US Elections: Time to get US military out of Shannon

by Cian Prendiville

Some of the issues of the US election campaign trail will come to Limerick this week, as the Anti Austerity Alliance host a public meeting with guest speakers on the election, and how it will impact Ireland through the ongoing use of Shannon Airport by US military. The meeting starts at 8pm on Thursday in Pery's Best Western Hotel on Glentworth St, and will be addressed by Roger Cole of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) and John Lannon of Shannon Watch. The US Election is a horror show that would give even the scariest Halloween film a run for its money. Both Trump and Clinton are candidates of war and imperialism, and regardless of who wins it is clear part of their agenda will be strengthening US might on the world stage. That will have important implications for us here in Ireland, as the government continues to violate any notion of neutrality by allowing US military plains, troops and weapons pass through Shannon Airport.

The chairperson PANA, Roger Cole, who will be one of the speakers on Thursday said:

"Over 2.5 million US troops have landed in Shannon Airport in their way to and from their perpetual wars that have killed or injured hundreds of thousands of people for which the governments since 2002 share responsibility. 

"However bad wars have been so far for the people in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen to name but a few, the reality is the people in the US seem to be about to elect the War Queen, Hilary Clinton who has backed every war. Her election will mean that bad as war has been it is about to get a great deal worse. Now more than ever we need to restore our neutrality by terminating the use of Shannon Airport by US troops and withdrawing from the EU Battle Groups and the European Defence Agency.

John Lannon of Shannon Watch said: “Shannon Airport has operated as a forward operating base for the US military for the last 15 years. In that time, over two and a half million troops and their weapons have passed through an airport that is not designed for military purposes. So too have countless US Air Force and Navy cargo and refuelling planes. This is all despite Ireland’s claims that it is a neutral country.

"The government refuses to answer questions about what is being taken through Shannon by the US military or where it is going. Over the years Shannonwatch has gathered their own information about what is going through. It is important that people living near Shannon, many of who work there or use it for travel, hear this information and know exactly how the airport is being used to support war and human rights abuses around the world.”

Cian Prendiville