PEACE ACTIVIST MARGARETTA D’Arcy has been given a release date of 22 March by prison authorities.
D’Arcy was sentenced to three months in prison for refusing to stay out of unauthorised zones at Shannon Airport during protests against the use of the airport by US military planes. Last month she was moved from Limerick Prison to the Dóchas Centre at Mountjoy Prison in Dublin.
The activist has been undergoing treatment for cancer and supporters expressed concern when she was first jailed about how her healthcare would be managed.
Yesterday, the 79-year-old campaigner appeared before Ennis District Court in relation to a protest on the runway at Shannon Airport in September 2013 and a trial date of 24 June was set.
After the hearing, spokesperson for the Galway Alliance Against War and co-accused in the Shannon protest trial, Niall Farrell said he was “delighted” that D’Arcy will be released soon.
“However, we have to admit that we are not shocked by the actions of the government in imprisoning a seriously ill elderly peace activist,” he said. “We are not shocked because we have witnessed for more than 12 years how consecutive Irish governments have allowed millions of US troops, million of tons of US weaponry to travel freely to war via Shannon airport.”
There has been an active campaign over the last few months for D’Arcy’s release from prison and she received separate visits from President Higgins’ wife Sabina and Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams.