Sinn Féin delegates call for release of Shannon protester

Ardfheis hears of efforts by conservatives to ‘roll back Irish neutrality’

Delegates at the Sinn Fein ardfheis have supported a call for the release of 79-year-old Margaretta D’Arcy, who is serving three months in prison for  refusing to sign a bail bond to stay away from unauthorised zones at Shannon airport.

Delegates at the Sinn Fein ardfheis have supported a call for the release of 79-year-old Margaretta D’Arcy, who is serving three months in prison for refusing to sign a bail bond to stay away from unauthorised zones at Shannon airport.

Sat, Feb 8, 2014, 18:20

There was sustained applause at the Sinn Féin ardfheis when delegates endorsed a call of support for and release of jailed Shannon airport protester Margaretta D’Arcy.

The 79-year-old was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment for refusing to sign a bail bond to stay away from unauthorised zones at the airport. This followed a suspended sentence imposed on her for illegal incursion on the runway in October 2012.

An emergency motion calling for her release also “reiterates our continued opposition to foreign militaries using Shannon airport to wage war, and calls on the Government to immediately end this practice, which breaches Irish neutrality”.

Dublin city Cllr Micheal MacDonnchadh said to sustained applause that the artist was in Limerick prison “because she dared to stand up for Irish neutrality and Irish sovereignty and that is a disgrace and she should be released immediately”.

He told delegates “there is an effort by conservatives and by a significant element of Fine Gael to roll back Irish neutrality and indeed to use the anniversary of the first World War as part of that effort”.

Speaking about the jailed activist, Cllr MacDonnchadh said “I’m sure she would say, far more important than her release, is that we get the message out that this Government must cease the corrupt violation of Irish sovereignty and Irish neutrality by the use of Shannon airport as a staging post for the US military machine.”

Referring to the banner quote on Liberty Hall following the outbreak of the first World War that “we serve neither King nor Kaiser but Ireland”, Mr MacDonnchadh added “we serve neither Washington nor Brussels, but Ireland”.

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