Irish Republican News · March 10, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
War on trial
A group of peace activists known as the Pitstop Ploughshares are currently on trial in Dublin over their efforts to stop US warplanes using Shannon airport in the west of Ireland en route to Iraq.

The following is their statement of faith and an appeal for support.


We come to Shannon Airport to carry out an act of life-affirming disarmament in a place of preparations for slaughter.

Like the railway tracks that ran to the town of Auschwitz, the runway at Shannon has been militarized for service on an assembly line of death. The train tracks at Auschwitz brought people to their deaths, the runway at Shannon brings death to the people. The Irish Government acts in contravention of the Irish Constitution, International Law and divine mandate to service U.S. military aircraft, troop and munition deployments.

The U.S./British war on the Iraqi people, and for Iraqi resources, has been long and varied.The U.S./U.K. military has claimed over 2 million Iraqi lives

* in their financial and military support for the Saddam Hussein regime in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s

* in their hi tech bombing campaign of 1991

* in the 12 years of crippling sanctions imposed on the Iraqi people

* and now their plans to conquer and occupy Iraq

US/UK weapons manufacturers also continue to fuel the daily grind of death and destruction inflicted on the Palestinian people.


We come to Shannon Airport around the Feast of St. Brigid, to disarm and disable the war machine. We hope to begin to take up the runway and ground military aircraft. We hope to be joined in this act of disarmament by those who encounter us. Citizens, police and soldiers wielding hammers brought down the Berlin Wall; we hope all will pitch in to take up this runway and ground planes servicing the war machine. We find this easier to envision than the further slaughter of Iraqi children that U.S. British and Irish governments wish us to consider.

We act inspired by Brigid and Irish traditions of healing and peacemaking. We carry out Christ’s commandment to “love our enemies” by nonviolently resisting the slaughter of their children. We attempt to enflesh the prophesy of Isaiah Ch 2 and Micah Ch 4 “to beat swords into ploughshares”.

We respond to the call of the prophets of Modern America. Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day, who encourages us “to fill the jails with nonviolent resistance to war”; Martin Luther King, who warns us that we are confronted by “a choice between nonviolence and nonexistence”. Fr. Daniel Berrigan, who observes: “We have assumed the name of peacemakers, but we have been, by and large, unwilling to pay any significant price. And because we want peace with half a heart and half a life and will, the war, of course continues, because the waging of war, by its nature is total - but the waging of peace, by our cowardice is partial.”


* Deirdre Clancy (32) is an editor, writer and feminist activist with an interest in faith-based resistance to various structures of social control. She regards war as part of parcel of the system which demeans women; legalizes corruption of many different forms; discriminates against, locks up and labels the so-called “mentally ill”, without questioning the sanity of the military-industrial system in which we are all complicit.

* Karen Fallon (30) is a Glaswegian-Irish peace activist. She is a scientist and a Trident Ploughshares pledger. She has lived at the Faslane Peace Camp for the past two years.

* Damien Moran (22) is from the Irish midlands. He spent three months in Haiti recently doing voluntary development work. A qualified geography and English teacher, he is currently studying theology and anthropology as a seminarian in Dublin.

* Nuin Dunlop (31) is an American of Irish-Scots-East Band Cherokee-Dutch descent. She has been working for several years in community service; in the Catholic Worker, hospital chaplaincy, and with the marginalised. She is a Catholic anarchist. Her activism stems from the belief that the Creator breaths life through everyone: War is the most serious violation of life. Born in the nation with the more weapons of mass destruction than any other, she is moved to respond to the current US-led assaults on life.

* Ciaron O’Reilly (42) is an Irish Australian. He is presently working at a homeless shelter in Dublin and is long time Catholic Worker and nonviolent resister. He was a member of the “ANZUS Ploughshares” which disarmed a B-52 Bomber in upstate New York during the 1991 Gulf War. He was also a member of the “Jabiluka Ploughshares” that disabled uranium mining equipment in the Northern Territory of Australia in 1998.

* (Co-conspirator) Caoimhe Butterly (24) was born in Ireland but spent most of her childhood in Canada and Africa. After finishing school, she moved to the New York Catholic Worker to work with the homeless. She has since spent three years working in refugee communities in Chiapas and Guatemala. For the past year, she has lived and worked as a solidarity activist in Palestine. In November she was shot by the Israeli military.

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© 2005 Irish Republican News