MAIREAD MAGUIRE, NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE, ATTENDS
AS DEFENCE WITNESS TRIAL OF MARGARETTA D’ARCY, ENNIS COURT, IRELAND 24th JUNE, 2014.
I have attended the trial of Margaretta D’Arcy, in order to show solidarity with this
brave woman of peace, and I join her in her call for an end to the ongoing United
States military use of Shannon Airport. Margaretta D’Arcy has been charged with ‘Interfering with the proper use of Shannon Airport on lst September, 2013.’ This was the time when it looked like the United States was going to attack Syria and had this happened it would have meant the Irish Government would )have co-operated and been complicit in the bombing of Syria. Margaretta D’Arcy as an act of conscience took these NECESSARY steps of sitting on the runway at Shannon Airport, in order to protect the lives of the women and children of Syria. Margaretta, by her brave action highlighted the US Military use of the civilian airport at Shannon. Millions of US Soldiers and military flights have gone through, and continue to transit through Shannon in the past decade, en route to Afghanistan, Iraq, where they have committed war crimes. Shannon has also been implicated in facilitating the CIA’s illegal rendition program, which entails transferring individuals without due process protections to countries where they face torture.
I have visited Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Syria, and seen the devastation and destruction caused by military intervention in these countries. My experience is that in these war-torn countries they all have one thing in common, women, men, little children, and babies suffer, and many are killed as a result of violence and war. I believe it is time to abolish militarism and solve our problems without killing women and children.
As an allegedly neutral country it is important that the Irish Government
Ensures Shannon Airport is used for civilian purposes and not used to facilitate US Military occupations, invasions and war purposes. The Irish people strongly support neutrality, but this is being negated by the use of Shannon Airport by US Military.
Ireland and the Irish people are much loved and respected around the world and seen as a people and a country who has contributed much to the development of many countries, particularly through education, health care, arts and music. However, this history is endangered by its Government’s accommodating of US Military in Shannon Airport also by its participation in NATO-led forces such as ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) in Afghanistan.
Ireland’s neutrality places it in an important position and, arising out of its experience in peacemaking and conflict resolution at home, it could be a Mediator in disarmament and conflict resolution, in other countries caught in the tragedy of violence and war. Margaretta D’Arcy by her physical and moral courage has shown the true spirit of the people of Ireland, and we are all indebted to her for her courageous leadership for peace and disarmament.