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Plane spent €4,000 on fuel after alleged Shannon Airport shutdown by 82-year-old ex US serviceman

Two men were charged with trespass at Shannon airport and criminal damage last March.

AN ALLEGED INCURSION at Shannon airport by an 82-year-old ex-US Marine and another ex-US serviceman shut down the airport for 45 minutes and resulted in delayed aircraft circling above the airport spending €4,000 on fuel.

That was the allegation made at Ennis District Court today by Garda Noel Carroll as he outlined the State case against Ken Mayers (82) Monte Alto Rd, Santa Fe, New Mexico and Tarak Kauff (77) of Arnold Drive, Woodstock, New York.

The two men are charged with trespass at Shannon airport and criminal damage of the airport fence on 17 March last year. 

In his outline of the facts, Garda Carroll said three flights were delayed as a result of the alleged incursion and the spend on fuel by the airlines came to €4,000.

Garda Carroll said that the two men were intercepted at ‘Taxiway 12’ on their way to inspect a US military aircraft after 10am on 17 March. 

Garda Carroll said that the cost of the alleged damage to the fence comes to €2,500 and he said that gardaí have linked DNA evidence on equipment found at the hole in the fence to the two accused.

Garda Carroll said a cutter was recovered from the scene at the perimeter fence.

Garda Carroll said that the two men are involved in an organisation called ‘Veterans for Peace’.

The two men arrived here on 13 March and had booked tickets to return to the US on March 20th.

However, the two were detained for 13 days on remand in custody at Limerick prison after they were initially refused bail following Garda objections to bail in March.

The two now are on bail and Judge Patrick Durcan today declined jurisdiction after hearing an outline of the facts.

As a result, the two face much more serious criminal sanctions if convicted in the circuit court.

In the district court, criminal damage carries a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and in the circuit court, those convicted of criminal damage face a prison term of up of 10 years in jail.

Judge Durcan said that taking account the mens’ age that the Director of the Public Prosecution (DPP) should make all efforts to have the Book of Evidence ready in the case for 19 June next.

Judge Durcan remanded the two on continuing bail to re-appear before Ennis District Court on that date.

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Gordon Deegan

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