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The three protesters at Shannon Airport GPSC
Land Day

Three pro-Palestine activists arrested trying to block US military planes at Shannon Airport

All three have since been charged and are expected to appear at Nenagh District Court this evening at 5pm.

THREE PRO-PALESTINE ACTIVISTS have been arrested by gardaí while attempting to block US military planes at Shannon Airport in Co Clare. 

The Galway Palestine Solidarity Campaign (GPSC) said two of its members were among those detained when they approached the planes holding a Palestinian flag and a banner that said: ‘US military out of Shannon.’

Gardaí told The Journal they had arrested three individuals for public order offences at the airport this morning. 

“Two women, both aged in their 30s, and a man, aged in his 20s, were detained in a Garda Station in Co Clare,” a Garda spokesperson said.

GPSC has confirmed to The Journal that the group’s co-chair, Áine Ní Threinír and co-treasurer Aindriú de Buitléir were among the group. The third person, Eimear Walshe, is not a member of the GPSC. 

“There were two aircraft from the US military there this morning,” Rania Muhareb of the GPSC said. 

“One of them had just come back from Lebanon, Cyprus and Egypt in the last two days, according to our information. And so they were protesting that as part of the Palestine solidarity movement, but also in line with a long tradition of Irish anti-war activism at Shannon,” she said. 

All three activists have since been charged and are expected to appear at Nenagh District Court this evening at 5pm.

WhatsApp Image 2024-03-30 at 13.22.40 (1) The three protesters approaching a US plane at the airport. GPSC GPSC

GPSC has demanded the activists’ immediate release and urged people to gather outside Shannon Garda Station to hold a demonstration. 

The US military has used Shannon Airport as a stopover for planes travelling to and from places like Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002. 

The three activists were protesting against this ongoing use of the airport, particularly in the context of US military support for Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza.

“The countries that have been most outspoken, like Ireland, what have they done in practice? Nothing. And this is shameful. It is disgraceful,” the GPSC said. 

“On Land Day, Palestinians are urging the global solidarity movement to escalate ‘strategic and effective direct actions’ with material effect on governments to end complicity in Israel’s genocide.”

Land Day is an annual commemoration of a protest held against Israeli plans to expropriate Palestinian land in 1976, during which six people were killed and more than 100 were injured. 

“We refuse to be complicit in genocide,” the statement said.

“We demand that the Irish government immediately sanction and impose an arms embargo on Israel. Ireland must not allow US weapons to be sent through its airspace and must definitively end the US military’s use of Shannon Airport.”