Nine instances of US troops stopping overnight without a Covid-19 check

ireland
The troops stayed overnight in a Limerick hotel after landing at Shannon Airport without the legally required evidence of negative PCR tests or passenger locator forms. File photo
Share this article

Digital Desk Staff

There have been nine instances of US troops stopping overnight at Shannon Airport with around one military flight landing per day this year.

As The Irish Examiner reports, the issue was brought into focus last month when it was revealed that US authorities apologised to the Government for an incident in which US military personnel breached Irish Covid-19 regulations.

The troops stayed overnight in a Limerick hotel after landing at Shannon Airport without the legally required evidence of negative PCR tests or passenger locator forms.

Two further planeloads were reported to have stayed overnight in the days after the January 9th incident, including one which occurred on February 8th, four days after the US apology.

All flights which land in Ireland require clearance from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney for the number of flights that had been granted this clearance this year.

Military aircraft

Advertisement

The response reads: "Between January 1st and February 17th 2021, diplomatic clearance has been provided for landings of forty-four foreign military aircraft in Ireland."

While there is no breakdown of the nationality of these flights, Mr Coveney answered another parliamentary question from independent TD Catherine Connolly which showed that 28 of the landings were in January — 25 from the US, two from the Netherlands and one from Switzerland.

In response to subsequent questions, the Department said that nine of the flights, all American, had stayed overnight up to the end of February.

“Since January 1st, 2021, there have been nine instances of landings at Shannon of foreign military aircraft which involved stopovers. All were US military flights."

“The Department of Foreign Affairs informs all embassies accredited to Ireland of changes to public health requirements, including with regard to landings of foreign military aircraft.

“The Department has also emphasised to US authorities that crew and passengers of military flights are bound to observe public health regulations in exactly the same way as those on civilian flights.

“The US authorities apologised on February 4th for breaches which had occurred, and committed to full compliance."

Mr Murphy said that the figures showed the strategic importance of the airport to the US.

Read More

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© BreakingNews.ie 2021, developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com