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Acquitted Anti War Activist Serves Notice on Irish Government Regarding Shannon!

Ciaron O'Reilly | 26.09.2006 07:46 | Anti-militarism



Two months have now elapsed since the unanimous acquittal at Dublin's Four Courts of the five pacifist Catholic Workers, known as the "Pit Stop Ploughshares".

The Irish Government could not convince any of the jurors that $US 2.5 million damage to U.S. military equipment at Shannon Airport, being deployed to Iraq, was a criminal act.

The jury, randomly chosen from the community, is viewed by society as "the conscience of the community". The jury in the Pit Stop Ploughshares case spoke with one voice that U.S. military equipment at Shannon Airport destined to Iraq "threatens life and property" in Iraq. The jury spoke with one voice that non-violent resistance to the U.S. military deploying to Iraq should not be considered a criminal act.

The Ahern government's refusal to listen to the conscience of Ireland echoes its refusal to listen to the historic numbers (15/2/03) which marched against this war, Irish participation in this war and the role of Shannon Airport in the illegal U.S invasion and occupation of Iraq.

The ongoing role of Shannon Airport is not a failure of Irish opinion against the war, it is a failure of representative democracy in Ireland under the stewardship of the Ahern Government.

Like the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury and many religious leaders we have concluded that the war is immoral.

Like U.N. Secretary General Kofi Anan and the vast majority of expert legal opinion we have concluded that this U.S. war is offensive not defensive and without a U.N. resolution is illegal.

Like growing U.S. military opinion we conclude that this war is unwinnable. It is merely a question of how many sons and daughters of other American parents, George Bush will sacrifice before the U.S. withdraws unilaterally from Iraq.

As world citizens with responsibilities under the Nuremburg Principle, we feel an obligation to put an end to this war nonviolently and directly.

We call upon the Ahern Government to completely demilitarise Shannon Airport by the end of Ocotber 2006.

On October 28th we will accompany U.S. veterans of this war to Shannon Airport to remember their dead, most of who passed through Shannon Airport to their deaths. Together, we will remember the dead of Iraq. This will be our final call to the Ahern Government to demilitarise the airport.

If the Ahern Government fails to demilitarise the airport by the end of October 2006, we call upon all Irish people to demilitarise Shannon Airport non-violently and directly in the tradition of Ghandi and Martin Luther King. Should we be arrested by the Ahern Government, we will call upon all Irish people to be in proactive solidarity with those arrested.

We feel, as with the example of Martin Luther King and Ghandi, that non-violent action is the essential ingredient to ending this illegal, immoral and unwinnable war. As with the examples of Martin Luther King and Ghandi we feel such non-violent direct actions will also contribute to democratic life in Ireland.


Ciaron O'Reilly
Catholic Worker Movement, Dublin, Ireland
087 918 4552

*Ciaron O'Reilly be available for comment on this press release until midnight Tues Sept 26th on 00 353 87 918 4552

Ciaron O'Reilly