TD Wallace: We had to get over airport fence illegally

Deputy Mick Wallace said that he does not know if he will be charged or not after being arrested today at Shannon Airport.

Independent TDs Wallace and Clare Daly were detained after getting into the airside area of Shannon Airport where two aircraft, believed US military planes, were parked away from the main terminal.

“We are accepting diplomatic assurances from America that this is no armaments on US military planes passing through Shannon,” he said.

“We know bloody well that there is and we went down today looking for evidence, and we decided that [former Justice] Minister Shatter said ‘give us the evidence and come back to us’, we said ‘right, OK, we’ll go down’.

“We had to get over the fence illegally, and we went in to the planes.

“We tried to get into the planes … but we were stopped by the military police."

The Garda press office confirmed a man and a woman were arrested by airport police at 12.20pm after a security fence had been breached and they were subsequently handed over to local gardaí.

The pair were later released from Shannon Garda Station at around 1:30pm, according to a Garda spokesman.

A file is being prepared for the DPP.

Ed Horgan, an anti-war campaigner with the Peace and Neutrality Alliance and the Shannonwatch group, said he witnessed the two arrests.

“The aircraft were being guarded by the Irish army and Clare Daly and Mick Wallace were arrested by airport police quite close to the aircraft,” Mr Horgan said.

It is understood the two TDs were attempting to inspect a US Hercules transport plane and a second plane which is believed to be a Boeing 737 converted for use by the US military.

The TDs have campaigned for US military planes landing and refuelling at Shannon Airport to be searched independently to verify that allowing military aircraft at Shannon does not interfere with Ireland’s status as a neutral country.

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