Two anti-war activists charged with damaging US navy aircraft
Both men remanded on bail to reappear before Ennis District Court
Judge John King strongly urged both men to get legal representation
Two anti-war activists appeared at Ennis District Court on Wednesday charged with the criminal damage of a US navy aircraft at Shannon airport on Tuesday.
Part-time university lecturer Dr Ed Horgan (71), of Newtown, Castletroy, Limerick, said he would be pleading not guilty to the charge of criminal damage.
The charge accuses them of causing criminal damage by defacing a US navy aircraft with graffiti. Judge King said: “This is a serious charge, and has the potential on conviction of a prison sentence.”
After the brief court appearance, Dr Horgan told reporters outside the court that after his arrest he had handed to gardaí at Shannon 35 pages of a list of 1,000 children killed in conflicts involving the US in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
“The total list, unfortunately, is one million children since 1991. If you want my motivation, it is the killing of children in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen.”
Dr Horgan said gardaí have retained a copy of his list.
He said the actions at Shannon airport “were part of an informative protest – to inform the people that we are complicit, and the gardaí are not searching US military aircraft and they should be. They are not doing their job, and as a citizen I feel obliged to help them to do this.”
In court Dr Horgan successfully argued against Garda bail conditions that he remain out of Co Clare and sign on daily at his local Garda station.
He said he has no previous convictions, and needed to go through Co Clare as part of his work as a part-time university lecturer. It would not be possible to sign on daily as he would be travelling to the European Parliament on May 25th. “I see no reason why I have to sign on daily.”
After listening to Dr Horgan’s objections, Insp David Finnerty told the court Dr Horgan remaining out of Shannon airport and town would be sufficient, and that Dr Horgan could sign on once a week at his local Garda station.
Garda Carmel O’Malley said that she arrested both accused at taxiway 11 at Shannon airport at 22.40pm on Tuesday. Mr Dowling had nothing to say after caution, and that Dr Horgan replied: “Not guilty of any offence.”
Mr Dowling said the bail conditions to stay out of Co Clare and sign on daily were harsh.
Judge King remanded both men on bail to reappear before Ennis District Court on June 7th.