Court remands six over Shannon protests

Six people facing charges in connection with anti-war protests at Shannon airport were remanded on continuing bail in court at nearby Ennis, Co Clare today.

Six people facing charges in connection with anti-war protests at Shannon airport were remanded on continuing bail in court at nearby Ennis, Co Clare today.

District Court Judge Joseph Mangan said five of the accused group would be dealt with at two separate court sittings on still-to-be-fixed dates.

Demonstrations have been staged at Shannon over a period of months because of the use of the airport by American military aircraft during the build up to possible war in Iraq.

One result of the protests has been the withdrawal from the use of Shannon by three United States airlines who have been flying troops to the Middle East. Also, security in and around the airport has been intensified by the Government.

Five of the activists are accused of causing criminal damage to a US navy aircraft on February 3.

Garda Inspector Tom Kennedy told the court the exact scale of the damage to the aircraft had still to be determined.

Four of the five, Damien Moran 22, Deirdre Clancy, 32, Nuin Dunlop, 31, and Karen Fallon, 30, have chosen to stay in custody for more than four weeks despite securing consent to bail.

A fifth accused, 42-year-old Ciaran O’Reilly, is the only one to have opted for his release from custody.

All have also been ordered to stay out of Co Clare and not to go within a half a mile of the US Embassy in Dublin.

The sixth member of the group, Mary Kelly, who gave her address as The Peace Camp at Shannon, has been charged with causing €500,000 worth of damage to the same plane on January 29. She was remanded on continuing bail to March 21, and a decision has still to be taken about how to proceed with her case.

She had also been directed by the court to stay out of Co Clare as a condition of her bail, but that condition was today modified so she could visit the airport in the company of her solicitor to see the circumstances of the alleged offence.

:: Protest demonstrations will be staged by anti-war campaigners at 15 locations throughout the Ireland tomorrow to mark International Women’s Day.

Two of the protests will be in Dublin, outside the headquarters of the Irish parliament, and outside the US Embassy.

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