Irish activists demand ouster of US military from Shannon airport

The US military was allowed to use the Shannon airport after 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre . Activists have accused the government of weakening the traditional policy of Irish neutrality by catering to US imperialist ambitions.

January 14, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Shannon airport Ireland
Protesters outside Shannon airport demand the complete removal of US forces using its facilities.

On January 12, Sunday, hundreds of protesters marched to the Shannon airport in County Clare in the Republic of Ireland to oppose the utilization of the facility by the US military. The protest was organized by Shannonwatch in the backdrop of the recent US aggression against Iran and the assassination of leading Iraqi and Iranian military officials.

Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch claimed that there had been an increasing build-up of US warplanes at Shannon airport over the weekend, where they refuel on their way to West Asia. He added that “this assassination by the US military is a very serious breach of international law. The Irish Government should act now by withdrawing permission for US military use of Shannon airport.”

The Irish government permitted the US military to use Shannon airport in the aftermath of the September 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre and the subsequent US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and other interventions in West Asia. Peace groups have accused the government of weakening the traditional Irish policy of neutrality, and have been protesting against the government for catering to the imperialist designs of the US.

The Connolly Youth Movement (CYM), affiliated to the Communist Party of Ireland (CPI), also joined Sunday’s protest and demanded that the US military leave Shannon airport.

In an earlier statement, the CPI had accused the Irish government of trying to deepen the country’s alignment with imperialist forces. The party cited instances such as Ireland’s membership of the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), collaboration with NATO, and the continued use of Shannon airport by the US army and air force.

On January 9, the Peace And Neutrality Alliance (PANA) organized a vigil outside the US embassy in Dublin, against the war on Iran.