At a hearing at Ennis Circuit Court in early Nov. the Judge agreed to transfer the cases of the two US Vets (Tarak Kauff  and Ken Mayers  )from Ennis Circuit Court to Dublin Circuit court, where they will now have a much better chance of getting a fair trial by a Dublin jury. This also meant that they could go back again to the High Court with a bail appeal application, so that they would be allowed return to the USA pending their trials which could be two or more years away. This application was heard on 27th Nov. in Cloverhill High Court, Dublin. Having heard submissions from their legal team and Barrister the High Court Judge granted the application, initially insisting they would have to return for all hearings of their Circuit Court trials but after further submissions on their behalf amended this to a condition that their presence would only be required if deemed necessary by the Circuit Court. A condition of bail was that they had to stay away from all Irish airports. This was amended to allow them to access Dublin Airport to travel home. Their passports were returned to them by their solicitor Michael Finucane. Both men expressed relief that they would be returning home, reiterated their commitment to Irish Neutrality and their return for trial and gave much thanks to all who supported them during their enforced stay in Ireland.
They have in fact being held unnecessarily in Ireland since they entered on the tarmac at Shannon Airport last St. Patrick’s Day to attempt an inspection of US military planes transiting munitions and men to the Middle East. They employed their enforced stay to further their campaign in support of Irish Neutrality and against the use of Shannon Airport by the US military. They attended many meetings, held protests outside Dáil Éireann and on motorway bridges. They undertook two ‘Boots on the Ground for Freedom’ walks, campaigning to be allowed to return to the US before their trial. One was from Shannon/Ennis up through the West of Ireland to the most northerly part of Ireland, Malin Head in Donegal. The other was up the East Coast from Dún Laoighre/Dublin to the Border. They launched their own postcard ‘Let Them Home for Christmas’. It would certainly seem that their campaigning and the lobbying of of many supporters including PANA( Peace and Neutrality Alliance) and its affiliates, like the Celtic League, assisted in achieving the positive result of their High Court Appeal with the DPP withdrawing objections to the return of their passports.
Heartfelt thanks must go to all who supported them with lodgings, money and other aid on their walks. This is particularly true of Edward Horgan (Shannon Watch and International Secretary of PANA) who organised bail after their initial weeks in gaol and arranged accommodation and ongoing assistance. He mentioned the very positive support for them and their aims from the general public ranging from donations, buying them meals and taxi drivers refusing payment but giving them money instead! We now hope for a positive outcome at their trial.
Photo: Outside the High Court – with the passports ! Ken Mayers, Ed Horgan (ShannonWatch and PANA), Tarak Kauff.
Posted by Cathal Ó Luain, Convenor Celtic League (30th November 2019)