Nearly €10 million has been expended in just three years protecting US troops who have transited Shannon Airport on their way to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Irish Department of Justice figures say the cost of providing garda security at the airport was €8.6million between 2006 and 2008. In addition the cost of military patrols, undertaken by the Defence Forces, around the airport perimeter comes to almost €1million.
A quarter of a million US troops passed through the airport in 2009 alone bringing the total of troops in transit since 2006 to more than 1 million
The situation has been condemned by Caoimhghín O Caoláin of Sinn fein who described the expenditure as a “disgraceful situation” and called for the matter to be debated should in the Dáil.
He also said the use of Shannon was “totally and absolutely opposed by the overwhelming majority of Irish people who do not accept the legitimacy of the war in Afghanistan”
Meanwhile the Peace and Neutrality Alliance Roger Cole has vowed continuing opposition to the use of Shannon by the US military in 2010 saying:
“That means continuing our campaign to terminate the use of Shannon Airport as a de facto military airforce base by the US and its allies and to eliminate the military provisions of the European Union. These are practical and achievable objectives.”
A PANA `US ARMY OUT OF SHANNON’ poster can be downloaded at:
Anti-war protesters at Shannon say the US troop movement compromise and undermine Irish neutrality. Meanwhile the Irish government’s response that the missions the US troops are undertaking has an International (UN) mandate has an increasingly hollow ring
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