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Gilmore accepts US assurance of no rendition flights through Shannon

Eamon Gilmore says he’ll take the United States’ word that its Air Force did not carry prisoners of war through Shannon.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

EAMON GILMORE has said he has been assured by the United States that it has not used Shannon Airport for rendition flights, despite an American court case appearing to indicate otherwise.

The Tánaiste and foreign affairs minister told party backbencher Joanna Tuffy that he had sought assurances from the United States that it had not used the airport to transfer prisoners between the US and other territories.

In a reply to a series of parliamentary questions from Tuffy, Gilmore said the US had offered an assurance “that no such prisoners had been transferred through Irish territory, nor would they be without our express permission”.

“The Government has no reason to call into question the value of the assurances received at a high level from the US authorities in this matter,” Gilmore said.

Tuffy’s questions had followed the emergence of a legal dispute between two companies in New York, both of them sub-contracted to provide flight services on behalf of the US government and its Air Force.

One of the companies is suing the other for over €600,000, which has already been awarded by the State Supreme Court, in unpaid costs for rendition flights which it claims includes services through Shannon.

“None of the various investigations into allegations of extraordinary rendition, including those carried out by the Council of Europe, have revealed any evidence that rendition through Irish airports has occurred,” Gilmore said.

“Nor is there any new information or allegation linking Irish airports to acts of extraordinary rendition.”

Gilmore is currently in New York attending the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Earlier: US ‘rendition flight’ aircraft flew to Shannon airport >

More: US was willing to leave Shannon – and Ireland wanted them to stay >

Read: Ahern suspected US carried prisoners through Shannon: WikiLeaks >

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Gavan Reilly

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