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Dublin: 3 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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349 US planes with war munitions allowed to land at Shannon. Zero were refused

However, thirteen overflights were refused due to the nature of their cargo.

File photo of a cargo plane being loaded.
File photo of a cargo plane being loaded.
Image: cargo plane via Shutterstock

ALL UNITED STATES civilian aircraft carrying war munitions that sought to land at Shannon Airport were granted permission to do so last year.

Almost 350 flights applied for permission to land at the airport in 2013, while 321 asked for “overflights”.

This involves flying through Irish airspace but not landing at any airport.

However, 13 of these applications were refused “on the basis of the nature of the cargo”.

The figures were revealed by Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar in a Dáil question from Independent TD Mick Wallace.

Minister of State for European Affairs Paschal Donohoe also discussed an incident in October 2013 where an armed US plane with a fixed weapon landed at Shannon.

He said the was matter was viewed by government with “utmost” concern, and that it was raised “at the highest possible level with the US Embassy”.

“The Embassy official expressed regret at this isolated incident,” he said, “explained that it was due to an administrative error and provided assurances that steps have been taken by the US authorities to ensure that there is no recurrence.”

Wallace has previously written about this incident on his website, suggesting that “this is surely not the first time that a US combat aircraft has made use of the facilities at Shannon”.

He said that the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs must give the public “some measure of reassurance” that “Ireland is not collaborating with controversial wars against some of the poorest nations on the planet”.

Previously: Armed US plane landed at Shannon ‘in error’ >

“If that’s the way the cookie crumbles”: Margaretta D’Arcy says she’ll go back to prison if she has to >

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Nicky Ryan

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