• February 10, 2016


Irish peace activist, artist and playwright Margaretta D’Arcy has urged voters to use the forthcoming Irish general election to question candidates over their position on the use of Shannon airport by the US military.

Ms D’Arcy who is in her eighties and is a member of Aosdána (the Irish artists organisation, said political candidates and politicians “have to be challenged” over Shannon airport’s use for refuelling by US military and CIA-leased aircraft involved in rendition.

Ms D’Arcy, was speaking in Galway last weekend at the publication of her new book, ‘Ireland’s Guantanamo Granny’.

She said the Dáil has “never fully debated the use of Shannon by the US”. Which she insisted breached Article 29 of the Irish Constitution.

The Celtic League was active in opposing rendition and directed complaints to police forces in Ireland and Scotland. At the time there were denials and a feeble investigation of the complaint by Gardai at Shannon However since it has become widely accepted that several airports throughout these Islands were used illegally to render people to states where they suffered torture (links):


Although the US Bush administration assured the Irish government that Shannon had not also been used for rendition flights, carrying prisoners between torture centres, several former justice ministers have since conceded this assurance was impossible to verify.

Margaretta D’Arcy’s opposition was direct and she was jailed twice in 2014 for refusing to sign a commitment to keep away from unauthorised zones at Shannon Airport. She served nine-and-a-half weeks of her first three month sentence, and was released five days early from a second two-week term in the same year.

Shamefully she was imprisoned although she was undergoing treatment for cancer at the time, and was, at one point during he imprisonment, visited (in a private capacity) by close friend Sabina Coyne, the wife of President Michael D Higgins.

Ms Darcy used to her imprisonment over her opposition to the use of Shannon to highlight concerns about the Prison system referring to the conditions experienced by women in Limerick prison who were and are kept like “caged birds”.

Again this is an issue the Celtic League has highlighted over the years focusing on in 2009 specifically on Limerick prison and raising concerns with the CPT. In 2015 the CPT published a criticism of the facility (link):


Ms Darcy’s book can be ordered from this site:



Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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