Bush’s war opposed
Bush’s war opposed

Protests against the war in Iraq are underway across Ireland ahead of the arrival of US President George Bush to County Clare this evening.

Air Force One is due to arrive into Shannon Airport within hours amid extraordinary security in the area.

Last night, President George Bush praised Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern for supporting the war.

In an interview last night, Mr Bush said that when he arrived in Ireland this evening “I can turn to my friend Bertie Ahern and say thank you, thanks for helping and I appreciate it very much.”

President Bush will travel tonight to Dromoland Castle Hotel, where he will be greeted by the Taoiseach.

Some 4,000 gardai and 2,000 troops have been deployed around Shannon Airport and Dromoland Castle, where Mr Bush will be staying.

A range of military equipment and vehicles including Scorpion tanks have helped to sealed off an area 10 miles wide around the airport and hotel.

Despite calls for an incident-free day, peace campaigners have already been arrested.

Prominent peace campaigner Ed Horgan was one of three people arrested today in Shannon today.

Yesterday afternoon gardai stopped and searched a number of protesters who had travelled from Limerick to establish a peace camp.

Horgan had remonstrated with the gardai about the searches, which he said were heavy-handed and part of a general policy aimed at discouraging protesters.

Meanwhile, a symbolic citizen’s arrest warrant for Mr Bush was drawn up by the Irish Green Party today ahead of his impending visit.

Party leader Mr Trevor Sargent said the US military and current administration were responsible for violating international law, as he made a final call on people to come out and protest.

Mr Sargent said: “I do think it is probably more important that Irish Americans in America who have a vote would make the point based on or reflecting the opinion that is now being expressed in Ireland.

“So whether directly this message gets to George Bush or whether it gets to Irish Americans. It is important to demonstrate so George Bush gets the feeling one way or another.”

An anti-war campaigner failed to secure a formal arrest warrant in the Dublin District Court today.

The ‘Stop Bush’ campaign, which will gather at barriers outside Dromoland Castle tomorrow before moving on to Shannon Airport, has been supported by political parties in both parts of Ireland.

Aengus O Snodaigh TD, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on international affairs, has called on people to come out in large numbers to protest against the US occupation of Iraq.

Although Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has said he personally will not be protesting, Aengus O Snodaigh TD, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on international affairs, has called on people to come out in large numbers.

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