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Irish Government Hypocrisy over Foreign Warplanes Along the Irish Coast

category national | anti-war / imperialism | press release author Monday February 02, 2015 19:48author by shannonwatch Report this post to the editors

Big flap about Russia planes by govt and media but nothing about US war planes

Press Release - Feb 1st - The Irish Government and media appear to be in a panic about two Russian TU-95 bomber aircraft that flew down the west coast of Ireland at least 50 miles out to sea, and not through Irish sovereign airspace. A statement issued by the Irish Department of Defence said "non-controlled and non-notified flight activity by Russian aircraft is not acceptable". This same Department of Defence of a supposedly neutral Irish state has issued no such statements about the transit of almost two and half million US troops through Shannon airport since 2001, and provides Irish soldiers to guard US military aircraft at Shannon.
Foreign military plane landed at Shannon this evening (1st Feb 2015). No government or media outcry about this.
Foreign military plane landed at Shannon this evening (1st Feb 2015). No government or media outcry about this.

This evening at 5pm there were two such US military planes at Shannon Airport. One was "disguised" as a civilian plane flying the colours of Omni Air International but is being used to transport up to 300 armed US troops through Ireland. It was being protected by a Garda Siocana patrol car. The other aircraft was a US Navy C40 which can be used to transport military cargo and soldiers. This plane was being guarded by an Irish army patrol. These planes were not 50 miles out to sea and flying at 50,000 or so feet. They were on the tarmac at Shannon Airport and the Omni troop carrier was getting ready to take off having been refuelled at Shannon - all in breach of international laws on neutrality.

Between 2008 and end of 2014 about thirteen thousand US military aircraft passed through Irish airspace and about two thousand of these aircraft actually landed and were refuelled at Shannon.

During the same period about twelve thousand chartered aircraft, most of which were probably carrying US troops flew through Irish airspace and about four thousand of these landed and were refuelled at Shannon Airport. These figures do not include any US military aircraft that may have their transponders switched off, and does not include all US warplanes that flew through Irish airspace between 2001 and 2008. Therefore the total number of US military associated aircraft flying through Irish airspace between 2001 and 2015 may be in excess of fifty thousand (yes that's 50,000).

Defence Minister Simon Coveney TD said "we will make it very clear ... this is an unacceptable situation," said Mr Coveney. He was referring to the 2 lone Russian TU 95 warplanes that did not enter Irish airspace or land on any Irish territory, and were probably flying above the regulation height whereby they are not obliged to have their transponders switched on. At least they were visible to Air Traffic Control radars, unlike US "Stealth" Fighter planes that most likely do not switch on their transponders and are designed to be invisible to radar. It is likely that such US Stealth aircraft frequently fly through Irish airspace and the airspace controlled by Irish air traffic controllers.

It's time the Irish Government explained why a country that claims to be neutral has allowed and approved serious breaches of international laws on neutrality, and why it has allowed 50,000 US military aircraft and US troop-carrying chartered aircraft to fly through Irish airspace.

Related Link: http://www.shannonwatch.org/blog/irish-government-hypocrisy-over-foreign-warplanes-along-irish-coast
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