Mick Wallace after prison stint for Shannon breach: 'Don't worry - we'll get in there again'
By David Raleigh, at Limerick Prison
TD Mick Wallace has said he will attempt to breach security at Shannon Airport again to search US military planes landing there, only an hour after he was granted temporary release from Limerick Prison for failing to pay a fine following his conviction for scaling a perimeter fence at the airport.
Despite being jailed for 30 days for failing to pay the fine, the TD was granted temporary release and was free again within two hours.
"I don't run the system," he quipped.
Speaking outside the jail Deputy Wallace confirmed he would "do it again".
"Oh we will yeah, of course," he said.
When asked to confirm if he meant going back to the airport to scale another security fence to search US military planes for weapons, he said: "Don't worry - we'll get in there again."
"It's an absolute disgrace that the planes are not being searched. We'll keep at this until the Government cops onto themselves, and stops allowing Shannon Airport being used as a US military airbase to kill innocent people."
He added: "We've nothing planned at the moment, but we have every intention of continuing with our campaign until the Irish Government does the responsible thing and stops Shannon being used as a US military airbase."
He did not speak on behalf of TD Clare Daly, who was also convicted and fined for breaching security and walking onto a runway at Shannon to approach a US plane along with Deputy Wallace.
Deputy Wallace said he had not spoken to Ms Daly since his release from custody this afternoon.
"I have no phone. I was told to leave my phone in Dublin," he said.
Deputy Wallace said he was shocked to learn of his arrest in Dublin today and subsequent transportation to Limerick Prison by gardaí.
"I got arrested for a non-payment of a fine for being accused of breaking the peace in Shannon by getting over the fence, when in actual fact we had argued that we got over the fence for keeping the peace and not to break it," he said.
"We felt the decision of the judge on the day was unfair and we refused to pay the fines."
Outlining details of his arrest he said: "I was arrested at Clontarf garda station this morning. I went along there, as I understood I had to go there to meet the guards."
However, he said: "I didn't realise I was going to be arrested and brought to Limerick. Anyway I was brought down to Limerick."
"I didn't realise it was going to happen today. I was asked to call around to the place and that's what happened, and I ended up coming down here and spending a couple of hours (in jail), and I was released."
No handcuffs, no cell
Deputy Wallace said he did not spend time in a cell.
"I was just in a room. They eventually told me I was being released," he said. "They (gardaí) had rang me on Monday and asked me to call around and I did. Obviously I didn't realise I was going straight to Limerick."
"They treated me fairly, there was no issue," he said. "I was just in a waiting room, I couldn't event describe it to you or tell you what it is, it was only for a few hours."
Mr Wallace said he "brought enough books with me to read for the 30 days".
"I had a few clothes, but mostly books - I've plenty of reading to catch up on," he said. "I wasn't in a cell. No (I wasn't in handcuffs at any stage). I was treated very well," he added.
Asked if he had faith in the justice system, despite only spending two hours in Limerick Prison despite his 30-day sentence, he said: "I'd say they have plenty of problems."
"The idea of sending me to prison for trying to protect innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan and Syria is absolute madness anyway," he said.
"They reckon that close to two million citizens were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan alone between 2001 and 2013, and we have allowed Shannon to be used for that destruction…It just beggars belief."
"The Irish Government says it cares about refugees, and we're still allowing Shannon to be used so that planes can go bomb their homes and create refugees - kill half of them and make refugees of the rest of them," he added.
He said it was "outrageous" to be asked if his credibility as a politician was affected by his conviction.
"That's an outrageous question. The people will decide if I have credibility or not, not me," he said.
He also hinted he will run again in the next general election.
"There's a good chance."