Activist Margaretta D’Arcy released from prison

Aosdána member served nine-and-a-half weeks of three month term

Sat, Mar 22, 2014, 17:28

Activist and Aosdána member Margaretta D’Arcy (79), who was released from prison in Dublin this morning, described Shannon airport as “a place of murder, assassination and complicity”.

Speaking at a press conference in the city-centre, she said the Government, by allowing US military planes to land in Shannon airport, was complicit in murder and asssination.

Ms D’Arcy served nine and a half weeks of a 12-week sentence for refusing to sign a bond to uphold the law and keep away from unauthorised zones at Shannon airport. She was arrested in Galway on January 15th and taken to Limerick to serve a three month sentence for illegal incursion of the runway at Shannon airport on October 7th, 2012.

The sentence had been suspended when served at Ennis District Court last December, but was activated when she refused to sign the bond.

She said today she could not have signed the bond stipulating she keep away from Shannon, she said, because to do so would have enabled the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter to say: “Oh she is just like us, we knew in the end.”

She explained today that by going onto the runway “we alerted the aviation world that Shannon is not a proper airport but a place of murder, assassination and complicity”.

She said she had received “thousands of letters of support from all across the world. Somehow all over the world it has triggered something.

“The Government is willing to put somebody who speaks the truth in to jail. There is a growing awareness of truth. We have to speak the truth. We cannot be complicit, we cannot compromise with the truth. If something is wrong we have to go and say it is wrong. And it is completely wrong for the Government to allow a civilian airport to be used as a military airport. It is a crime for the military to be able to hide behind a civilian airport. It is something that we should not tolerate.”

Referring to the vindication of Garda whistle-blowers Sergeant Maurice McCabe and retired Garda John Wilson, alsong with the support she has received for her actions, she said she had a sense that things were changing in Ireland.

“I don’t think we are going to put up anymore with complicity. We can change the world. The world is changing.”

She plans to return home to Galway tomorrow, and is due to be admitted to hospital early next week, where she has been treated for bladder cancer.

During her detention, she was visited by close friend Sabina Coyne, wife of PresidentMichael D Higgins, and by Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams. Mr Arden said that his mother had received many messages of support.

She is due to appear in court again on June 24th in relation to a separate charge of an incursion on Shannon airport’s runway on September 1st, 2013.

During her detention, she was visited by close friend Sabina Coyne, wife of President Michael D Higgins, and by Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams. Mr Arden said that his mother had received many messages of support.