Mick Wallace The #US and #EU are increasingly using #sanctions as a weapon against countries that don't bow to their financial i… https://t.co/qMbVI1XYfc
Mick Wallace How bad that the #EU of the so called 'European Values' has supported this Terrorism against the people of #Syriahttps://t.co/wRXMSubfYi
Mick Wallace Western Colonialism never really stopped, it just got a make over - It's now called 'Financial Imperialism'. Are we… https://t.co/KoMpQ69bBw
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: Would mean something for Irish people and the notion of 'Irish Neutrality' if Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs @simoncov

Dáil Diary no 15.  20th February 2015

Minister Coveney links sale of Beef  to US Military use of Shannon…

This coming Tuesday, Feb 24th, myself and Clare Daly will be in Court in Ennis, as the DPP decided to press charges following our arrest at Shannon Airport when we tried to inspect two US Military Planes. Successive Irish Governments have refused to uphold International Law and have allowed the US to use Shannon airport as a Military Base – a stop off point on the way to illegal wars in the Middle East and beyond, where hundreds of thousands of innocent people have been killed. Right now, the reality is that we are 100% supportive of the US military illegally occupying sovereign states and committing war crimes. Our complicity in this untold misery and destruction reflects a serious level of moral bankruptcy on our part. It was interesting that Minister Coveney linked the sale of Beef to the US with our complicity in US Military war crimes. This is at the heart of the problem - If they keep the business coming, we don’t mind them using Shannon to do whatever they like, wherever they like. It’s called moral bankruptcy.

Here’s my Dáil contribution with Defence Minister Simon Coveney on Wednesday-

According to the programme for Government, the Government "will enforce the prohibition on the use of Irish airspace, airports and related facilities for purposes not in line with the dictates of international law". The Government is using the Defence Forces at Shannon Airport to protect aeroplanes that it refuses to inspect. In light of the programme for Government, does the Government have a mandate to allow the aeroplanes through without inspecting them? Last week, a Minister told the House that he did not have a mandate to pass the fatal foetal abnormalities Bill. I do not believe that the Government has a mandate to allow those aeroplanes through, given the commitment in the programme for Government…

… I am at a loss to understand why aircraft are not being searched. The Middle East is in complete turmoil. There is no doubt that there are aircraft leaving America, landing at Shannon Airport and proceeding to war fronts. This is in breach of international law. Leaving aside the lack of searches, are checks made to see where these aircraft propose to land? The number of excuses for the lack of searches continues to grow. The latest excuse is that the current arrangement has been in place for more than 50 years. That is not true. Up until 1999 all such aircraft did not carry weapons or munitions but troops returning to their depots in Germany or home on holidays. Now, they are going to war fronts and carrying munitions. The excuse of diplomatic immunity has also been used. Diplomats, not soldiers and munitions, have diplomatic immunity.

Deputy Simon Coveney:  I will update the Deputy on the facts as I understand them. I understand from my colleague, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, that arrangements under which permission is granted for foreign military aircraft to land at Irish airports are governed by strict conditions. They include stipulations that the aircraft must be unarmed and carry no arms, ammunition or explosives and must not engage in intelligence gathering. The aircraft in question must also not form part of military exercises or operations. Requests to permit the landing of military aircraft are considered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on the basis of these conditions. It is the normal diplomatic practice of the Department to accept the assurances of the foreign government concerned that legislative and policy requirements have been met. The Deputy's suggestion that aircraft are carrying arms through Shannon Airport is not consistent with the policy I have outlined.

Mick Wallace:  If a check point is set up by the Garda and a car is stopped because it is suspected that the occupants might be carrying drugs, gardaí ask for an assurance that they do not have drugs in the boot of the car and, having received that assurance, allow them to proceed without checking the boot, which is what is happening in the case of military aircraft landing at Shannon Airport. There is no logic to not searching them. We know that diplomatic assurances from the United States are not worth the paper on which they are written.

Simon Coveney:  How do we know that?

Mick Wallace:  They have been found out. The leaks by Mr. Snowden and Chelsea Manning revealed that the United States had been telling lies for a long period about its foreign policy. Shannon Airport was being used to facilitate the torture of prisoners and we are not even prepared to investigate the matter. When an aeroplane from Ireland carrying the former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern travelled to the United States, it was checked, yet we continue not to check US aircraft. Will the Minister give one good reason we should not search these aircraft? We will be appearing before the court in Ennis next Tuesday, in relation to our attempt to search Military planes at Shannon. A number of people who have seen guns on aircraft have been subpoenaed to appear in court. There are munitions on such aircraft and it is ridiculous to pretend otherwise.

Deputy Simon Coveney:  There is what is called trust.

Mick Wallace:  They have blown it.”

Deputy Simon Coveney: I will give the Deputy an example of trust in the other direction. As of last week, we are exporting Irish beef to the United States. We approve beef factories that meet the standards required to sell meat to the United States. This is the result of an arrangement between two friendly sovereign countries…

Mick Wallace.

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