Protesters bring traffic to a standstill at Shannon Airport

Protesters gathered in their hundreds outside Shannon Airport. Photo: Press 22.

INTENDING passengers were forced to abandon busses and even their own vehicles after protesters in their hundreds blocked the main N19 route into Shannon Airport this past Sunday afternoon (April 14).

Gardaí and Airport Police used their vehicles to ferry passengers and airport staff almost two kilometres to the airport.

What organisers called a “major national mobilisation” against the US military’s use of Shannon Airport was held on Sunday afternoon, with protesters mounting the call for an immediate end to US troops and planes passing through.

Protesters gathered along both sides of the main route into the airport chanting and carrying flags and banners reading ‘War Pigs’ and ‘US military out of Shannon’. They sat on the road blocking both lanes of the only access route to the airport.

Vehicles arriving and departing the airport were brought to a standstill resulting in a backlog of traffic.

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Passengers arriving at Shannon by bus were forced to grab their bags and begin walking towards the airport. Those arriving by car abandoned their vehicles in nearby carparks and also began to make their way to the airport on foot.

Vehicles leaving Shannon were left backed up for over a kilometre as drivers vented their frustration by using their car horns.

Gardaí later forcibly removed protesters from one lane of the route so that it could be reopened to traffic. Some demonstrators continued their sit-in in the other lane, but eventually moved off and traffic flow returned to normal.

No arrests were made.

Speaking after the protest, People Before Profit representative and Limerick mayoral candidate Ruairí Fahy said that “over 500 people gathered outside Shannon Airport in opposition to the use of the airport by the United States for the transfer of weapons to Israel for use in their assault on Gaza”.

Mr Fahy said that “by allowing the United States to use Shannon Airport for the transfer of weapons to Israel, refusing to do inspections of planes, and just accepting Biden at his word, Ireland is complicit in the genocide of Palestinians.”

“As actions by activists targeting Shannon Airport are becoming more frequent, it’s time the government get military planes out of our civilian airport and end this stain on our neutrality.”