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Covid-19 breaches by US Military show lack of regard for Irish laws - Senator Paul Gavan

16 February, 2021 - by Paul Gavan

Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has condemned repeated breaches of Covid-19 Regulations by US military personnel travelling into and out of Shannon Airport.

Senator Gavan pointed to three recent breaches of regulations highlighted by the Shannonwatch campaign group, on the 25thJanuary, 28thJanuary and 3rdFebruary. 

On each occasion there were no PCR tests presented by military personnel as they entered the airport. On each occasion the same military personnel stayed in overnight accommodation in either Limerick or Shannon. On each occasion there is no reference to military personnel being required to complete passenger location forms.

Commenting on the revelations, Senator Gavan said: 

“A week after the first event, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney received assurances that there would be no repeat of these breaches. In fact there had already been two repeat incidents. 

“The fact that US military personnel were brought from Shannon to Limerick City in the first incident and were not instructed to stay in the hotel is particularly concerning. It also begs the questions of how did they travel to Limerick and what precautions were in place for those driving them?

“This shows callous disregard for our rules around Covid-19, but it is frankly not at all surprising. US Military have had the freedom to do what they like in Shannon for years now in fragrant violation of our neutrality. Over the last two decades they have used Shannon as a base for their wars across Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. 

“It also begs the question as to what other breaches of regulations have been happening under our noses in Shannon. These serious and repeated breaches of Covid-19 regulations by hundreds of US Military personnel are further reason for our government to restore our neutrality and bring an end to their use of Shannon Airport.”

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