Monday, March 24, 2014

Shannon Protester released from Dublin Prison:

Margaretta D'Arcy with friends and supporters after her release from prison, 22 March 2014


Margaretta D'Arcy (79), the veteran Irish peace campaigner was finally released from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin last Saturday, 22 March 2014, at 10.30am after serving 9 weeks of a three months sentence imposed by Judge Durcan at Ennis Courthouse, Co Clare last January. Ms D'Arcy, not for the first time had gained access to the runway at Shannon Airport to protest against the criminal misuse of the airport by the US Military in their global warfare and state terror campaigns against various countries since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

At a News Conference in Buswell's Hotel, Dublin, Saturday, March 22, 2014, immediately following her release from Mountjoy Prison, Ms  D'Arcy, discussed her nine weeks in both Limerick and Mountjoy Prisons and the reasons for her arrest.

Ms D'Arcy continues to refute the charge that she and her co-defendant, Niall Farrell, were interfering with the 'proper use' of Shannon Airport by going onto the runway in October 2012 and again in September 2013 (for which a second trial is pending). They were in fact highlighting the 'improper use' of Shannon Airport by the US military, who have colonised an Irish airport.  Since 2003, over 2 million US soldiers and their weapons and thousands of US military aircraft and cargo planes have transited Shannon Airport on their way to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere. The Government of neutral Ireland has 'improperly' facilitated these movements of troops and weaponry - which could easily have included killer drones and depleted uranium - through Shannon, and failed to inspect any of these military cargos. They've also never inspected any of the CIA planes implicated in illegal rendition flights.

"It is a fact", stated Ms D'Arcy, "that illegal 'extraordinary rendition' CIA teams travelled via Shannon en route to kidnap individuals and transfer them to torture venues. This is in contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention against Torture.  Our Government has turned a blind eye. They are complicit in these crimes."

"President Michael D Higgins has called on Irish citizens to have 'conversations' in public places as part of active citizenship. I have sat on a runway, had a court hearing and gone to prison in an attempt to have this 'conversation'."

"I am facing another trial in exactly three months' time. I hope to continue this conversation/dialogue with the Irish people and our Government and judiciary, and to highlight what we have sacrificed as Irish and world citizens by allowing this colonising of our airport for illegal and immoral purposes."

Ms D'Arcy added: "I will also be highlighting the conditions in our prisons, which I have unfortunately been able to experience in both Limerick and Dublin."

Later on Saturday night, Margaretta appeared on Irish Television’s (RTÉ) main TV show

In which she discussed her political stance for peace and the camaraderie she built up with the other female prisoners she met inside and the conditions they face on a daily basis and received a rousing ovation from the studio audience.

This was the first occasion on which a leading peace activist like Margaretta gained access to a mainstream programme for an extended interview on Irish public television, which for years has suppressed news of the criminal activity by the US Military at Shannon Airport and the Irish Government’s shameful collaboration with the same.

Protest against Margaretta D'Arcy's imprisonment  outside Mountjoy while she  was detained there.

Protests will continue at Shannon Airport every month while the activity of the US Military is allowed by the Irish government in breach of international law and Irish Neutrality.

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