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TDs and Senators visited Shannon Airport today - to see if the US military should still be there

Sinn Féin’s Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said further assurances are needed from the government that Ireland’s neutrality is not being compromised.

Image: Niall Carson

Updated 2.31pm

THE OIREACHTAS PETITIONS Committee was in Shannon Airport today – in response to a petition calling for a complete US military withdrawal from the Clare airport.

The delegation met with representatives from the Shannon Airport Authority, the local Gardaí and Shannonwatch.

The visit to Shannon follows a petition and presentation to the Committee in June by Dr Edward Horgan, Margaretta D’Arcy and Dr John Lannon of the Shannonwatch organisation.

Horgan told TheJournal.ie that the organisation was “quite concerned” over the use of Shannon.

“I drafted the petition because there are some people who are quite concerned about what’s happening in Shannon, particularly with what’s happening in Syria and Iraq.

There Serious concerns about refuelling and the movement of troops through Shannon.

“The petition calls for the complete removal of US military and aircraft and the restoration of Irish neutrality.

“Ireland as a people are not involved in killing innocent people. We’re concerned about the number of innocent children being killed in the bombing in Syria.”

Following the meeting, RTÉ reported that Chairman of the Committee, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said further assurances are needed from the government that Ireland’s neutrality is not being compromised.

The Sinn Féin TD also said it was important for Irish people to know that any licence granted to either military or civilian aircraft landing in Shannon or elsewhere would not impinge on the country’s neutrality.

He had pointed out yesterday that petitioners have made serious claims that complaints or requests made to gardaí at Shannon have not been followed up and the meeting would be a good opportunity to assess this.

While at the airport, the delegation, met with directors at the airport and members of the gardaí, as well as a meeting with Shannonwatch.

- With additional reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

First published 1.16pm

Read: Poll: Would you support the use of Irish airports for attacks on Islamic State militants?

Read: PHOTOS: Mick Wallace and Clare Daly are arrested at Shannon Airport

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