Dublin: Jury in Shannon War Plane Case Considering Verdict


Three and a half years ago, 5 members of Catholic Worker/Pitstop ploughshares damaged a US warplane stationed at Shannon Airport in Ireland.

Image - Procession to the court on the last day of the trial 

The states first two attempts to prosecute them for criminal damage collapsed as both judges had to disbarr themselves in circumstances which questioned their impartiality

The third trial has just finished with the jury withdrawing to consider its verdict..

In summing up on Friday, council for the defence was reported as saying to the Jury

“Three years later, the events of 2003 have faded. In that year we were in the eighth year of the Celtic Tiger. There was a great fear of going back to the bad times - economically - that we had come through. It became clear in the debate of the time that what the Government was doing (in letting the US military use Shannon) was based on their fear that (US) Companies would get up and go and the economy would regress. The economy was the important factor.
If you disagree with this viewpoint, fair enough; but if you agree, you then begin to understand how we can see 1.5 million people die and take no action to prevent it.

The Germans who stayed silent during the Holocaust were not bad people. The Irish who didn't get angry were not bad people - they were just people who were wrapped up in their own business

When you do something, as the defendants did, you don't know whether or not the effect will gather the force of a tsunami. History has shown that people who go against the grain make a difference.

Rosa Parks got on a bus and set off a chain reaction. Black people were marching all over America. So much so that their feet were sore, but their souls were resting.
[The defendants] are not seduced by the glossy magazine lifestyle. They are imbued with great courage. When they heard that over 500,000 small children had died because of sanctions they reacted. They said ‘No, we are bound to do something about this’.

Their actions were worthwhile if the jurors are now or ever will be

It is an enormous privilege for you to have served on this jury.”

Shannon airport continues to be used to refuel US military planes including planes used to transfer people to Guantenmo.