it being used to facilitate or participate in wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere. No one has been charged in connection with this event, but on the 07/06/2012 Gardai arrived at the home of Galway Alliance Against War (GAAW) PRO, Niall Farrell, and proceeded to search it. The information he was given indicated that the search was linked to events at Shannon on 20 December 2011. The home of Niall Farrell was forcibly entered and searched for over 3 hours by Gardai who removed three computers belonging the Niall and his family. Two of the computers were returned over five months later, and one computer is still in Garda custody.
On 7 October 2012, two peace activists entered Shannon airport and undertook a protest on the main runway for the purpose of temporarily closing the runway to US military aircraft, so as to prevent any such aircraft from participating in wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and preventing Shannon airport being used for the transport of drone killer aircraft and other munitions and war materials. Great care was taken to minimise any damage and to ensure that no one was injured or endangered by their actions. They choose that particular part of the runway because they knew that it was covered by several CCTV cameras, which presumably should have been permanently monitored for reasons of air safety and security. The expectation was that their presence on the runway would be immediately known to airport operations and airport security, thereby minimising any possible disruption to the running of the airport.
The protesting peace activists were very surprised that their presence on the runway was ignored for in excess of 15 minutes, so much so that their friends who were monitoring the event felt it was necessary to make a phone call to airport operations to inform them that there were two protesters on the runway. Some time later airport security personnel arrived and detained Margaretta Darcy and Niall Farrell on the runway. No explanation has been offered as to why the cctv cameras at this location were not being monitored. On this occasion Margaretta Darcy and Niall Farrell were held under arrest at Shannon Garda Station and interrogated for just over 6 hours.
On Tuesday 20 November, Niall Farrell and Margaretta were arrested at their homes and taken to Millstreet Garda Station in Galway and questioned again for just over 6 hours on the same issues that they had previously been questioned at Shannon Garda station on 7 October 2012. No charges were preferred and Gardai said that a file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The same DPP may not be too impressed by the efficiency and thoroughness of Gardai and security at Shannon airport.
At about 0845 on 23 October 2012, Edward Horgan was arrested at his home by Garda Sergeant Noel McMahon and Detective Garda David Laing. He was refused permission to shave or have his breakfast, and was taken under arrest to Shannon Garda Station where he was detained, once again, for just over 6 hours and questioned about the protest events at Shannon on 7 October 2012. Edward Horgan refused to answer any questions, with one exception. Garda Sergeant Noel McMahon asked Edward Horgan why he was refusing to answer questions (as any accused or suspect person is fully entitled to do), and said that the DPP would be entitled to draw inferences from this refusal to answer questions. At this point Edward Horgan did answer this one question in the following manner. “The reason I am refusing to answer questions on these matters is that I and other peace activists have repeatedly asked Gardai at Shannon to search and investigate US military and CIA associated aircraft in order to investigate whether they or their crews and passengers, or personnel at Shannon, may be involved in or complicit in war crimes, contrary to the Geneva Conventions, or in torture contrary to the UN Convention Against Torture, or in breaches of international laws on neutrality. I am satisfied that the Gardai at Shannon have consistently failed to carry out any adequate investigation into these matters. I have been informed by three separate Gardai at Shannon, namely, Detective Superintendent Brendan Cloonan, Inspector Thomas Kennedy, and Garda Karen Fitzgerald, that the Gardai have been informed by way of legal advice or letter of instruction from the Attorney General to the effect that Gardai at Shannon should not search or investigate US military or CIA associated aircraft at Shannon airport. These are the reasons that I am refusing to answer any questions on these matters.”
The interview/interrogation could and should have been terminated within thirty minutes, but the process went on for over 6 hours. In order to prolong the process, the same questions were repeated several times. These questions were based primarily on a U-Tube video taken by one of the peace activists present and published on the internet, and also on the alleged damage to the perimeter fence at Shannon airport. A photograph of this alleged damage was shown to Edward Horgan, and it was clearly indicated that the alleged hole in the fence had been securely repaired, by some person or persons. The alleged criminal damage therefore, if any, could be estimated at about €10.
Towards the end of the interrogation Edward Horgan specifically requested to Garda Sergeant Noel McMahon, that the Gardai at Shannon should interview the Attorney General Ms Maire Whelan, and should ask her if, and if so why, either she and/or her predecessor, Mr Rory Brady, had issued an instruction or legal advice to the Gardai not to search or investigate US military aircraft at Shannon airport, and if so why?
At the end of the interview, Edward Horgan requested a copy of the interview report, but this request was refused.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Mon Nov 26, 2012 00:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Solidarity with Ed, Margaretta and Niall.

Disgusting that Gardaí are used to harass peace activists while being prohibited from searching US warplanes.

Shameful that our civilian Shannon airport has been transformed over the years into a warport.

Onward with the non-violent peace protest that threatens warmongers everywhere.

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