Press Release, 24th January 2013
The justice and Peace organisation Afri today expressed revulsion at comments made by the head of the Shannon Airport Authority, Rose Hynes, to an Oireachtas committee yesterday. When asked about Shannon’s reliance on military traffic, Ms. Hynes replied: “Military traffic has been in the DNA of Shannon for many years. It is something that is important, it’s lucrative and we are certainly going to go after it as much as possible.”
Afri coordinator Joe Murray condemned Ms Hynes’ failure to take any account of the moral and ethical challenges such ‘lucrative’ business poses. He cited evidence from Amnesty International showing 50 landings at Shannon of aircraft involved in rendition/torture up until 2005, with further such cases since recorded by the NGO Shannonwatch. “Is Ms Hynes saying that collusion with torture is part of Shannon’s DNA?” Mr Murray asked.
Mr Murray also quoted Shannonwatch records showing that, on average, more than 3 U.S. military or military-contracted flights per day go through Shannon Airport, including US troops and their weapons, “Those troops and weapon have been going to Iraq for the last ten years”, Mr Murray said, “and at least a million people have been slaughtered in that country over that period; does Ms Hynes believe ‘going after’ this military traffic is worth that price?” Mr Murray also pointed to the deaths of another half a million people in Afghanistan, another war that has been facilitated by Shannon.
“Is this what now makes up the DNA of ‘neutral’ Ireland? Have we reached the stage where supporting and enabling war, helping inflict massive suffering on many innocent people, is acceptable in the name of a ‘lucrative’ business opportunity?”, Mr Murray concluded.