• May 29, 2013



The Celtic League have written to Human Rights Watch to point out that the Irish authorities seem to be disputing the veracity of documents uncovered by the organisation which reveal the involvement of Libya and western intelligence agencies in rendition.

The League had asked Irish authorities to reinvestigate the issue after an aircraft serial number found in the Libya files was found to match an aircraft that had repeatedly used Shannon airport.

The text of the letter to (the London Office) of HRW is set out below:

“Human Rights Watch
(London Office)
Audrey House
16-20 Ely Place
London EC1 6SN


Dear Sir,

For a number of years the Celtic League have pursued with the UK and Irish authorities concerns about the use of airports in both jurisdictions by aircraft involved in rendition.

Both governments have repeatedly denied that there is any evidence to support such allegations.

Following the publication of a number of documents uncovered in Libya by HRW we again raised the issue as there was within these specific identification of an aircraft involved in rendition which had transited via both Prestwick (Scotland) and Shannon (Ireland).

Scottish police eventually responded and although their response was hardly illuminating it did not dispute the veracity of the documentation you had uncovered. (See link):


However the Irish authorities not only continue to be in a state of denial but in recent correspondence from Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, TD they seem to dispute the veracity of the documentation you have uncovered. I attach a copy of their recent response in which they say that the Garda (Irish Police) say that the memo we referred to “purports to be a memo from the US and British
Intelligence to Libyan Intelligence”.

You may wish to confirm to the Irish authorities your understanding of the accuracy of the documents you uncovered. There is no doubt by the way that an aircraft with the same serial as the one referred to in your documentation made several trips via Shannon airport during the period in question.

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”

The text of the letter from the Office of the Minister for Justice is set out below:

“14 March 2013

Dear Mr. Moffatt,

I am directed by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr. Alan Shatter, T.D., to refer further to your correspondence of 9 September 2012 regarding the use of Shannon airport for alleged rendition flights. The delay in
replying is regretted as a report had to be sought from the Garda authorities on the matters raised.

The Garda authorities have now advised that the document you refer to purports to be a memo from the US and British Intelligence to Libyan Intelligence. In the context of the issue raised by you, the Garda authorities advised that there is no specific evidence in the document to support any allegation that the aircraft in question was in any way involved in rendition.

I trust that this clarifies matters for you.

Yours sincerely,

Damian Brennan

Private Secretary to the
Minister for Justice and Equality.”

The Irish government stance is all the more disturbing given that Human Rights Watch is one of the most pre-eminent non-government International human rights bodies.

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information


For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:

General Secretary, Celtic League:


The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

Internet site at:



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