Donohoe defends use of Shannon Airport by US troops

Donohoe defends use of Shannon Airport by US troops

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe has defended the use of Shannon Airport by US troops in the wake of the Nice attack writes Irish Examiner political reporter Elaine Loughlin.

Mr Donohoe said that a careful response is needed to terrorism such as Thursday’s attack which killed 84 people in Nice.

Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove a lorry through crowds who had gathered Promenade des Anglais to celebrate Bastille before he was shot dead by police.

Mr Donohoe said The Tánaiste, Frances Fitzgerald met the Garda Commissioner on Friday and added that the Gardai are well prepared to tackle and prevent such attacks here.

“It’s so important now that the response back from all of us isn’t a cycle that can harden the worst impulses and lock us into a cycle where this happens again and again,” he told RTE’s The Week in Politics programme.

“The kind of terror that we are now facing is the everyday, the truck, the car, something that is part of our everyday life.”

However, AAA-PBP TD Clare Daly said the continued use of Shannon Airport by US troops means we are also a terrorism target.

“I do think our culpability by allowing US military on an almost twice daily basis to transit military hardware, it’s soldiers across the Middle East to wreck destruction in those areas, does make us complicit in those actions, does make us complicit in the destabilisation of the Middle East.

“And in that sense we would be a target as well,” she said.

But Mr Donohoe: “We have always been very clear and successful governments have been very clear on the importance of our neutrality and that that Shannon Airport and its use is not in any way incompatible with that.”

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