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Ó Snodaigh expresses concern at photographs of US Troops pictured in Shannon Airport

9 November, 2005

Speaking this evening after learning that An Phoblacht will tomorrow publish photographs of US personnel in full military uniforms in the main lounge of Shannon Airport, Sinn Féin spokesperson on International Affairs Aengus Ó Snodaigh said the Government has “rendered meaningless this states claims to military neutrality.”

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, “It is not long since we passed the milestone of 2000 US military deaths in Iraq.  And while this figure palls into insignificance when compared to the countless deaths that have been suffered by the people of Iraq it nonetheless represents a tragic loss of young lives for a war that was based on a lie.

“It should be remembered that our Government can not absolve itself of their role in this continuing conflict.  They have abused and rendered meaningless this states claims to military neutrality.  The have made a mockery of the Irish people’s proud tradition and desire to play an impartial and constructive role in resolving conflicts around the world.

“Twice in the last two weeks we witnessed, as evidenced by photos given to me and more photos published in today’s An Phoblacht, our continuing complicity in the conflict in Iraq as hundreds of US military personnel in full uniforms mixed with civilians in the main lounge of Shannon Airport.   Never mind the lie that this gives to our pretence of neutrality but it is also in direct contravention of the Defence Act of 1954, which specifically prohibits foreign soldiers from appearing on Irish soil in their uniforms.  It is an absolute disgrace.” ENDS

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