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Gardaí must be allowed to inspect US Military planes at Shannon – Ó Snodaigh

28 May, 2008

Sinn Féin International Affairs Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called for an end to the use of Shannon airport and short of that for the Government to ensure that all US military and CIA-related planes passing through Shannon Airport are inspected to ensure that rendition flights are not passing through Ireland.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh was speaking today as the annual report from Amnesty International was published and once again was heavily critical of Ireland's failure to put in place safeguards against rendition.

He said, "The Government continues to accept assurances from the US Administration that rendition flights are not passing through Ireland even though the evidence suggests otherwise. However these are the very same assurances which the British Government accepted before being forced to admit that a rendition flight had actually passed through Britain.

"Therefore the assurances given to the Irish Government from the US are not worth the paper they are written on and at a minimum inspections must commence. Gardaí must be allowed and must actively board US Military and CIA-related planes as they land in Shannon in order to ensure that planes being used for illegal rendition are not passing through Ireland.

"Ultimately the use of Shannon airport should be witheld from US military and intelligence agency flights given the denial of human rights and practices of torture which that administration engages in. Their use of Shannon Airport for their war efforts and to facilitate their rendition programme, whether their victims remain on the plane in Irish airspace or not, is a complete compromise of our neutrality, it is illegal and it is absolutely unacceptable." ENDS

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