An activist with Ireland’s ‘Raging Grannies’ has said she is willing to go as far as it takes to stop US warplanes landing at Shannon Airport.
The group, made up of activists old enough to be grandmothers, will today confront the Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and urge him to stop letting the US Military use Shannon.
They are gathering at the Department of Transport his lunchtime and are also planning on making a trip to the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Shannon Airport has provided landing and refuelling facilities to the US military since 2002.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, activist Margaretta D'Arcy said Ireland is complicit in the deaths of the millions of people killed in US-waged wars in the years since.
“At the moment, yes we are friends with the Americans – but are we friends with the US military? No, we are not when they cause so much damage,” she said.
“The costs of these wars on the people of the Middle East have become far greater.
“Up to five million people including up to one million children have died. We are complicit with this and it is about time that we stopped it.”
Ms D’Arcy noted that the Green Party’s 2020 election manifesto called for regular random spot checks on all aircraft landing in Shannon.
She said Minister Ryan now needs to follow through on that promise.
“What I hope to achieve is for Eamon Ryan to realise exactly the crimes he is committing against these young soldiers coming from the most disadvantaged sections of American society,” she said.
“They return home mentally and physically traumatised. According to the costs of war project at Brown – over 30,000 young soldiers have committed suicide.
“When we talk about Black Lives Matter, how many of these young soldiers are black? He has got to stop it. The Green Party is meant to be for a green and happy land.”
The 87-year-old has already served prison sentences linked to her opposition to the US Military’s use of Shannon airport – and said she is willing to do so again if necessary.
“I am willing to go as far as I can to make sure that we do not have young soldiers - kids- going through Shannon,” she said.
“As you know, many, many people have seen these young kids in Shannon and do we care about them? Either we care about people or we don’t care about people.”
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Main image shows artist and activist Margaretta D'Arcy walking free from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin, 22-03-2014. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews