Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Anti-War Granny causes Court upset:

                Margaretta D'Arcy, (79), veteran Irish Peace Campaigner outside Ennis Courthouse


An anti-war granny caused mayhem in a court room when she confronted a judge in a bright orange jump suit.

Disabled  Margaretta D’Arcy, 79, refused to stand down from a bench in front of Judge Patrick Durcan at Ennis (Co Clare) District Court - and the hearing had to be halted. Ms Darcy appeared in connection with the alleged interference of the proper use of Shannon Airport last October 7, 2012, by going on the runway without permission. Ms D'Arcy, a well known artist, is a veteran of the Irish and International Peace Movement and has been a regular attendee, health permitting, at the monthly Peace Protest at the gates of Shannon Airport, Co. Clare, in the west of Ireland near Limerick city since the protests began following the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003. Since the invasion there has been large-scale use of the Airport by the US Military despite public opposition in Ireland, an officially neutral country.

When the case was called last Wednesday,10 July Ms Darcy, of Woodquay, Galway, approached the bench the better to hear and see the judge properly because of poor sight and hearing. She then stood on the bench below the judge's podium to hear Judge Durcan say he was going to adjourn the matter to September 11 next because her co-accused wasn’t in court.

Ms D'Arcy – who needs a zimmer frame with wheels to walk - said that she wanted the judge to dismiss the summons against her as it is inaccurate. Judge Durcan said: “That is a matter for hearing and not for today.”  The judge then asked Ms D'Arcy: "Will you please go down to ground level and stand on the ground for safety reasons. I will not have you standing on the bench.” Ms D'Arcy refused and replied: “I am going to stand here. We have to see each other as equals. It is the citizens of Ireland that own the courts. In response, Judge Durcan said: “You are going to be removed. I am going to suspend the court for two minutes.”

As the judge was walking from the bench, Ms D’Arcy called out after him: “So you don’t want a conversation with me around the word ‘proper’ and the use of the airport as a military airport. Murder, Complicity in murder. Run, run away and never hear the truth.” Ms D'Arcy then stepped down from the bench with the assistance of two Gardaí (Irish police)and she was then applauded by her supporters in court, including retired UN Assistant Secretary General, Denis Halliday, and well-known anti-war activist Dr Ed Horgan.

On returning to court, Judge Durcan said that on the adjourned date in September, he would decide if the case will be heard in the district court or the circuit court. This is an obvious dodge by the state prosecutor to avoid hearing evidence of the misuse of the civilian airport at Shannon by the US Military since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 with the full collaboration of Irish Governments since then despite public opposition. The local Shannonwatch organisation, who monitor US Military activities at the airport, had brought to court a wheelbarrow (literally) of documentary evidence of the violations of Irish and International law occurring there in the past 10 years.

Full court report here:





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