Jury sequestered in Shannon trial

The jury in the trial of five anti-war protesters accused of criminally damaging a US aeroplane at Shannon Airport was sent to an hotel last night following four hours of deliberations without reaching a verdict.

The jury in the trial of five anti-war protesters accused of criminally damaging a US aeroplane at Shannon Airport was sent to an hotel last night following four hours of deliberations without reaching a verdict.

It is expected to resume deliberations tomorrow at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The five accused have pleaded not guilty to two counts each of causing damage without lawful excuse to a naval plane, property of the United States government and to glass door panels, property of Aer Rianta at Shannon Airport, Clare on February 3, 2003.

They are Ciaran O’Reilly (aged 46), an Australian national, Nuin Dunlop (aged 34), a US citizen and counsellor, Damien Moran (aged 26), Karen Fallon (aged 35), a Scottish marine biologist, all of Rialto Cottages, Rialto; and Deirdre Clancy (aged 36), a copy editor of Alverno Apartments, Clontarf.

The jury has been told that a lone garda was on duty in the hangar at 3.45am when five people came running in carrying hammers and an axe or mattock.

Evidence was given that they were shouting "some words of God" and went to the front, side and rear of the aircraft using the items to hit the plane. They then knelt in a circle and prayed until gardaí arrived to arrest them.

Copies of the Bible and Koran, Rosary and Islamic prayer beads, candles, flowers, St Bridget’s crosses and photographs of distressed children were among the items found at the scene in the form of a shrine at the doors to the hangar.

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