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Eoin Rice in High Court: 2pm Wednesday 25th. Feb
national | crime and justice | feature Tuesday February 24, 2004 20:39 by Edward Horgan - Peace and Neutrality Alliance edward_horgan at hotmail dot com Limerick 086-2380911
Solidarity Protest at Court for Hunger Striker for Justice
From The Newswire: "Eoin Rice will have been on hunger strike for thirteen days when he appears in the High Court on a writ of Habeus Corpus seeking his release from Limerick Prison. He was jailed by Judge Mangan on 12 Feb for refusing to accept the Banner Judge's decision to ban Eoin from entering Co. Clare.
Eoin was initially arrested for alleged dangerous driving of a stationary car while asleep, and while the car was parked in a lay-by near Shannon airport on Dec 6th 2003, and other alleged offences. He has been before the courts for mention and remand in the meantime on 18 Dec, 8 Jan, 12 Feb and 18 Feb. On 12 Feb Judge Mangan on his own volition and without a request from the Gardai imposed the additional bail condition of banning Eoin Rice from entering Co Clare. This condition has already been imposed on most peace activists who come before Judge Mangan, and in addition, Aer Rianta have attempted to impose a similar ban on 22 of the original Shannon Peace Camp members, from entering Shannon airport.
While the Aer Rianta attempted ban is a civil matter, the Gardai have also attempted to intervene to enforce it and this matter is the subject of a separate complaint to the Garda Complaints Commission. We urge all peace activists to come to the High Court at 2 pm on Wed 25 Feb in solidarity with Eoin Rice.
By appalling coincidence on Sunday 22 Feb, Donald Rumsfeld appeared at Shannon addressing US on their way to Iraq. Some of these troops were believed to have been armed while in the terminal building, and all were believed to have been carrying weapons and munitions with them on the aircraft. At least one of the US troops may have been guilty of stealing a roll of Aer Rianta toilet paper, which act appears to have been caught on camera by a Reuters photographer. While this is not a serious crime, killing up to 30,000 innocent people in Iraq is a crime against humanity as well of course as a crime of murder against each of these victims. The crime of complicity for these crimes now rests with all Irish people because we failed to prevent our government for allowing these troops and munitions through Shannon airport.
Eoin Rice, and other peace activists at least tried in their own small but significant ways to bring these crimes to the attention of the proper authorities. Like many just whistle-blowers, he was victimised and jailed. Ireland's neutrality and sovereignty has been violated and abused by the passage of a massive US army through our airport and territory. Of more importance of course is the violation of the lives and limbs of all those innocents in Iraq and Afghanistan. There has been no protest by the Irish Government about Rumsfeld's abuse of Shannon Airport on Sunday last. Even the opposition have been silent. They are more concerned with agreeing with McDowell on preventing new members of the EU from coming to Ireland. Shame on all who have remained silent for whatever reason and who continue to remain silent.
Eoin Rice, Fintan Lane, Mary Kelly, Nuria Dunne, the Catholic Workers, The Shannon Peace Camp activists, and a few others, too few, will continue to speak out regardless of threats and difficulties imposed on us. Shame on those in the media who fail to provide balanced reporting on Ireland's complicity in the Iraq war. Please make your voice heard in the cause of peace and justice, tomorrow and always."