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Monday 19 December 2016

TDs and Senator claim cluster bombs going through Shannon. True or a misreading.

Update In January 2017 reporter Ken Foxe picked up this query and checked the DTTAS files and checked with Mick Wallace TD and Senator Paul Gavan and while Wallace wouldn't reply, Senator Gavan admitted he misread the documents. This was reported in the Sunday Times and the Irish Sunday Mail on the 29th of January 2017. Mick Wallace claimed cluster bombs transited through Shannon Airport – yet the documents he relied on said the exact opposite.

US cluster bombs twice denied Shannon route Ken Foxe January 29 2017, The Sunday Times. I don't think it was cluster bombs that were refused, but whatever they were, they were refused.

Senator Paul Gavan, Mick Wallace TD and Clare Daly TD needs to retract the claim in the Oireachtas and wherever else they made it.

Mick Wallace TD claims Deaprtment of Transport documents show cluster bombs going through Shannon. Is this true or misreading of the FOI'd documents.

Mick Wallace said in the Dail on the 1st October 2015

Deputy Mick Wallace: Shannonwatch, through freedom of information requests, got the statistics on the planes coming through Shannon Airport last year. There are planes going through the airport from America to Saudi Arabia with all kinds of arms and most likely cluster bombs, which are being used in Yemen.

and Dail on the 20th October 2016
Deputy Mick Wallace: The US has delivered cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, some of them through Shannon Airport, to be used in Yemen.

and Dail on the 2nd of November 2016

Deputy Mick Wallace: On 15 and 16 November 2014, cluster bombs - a brutal instrument of war that Ireland helped to get banned years ago - were given permission to go to our trade partners, Saudi Arabia. The Saudis, supported by the US, have been committing war crimes in Yemen for 19 months, directly targeting civilians using cluster bombs sold to them by the US, some of which passed through Shannon.

and on 4 November 2015 in the Dail,
Deputy Mick Wallace: In November last year we gave permission for two overflights for planes travelling from Dover, Delaware to Saudi Arabia. We found out under a freedom of information request that those planes were carrying class 1 explosives, rockets, liquid fuel and rockets with bursting charges, possibly for the making of cluster bombs which are regarded as illegal. For all we know, because we do not search the planes, there are cluster bombs coming through Shannon. We do not know what is on the military planes coming through Shannon, because we are not allowed ask what is on them because there is supposed to be nothing on them.

How can Ireland continue with this position? How can we say we have a human rights position when we will not even search planes passing through Shannon to check whether they are taking cluster bombs to places like Saudi Arabia?

and 11 November 2015
Deputy Mick Wallace: Under freedom of information, Shannonwatch got details of flights that have come through Shannon and overflights during the past year. On 15 November 2014 and 16 November 2014, explosives and rockets with bursting charges, which are probably cluster bombs, went to Saudi Arabia.

and 24 November 2016

Deputy Mick Wallace: On 20 May 2014, we allowed missile parts to be flown through Ireland on the way to the United Arab Emirates. On 15 and 16 November 2014, cluster bombs, a brutal instrument of war that Ireland helped to get banned years ago, were given permission to go to our trade partner Saudi Arabia.

and Dail on 13th of December 2016,

Deputy Mick Wallace: In November 2014, two planes passed through Shannon Airport coming from Delaware. They were carrying class 1 liquid fuel explosives and rockets and class 1 explosives and rockets with bursting charges. I have heard Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael condemn the Russian use of cluster bombs in Aleppo. I condemn their use as well. Why in God's name are we allowing cluster bombs to go through our airspace to Saudi Arabia? The US is backing the Saudi mission in Yemen, a country in which there is an absolute humanitarian disaster. Cluster bombs going through Ireland are killing innocent people in Yemen on a daily basis. A UNICEF report last week showed that 2.2 million children in Yemen are suffering from malnutrition. There is a child dying every ten minutes as a result of malnutrition, not to mention those being killed by cluster bombs or bombs of another nature. How can we say we are neutral if we are allowing this to happen? I do not understand it.

I presume he was referring to the documents obtained under Freedom of Information by Shannonwatch Freedom of Information Request Reveals Details of Munitions Through Ireland in 2014

Details of all requests for exemption under the Air Navigation (Carriage of Munitions of War, Weapons and Dangerous Goods) Order, 1973, as amended, for the
carriage of weapons and munitions through Irish airports and airspace in 2014

Munitions Permits 2014 shannonwatch.org FOI 23/09/2015.

and these entries,

213 Atlas Air Inc 5Y5239 John F. Kennedy International Airport USA Al Dhafra Air Base, Abu Dhabi UAE 20/05/2014 Guided missile parts Exemption Issued? NO

539 Atlas Air Inc 5Y8272 Dover AFB, Delaware USA Ta'if Saudi Arabia 15/11/2014 Class 1 Explosives, Rockets, Liquid Fueled Exemption Issued? NO
540 Atlas Air Inc 5Y8270 Dover AFB, Delaware USA Ta'if Saudi Arabia 16/11/2014 Class 1 Explosives, Rockets with Bursting Charges Exemption Issued? NO

does that not mean they were refused passage!

Is Mick Wallace misreading the docs or am I?

I emailed him on November the 9th 2016 but I can't get reply from him.

I contacted Shannonwatch to check the agreed with my interpreation of the FOIs documents which they did and I asked them to ask Mick Wallace about it, but Mick Wallace continued to use the mistaken claims in the Dail.

ps Senator Paul Gavan has also been repeating these claims in the Seanad,
Senator Paul Gavan: We helped to bring cluster bombs - imagine that - through Shannon Airport to Saudi Arabia in November 2014. It is on the record. The Government's information confirmed this under a freedom of information request.
Seanad 13 December 2016

Clare Daly made similar claims on the Vincent Brown Show ‘Facilitating The Very Circumstances That Made These People Refugees’ March 24, 2016 BroadSheet/ Vincent Browne TV3
Daly: “Now we have a situation where aircraft are landing at Shannon almost twice daily. Some of the information sought and received by Shannonwatch last year, under Freedom of Information, shows the amount of permits sought for munitions to be transported, including materials that could go to form cluster bombs which we believe are being used in Yemen,
and in the Dail on 16 December 2015 Clare Daly: I am aware, on foot of freedom of information requests, that munitions and explosives that could have been the components of cluster bombs went from the United States to Saudi Arabia."


Extent of Shannon and Ireland’s Complicity in War Revealed Shannonwatch 23/09/2015

Out of context reference to the requests on LookLeft facebook page October 13th 2016

Mick Wallace and clusterbombs in Dail search Kildarestreet.com

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