Anti-war protest for Shannon air spectacular

Anti-war activists from around the country are set to descend on Shannon today as the airport celebrates a milestone with a spectacular air display.

Anti-war protest for Shannon air spectacular

The event, the first at Shannon for 25 years, will mark the 70th anniversary of the first commercial transatlantic flight and is expected to attract as many as 40,000 spectators.

Groups opposed to the continued use of the airport by the US military have said its recent history is not one of which it should be proud.

They say they will stage a peaceful protest aimed at “reminding people of the airport’s support for war and its dreadful consequences for millions of people”.

Shannonwatch will lead the protest and be joined by members of Afri, the Peace and Neutrality Alliance, the Irish Anti War Movement, and Galway Alliance Against War. Together the groups have called for an end to the US military use of Shannon.

John Lannon of Shannonwatch said: “It is fitting to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first commercial transatlantic flight from Shannon Airport and to acknowledge its important role in aviation in Ireland.”

However, he criticised the use of the airport by the US during its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Among the many aircraft that will be on display on Sunday will be the Norwegian air force’s historical squad, which will bring the Mig-15 over for its first ever visit to Shannon.

Edward Horgan, a member of Shannonwatch and the Irish Anti War Movement, said: “Instead of presenting fighter jets as fun and entertainment, we should be talking about the consequences of their use. These planes are designed to drop bombs that kill people.”

Security is expected to be tight around the airport today while a special fenced area has been constructed to facilitate spectators.

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