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Chilcot Inquiry findings further highlight immoral and unjustified use of Shannon Airport for Iraq war

6 July, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Speaking this morning after the findings of the Chilcot Inquiry were made public, Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has said that the findings of the inquiry further highlight the immoral and unjustified use of Shannon Airport for the Iraq war.

“The publishing of the Chilcot Inquiry has raised a lot of questions for Britain and the role of Tony Blair in invading Iraq, but as the fallout of the Report continues it is important that we look at the facilitatory role Ireland played in the Iraq war.

“At the time Fianna Fáil shamelessly backed the war by allowing US troops and ammunition pass through Shannon Airport on their way to and from Iraq. Not only did this contravene our stance as a neutral nation, but it also facilitated death, destruction, and destabilisation in the Middle East.

“With that precedent set, both Fine Gael and Labour, when in government, also allowed Shannon Airport to be used as a US military instillation. 

“Prior to the invasion of Iraq opponents of the war, most notably Jeremy Corbyn, said that it would set off a spiral of conflict, of hate, of misery, of desperation that would fuel the wars, the conflict, the terrorism, the depression and the misery of future generations.

“It is the unfortunate truth that such projections have been proven correct.

“In light of the distinctly fraught nature of international relations combined with the militarisation of Europe and moves by the European Union to create a “European Army”, Ireland needs to reassess its foreign policy, reinforce its neutrality, and stop the use of Shannon Airport by US troops.

“The findings in the Chilcot Inquiry do not exist in isolation for Britain, successive Irish governments should also heed its findings and reflect on how their allowance of the use of Shannon Airport facilitated an illegal war, and how we now more than ever need to put a stop to the transportation of troops and ammunition to war fronts through Ireland.

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