US military carry weapons through Shannon, TD claims under privilege

A TD has used Dáil privilege to claim that US military personnel have carried weapons on aircraft travelling through Shannon Airport.

US military carry weapons through Shannon, TD claims under privilege

A TD has used Dáil privilege to claim that US military personnel have carried weapons on aircraft travelling through Shannon Airport.

Sinn Féin's Sean Crowe said the weapons are being carried by service personnel, despite American claims that personnel are always unarmed.

He made the claims during a Dáil debate on Irish neutrality.

Deputy Crowe cited evidence given to the recent trial of TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly, who are accused of unlawfully entering parts of Shannon to inspect American planes.

"Dr Tom Cloonan, a former defence member and security analyst, played a recording during the case that was made on a US military plane in Shannon," he told the Dáil.

"[It] advises US soldiers, and I quote: to leave their weapons on board.

"These planes are guarded by the Irish army and the gardaí, but they've never been given the orders to do even a cursory search of these planes."

In a statement issued after his speech in the Dáil, Crowe said the government was opposed to Irish neutrality – because they refused to back Sinn Féin's bill which would require a referendum to change the constitution to enshrine neutrality.

“Successive Irish Governments have clearly breached Articles on the Hague Convention concerning the actions of neutral countries and undermined Irish neutrality," he said.

"They have sold Irish neutrality piece by piece against the wishes of the people."

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