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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: -1°C
Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

'I did what I thought was right at Shannon Airport,' says Mick Wallace

Clare Daly and Mick Wallace were giving evidence in court today.

Updated 6.50pm

INDEPENDENT TD MICK Wallace will have to wait some time yet to learn if he can have back the rope-ladder he used to scaled the fence at Shannon airport last July.

At Ennis District Court today, Deputy Wallace said: “I’m admitting that I got over the fence to do what I thought was right. I felt as a legislator, I had an obligation to see that Ireland was not breaking international law. I went over the fence to promote peace not war”.

Deputy Wallace told the court that he scaled a fence at Shannon airport to search a US military plane after a government Minister told him to go get the evidence of arms on the planes.

The Wexford deputy said that the government’s story that there was no concrete evidence of arms or munitions on US planes landing at Shannon was something you ‘wouldn’t read in the Beano’.

He said: “On two occasions when former Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter was being finished as being derogatory as he could with me, he told me to go and get the evidence.

He said: “And that is exactly what we went to do when we went over the fence in Shannon – to find their so called concrete evidence.”

Deputy Wallace said: “Under no circumstances were we going to be allowed in and search the planes and the only chance we would have of searching the planes was to get over the fence illegally and search the planes ourselves.

He added: “We went to every measure possible not to put anyone else at risk. We wanted to search the planes. We didn’t want to break the peace. We wanted to keep it.”

Deputy Wallace and colleague Deputy Clare Daly were both appearing concerning their alleged illegal entrance into a restricted area of Shannon airport on 22 July last.

Football enthusiast Wallace told the court that he hasn’t missed a World Cup or European Championship since 1982 and it has always given him great pride to say he is from Ireland at the events.

However, he said that arising from the US military use at Shannon airport “we are not a neutral country. We do not promote peace. It breaks my heart that we promote war.”

Deputy Wallace said that there no transparency or accountability over what is happening at Shannon

He said that we have allowed the US military use Shannon airport “to carry out carnage on a world wide level”.

Deputy Wallace said that “Shannon has been used as a US military base for a long time now”.

He said: “I don’t believe that we broke the law by going over the fence and the Nuremberg principles support that. They state that citizens have an obligation to break domestic law in order to protect justice and humanity.

We felt that it was our obligation to do our utmost to ensure that international law is upheld. The fact that we are legislators put an extra burden of responsibility on us. Even more so than ordinary citizens.

He said: “If Shannon airport was operated in a transparent and accountable manner, there would be no need to go over the fence. The common thread is secrecy and deception and there is a total lack of honesty in the way the Government deals with the issue.”

On the last day in court, Deputy Wallace asked for his rope ladder back, but that issue will not be addressed until the case is finalised which could be next month or later in the year.

In her evidence, Deputy Wallace’s co-accused, Deputy Clare Daly said that she had no choice but to highlight the use of Shannon by the US military when she scaled a fence at the airport in July last.

Deputy Daly told the court that Shannon is a key cog in the US military machine.

In evidence, Deputy Daly said that she had a responsibility to highlight the use of Shannon stating that over two million US troops trained to kill or half the population of Ireland has gone through the airport to fight US wars.

In evidence, Deputy Daly admitted that she did go over the fence and was airside without permission.

Earlier in evidence, anti-war activist, Margaretta D’Arcy said that the court supports the status duo stating “this is not a court that supports justice”.

She said that ‘hear no evil, see no evil’ dominates the mindset in Ireland in relation to the use of Shannon by the US military.

Judge Patrick Durcan adjourned the case to 15 April for mention.

Originally published 4.08pm

Read: “Can I have my rope ladder back?,” Mick Wallace asks judge in Shannon case>