Saturday, February 08, 2014

Veteran Peace Protester Jailed in Ireland


The jailing of Margaretta D'Arcy a 79 year old veteran on the Irish and British peace movements is entering the fourth week of imprisonment for daring to trespass on one of the runways at Shannon Airport in protest against 
the illegal use of the Airport by the US Military since 2001 contrary to the Irish Constitution and International Law, namely the Hague Convention 1907 which forbids the transport of personell and military equipment through the territory of neutral countries which Ireland claims to be.

The jailing of the veteran peace activist who is in ill health from both cancer and parkinson's disease has outraged people in Ireland and abroad and her stand has received widespread support from Peace Movements around the world.


A large number of representatives of various peace groups in Great Britain joined the vigil outside the Irish Embassy in London on 22 January demanding Free Margaretta D’Arcy! Free Shannon!

John Tymon from Kilburn Stop the War called the lively and angry protest at the imprisonment of Margaretta D’Arcy, playwright and anti-war protestor. It was joined by the Global Women’s Strike and a number of other organisations. Amongst those participating were Irish trade unionists, a number of pensioners and women with disabilities. Placards included the much-admired poster made by Irish activists showing Ms D’Arcy armed with her zimmer frame reclaiming Shannon airport runway from a military jet!
Speaker after speaker testified to Ms D’Arcy’s spirited, determined and principled contributions to the international movement against war and for justice, expressing outrage that she, a 79-year-old cancer patient, should be imprisoned for three months for defending Irish neutrality. Speakers at the open mic included Selma James GWS, Gerry Dunning Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group, Austin Harney of the Campaign for the Rights and Actions of Irish Communities, Michael Kalmanovitz of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Caribbean Labour Solidarity, Troops out of Ireland, Women of Colour GWS and two ex-Greenham women.

Global Womens' Strike issued the following statement:

We are outraged to learn that our dear sister and colleague Margaretta D’Arcy has been jailed – and for three months! – for protesting the use of the civilian airport at Shannon for US wars. And we are deeply worried about her health and well-being as a cancer patient. One of the many public services Ms D’Arcy has performed is to protest the Irish government’s many years of complicity in US war crimes and its destruction of Irish neutrality. She has been dedicated to highlighting that the most devastating impact of war is on women and our children, both directly from the bombs that rain down on us, and by paying with our poverty for the horrendous weapons of massive destruction that surround us all.

Ms D’Arcy is a veteran of Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, which opposed the US military placing cruise missiles on common land in England, and won – the camp is no longer a military base. To dissent from a perspective of permanent war and austerity, and demand the protection of life and the planet, is increasingly labelled subversive and even criminal behaviour. While war criminals are allowed to pass through Irish airports and financial criminals go unpunished, the Irish State in thrall to the US, UK, EU and IMF Masters of War has imprisoned a pensioner who has dedicated herself to highlighting and preventing war crimes.

An attack on courageous and principled Margaretta D’Arcy is an attack on us all.

We demand the immediate release of Margaretta D’Arcy.
Invest in caring not killing.

Selma James
on behalf of Global Women’s Strike

Maggie Ronayne
on behalf of Global Women’s Strike, Ireland

Endorsed by:
Andaiye, Red Thread, Guyana
Niki Adams, English Collective of Prostitutes, UK
Mary Alacoque Ryan, English Language Support Teachers' Association
Pat Albright, USA
Cristel Amiss, UK
Finn Arden, Film Maker, UK/Ireland
Jake Arden, UK
Kiki Axelsson, UK/Sweden
Mir Bahmanyar
Amanda Balfe, Ireland
Shan Barclay
Alex Brew, UK
Audrey Bryan PhD, Lecturer, Dublin City University, Ireland
Dr Chris Burns-Cox, MD FRCP, UK
Janet Callaway, USA
Sara Callaway, Women of Colour in the GWS, UK
Ruth Carr, N Ireland
Kay Chapman, Orange Gate, Greenham Common (1983-84), UK
John Chillingworth, UK
Dr Laurence Cox, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland
Tony Cunningham, Ireland
Thomas Paine Cronin, Past President AFSCME D.C.47, retired, USA
Merry Cross
Bill Crossman, USA
Petra Dando, UK
Luke Daniels, President, Caribbean Labour Solidarity, UK
Vicky Donnelly, Ireland
Andree Soden Doyle, Ireland
Gerry Dunning, Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group
Sara Dustin, USA
Amon, Dyas, UK
Sian Evans, Orange Gate, Greenham Common (1983-84), UK
Sister Joan Faber, Society of the Sacred Heart, UK
John Fitzgibbon, Ireland
Ciara Fitzpatrick, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Ireland
Carol Foster, RMT, UK
Solveig Francis, UK
Rab Fulton, Ireland
Gemma Gallagher, Ireland
David Gibson, Organizing Director, Peacehome Campaigns, USA
Margaret Gillan, Co-ordinator, Community Media Network, Ireland
Eric Gjertsen, USA
Claire Glasman, WinVisible, UK
Bernie Grummell, Ireland
Austin Harney, CRAIC Fighting the Cuts, UK
Mary Hladky, Jobs Not War Planning Committee, USA
Emily Hourigan, Ireland
Hilde Hucks, UK
David Hyndman, N Ireland
Marilyn Hyndman, N Ireland
Sunny Jacobs, Ireland
Phoebe Jones-Schellenberg, Global Women’s Strike, US
Birgitta Jonsdottir, member of the Icelandic Parliament Iceland
Michael Kalmanovitz, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network UK
Willow Katz
June Kelly, Ireland
Mary O'Brien, CDSM, Ireland
Dean Kendall, USA
Bruce, Kent, UK
Eusi Kwayana, Guyana
Lorry Leader, UK
Peter M Le Mare, Petanna Peace Barn, UK
Les Levidow, UK
Emma, Lewis, UK
Lisa Longstaff,
John Llwyd, Wales
Nina Lopez, Legal Action for Women, UK
Ann Lyons, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
Susan Malpass
Mags Mannion, Ireland
Benoit Martin, UK
Kevin Martin Executive Director National Peace Action, US
Bernie, McAdams, NUT UK
Carrie-Anne McAlonan-McCrudden, General Manager, Aisling Ghéar Theatre Co, N Ireland
Dave McCormack, Ireland
Prof. Terrence McDonough, Ireland
Sara Mc Namara
Terri McWeeney, Ireland
M E Milllington, Yellow Gate, Greenham Common (1982-1990), UK
Cari Mitchell, UK
Rev Bob Moore, Director, Coalition for Peace Action, Regional Office, Princeton, NJ, US
Justin Morahan, Ireland
Tammy Murphy, Project for Nuclear Awareness , USA
Lori Nairne, USA
Anne Neale, UK
Elizabeth O'Donoghue, Ireland
Theresa O’Keefe, Ireland
Collette O’Regan, Coordinator, People’s Action for Change, Cambodia
Laura Patton, UK
Annie Paradise
Lionel Pilkington, Ireland
Rev Edward Pinkney, Black Autonomy Network Community Organization, USA
Karen Porter, Coordinator, Chester County Peace Movement, USA
Margaret Prescod, host, "Sojourner Truth", Pacifica Radio, USA
Peter Pringle, Ireland
Mike Prokosch, Coordinator, New Priorities Network (for identification only) USA
Jon Rainwater, Executive Director, Peace Action West (for identification only) USA
Chandra Redack, USA
Louanne Richards, UK
Giorgio Riva, Payday men’s network, UK
Larry Roe
Nora Roman, USA
Jo Ronayne, UK
Geraldine Rose, UK
Sydney Ross-Risden, USA
Didi Rossi, Queer Strike, UK
Mary Ryan, Ireland
Ariane, Sacco, UK
Sylvia Salley, UK
Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, Ireland
Claire Smee, UK
Robert M. Smith, Brandywine Peace Community, USA
Damien Smyth, UK
Richard Solly, UK
Kim Sparrow, Single Mothers’ Self Defence, UK
Cat Steele,USA
Jerry Stein President, The Peace Farm, USA
Angela Stephens, UK
Ruth Todasco, USA
Margaret Tomany, Ireland
Michael Tomany, Ireland
Anna Thorburn, UK
Anthony Timmons,
John Tymon, Kilburn Stop the War, UK
Lynda Walker
Andrew Warren, UK
Sam Weinstein, UK
Rachel West, USA
B I Yantao, President, World Society for Strategic Communication, China.


ICC No to War-No to NATO issued the following statement:

Margaretta D’Arcy a 79 year old Irish peace activist on Wednesday 5th of Febuary will have served three weeks of a three month sentence in Limerick Prison, Co Clare, Ireland, for protesting against the use of Shannon Airport by US troops who use it to fly to and from their perpetual wars.

Millions of US troops have used Shannon Airport in the pursuit of the US commitment to its doctrine of perpetual war. The massive opposition by the American people to President Obama’s decision to expand his war on Syria in 2013 was a major turning point, as the people of the US began to reject this horrific doctrine. Margaretta D’Arcy maybe old, but in rejecting the doctrine of perpetual war, she is more in tune with the future than the Irish Government,  that now, according to its aviation policy seeks “additional military flights” through Shannon.

The RedC poll commissioned by our Irish colleagues in Peace and Neutrality Alliance showed that 78% of the Irish people supported neutrality (see and rejected any participation by Ireland in the wars of aggression being pursued by NATO/EU today.

In close international solidarity, the ICC strongly condemns the imprisonment of our colleague, Margaretta D’Arcy, salutes her bravery and steadfastness in the cause of world peace and demands her immediate release forthwith.

ICC and all our international affiliates world-wide, send warm greetings to Margaretta D’Arcy and assure her of our constant support and actions on her behalf.


In Ireland weekly demonstrations have been held outside the Irish Parliament,

Dáil Éireann and Limerick Prison where Ms D'Arcy is being held:

Protest outside Limerick Prison
Protest at Irish Dept of Justice, 27.01.14
Protest outside Irish Parliament, Dáil Éireann.
Women members of the Irish Parliament, Dáil Éireann,stage a yellow ribbon protest at the gates of the Parliament against the jailing of Margaretta D'Arcy. (L to R: Joan Collins United Left, Mary Lou McDonald, Deputy Leader, Sinn Fein, Clare Daly, Ind. Socialist, Catherine Murphy, Ind. Labour).

The shameful collaboration of the Irish government since 2001 with the Warmongers of Washington has been exposed as never before by Margaretta D'Arcy's principled stand against militarism and war.
The  current Irish Government, despite promises made when they took office in 2011 to enforce International Law at Shannon Airport, have reneged on that promise and have even declared that more military flights at the Airport would be welcomed by them. They ignore recent poll findings that 78% of Irish people support neutrality of the Irish State and reject any participation by Ireland in the criminal wars being waged by the USA/EU/NATO in several countries.