Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Government needs to ensure that no prisoners are being illegally transferred through Shannon

7 January, 2006


Sinn Féin National Chairperson and MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald today said ‘The Irish Government should immediately set out procedures allowing inspections of all planes suspected of being used in the illegal transfer of prisoners from Iraq to detention camps.”  Ms McDonald made her comments after the Department of Transport confirmed that approximately 330,000 US troops passed through the airport in 2005.

It has also emerged that the Council of Europe has backed calls by the Irish Human Rights Commission on the possible irregular transfer of US prisoners via Irish airports.

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"Year upon year the numbers of troops passing through Shannon Airport are on the increase. The latest figures show that some 900 troops are passing through the airport every day. Serious questions must be asked of this government which has shown itself to be compliant in undermining neutrality.


"The confirmation about increasing troop numbers through Shannon comes at a time when the European Union is set to examine allegations that the CIA had established detention camps in European countries to detain and illegally transport prisoners. Such allegations must be investigated thoroughly.

 "A number of human rights groups and a Swedish parliamentary investigation identified the airport as potentially being involved in the transportation of prisoners by the CIA to locations where they may be subjected to torture, inhumane and degrading treatment.

”The Irish Government should immediately set out procedures allowing inspections of all planes suspected of being used in the transportation of prisoners from an illegal war in Iraq.”ENDS

Connect with Sinn Féin