Court ruling highlights government failing
Reacting to the news that two US anti-war veterans had been acquitted of the substantial charge of trespass and criminal damage, Bríd Smith TD said the jury’s finding cast new light on the ongoing failure of this and previous governments.
She said: “It is now glaringly obvious that the state is in breach of its obligations to inspect US military planes using Shannon and ensure they are not in breach of any Irish or international law. In light of today’s decision in the Dublin Circuit Court, where two US veterans in their 80s, who both served in the US military before becoming anti-war activists were acquitted by a jury on charges of trespass and criminal damage. The Government must ensure that US planes are not using Shannon Airport to transport weapons or to facilitate war directly or indirectly.”
She added that the two veterans should be congratulated and that they had highlighted the need to “ensure no Irish or international law is been broken and that Ireland as a neutral country is not facilitating war, military efforts or the transport of weapons. The failure by the Irish Government to uphold Irish and international law and monitor US activities at Shannon has led to this situation where ordinary people are forced to take action to ensure laws are upheld.”
Deputy Smith said the two protesters would not have needed to act had the Irish state taking its responsibilities seriously and acted to ensure it was not facilitating war, illegal invasions or so-called rendition flights by the US. “That failure has forced these two brave veterans to put their liberty on the line,” she said.