35 countries land military aircraft at Shannon

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Shannon-1-jul-13-US-soldiers21MILITARY aircraft from 35 nations landed in Shannon Airport over the last 12 months, according to former Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore.

In response to a parliamentary question from Independent TD Clare Daly, Deputy Gilmore revealed that the countries of origin of the military aircraft include the US, Australia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Germany.

He added that in order to be granted permission to land, the aircraft must be “unarmed, carry no arms, ammunition or explosives”, they should also not engage in intelligence gathering, or “form any part of military exercises or operations”.

John Lannon of Shannonwatch says that more than 90 per cent of all the military aircraft landing at Shannon comes from the US, and that almost 2.5 million US soldiers have passed through the airport in the last 12 years.

“Shannon played a direct role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and as a result it has contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. The daily flow of US troops and US weapons through the airport has been ongoing since then, and it presents a serious security risk to workers and passengers using the airport.

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“It is also misleading for the Minister to say that the US military are not taking weapons through Shannon because he knows they are going through on planes operated by Omni Air International and other carriers. He cannot say what or who is on board military aircraft at Shannon because the authorities do not inspect them”, he said.